This is not just about having a different view of sin. It is about transferring our source of joy from those things that are right to those things that are wrong. It is a seriously dangerous shift. We were created with the capacity to do right and the capacity to do wrong. When we do right, good things happen in and to us. There is a real sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when we do the right thing. There is a true sense of loss and sadness when we do the wrong thing.
The first time you do something wrong, you do it with fear, and immediately feel awful. You try to hide it, and cover your tracks with lies. You are embarrassed. You may have enjoyed the rebellion for a moment during the activity, but the after effects start to destroy you. It is in no way fun or enjoyable. But then nothing happens. You seem to get away with it. So at some point, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t, you end up doing it again. Each time you do the deed, you feel less and less fear, shame, and guilt, and a little more fun and enjoyment. The removal of the ‘negative’ emotions makes room for the ‘positive’ emotions. Before you know it, you have made a career out of doing the wrong thing and it has become your source of joy.
We were actually designed by God to find great joy in doing the right things, in living the right way. That’s why compassion ministries are such a great experience for people. You end up doing good for those who can’t do for themselves, and in the process you find a great amount of joy. The work is sometimes hard, and nasty, and thankless. But you leave with a sense of fulfillment as a human being. That’s how God designed you. This joy is in alignment with love. Wherever your heart is… that’s where you will find joy.
During the first century, the apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of Christians who lived in a very wicked culture and explained what true love is. They were surrounded by sin of all types, and the people who were doing those sins had pushed through the negative emotions and found a place of enjoyment in them. Paul wrote, “Love finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6) In other words, if you find joy in sin, you don’t have true love. If you have true love, you will find great joy in the truth.
Unrighteousness is against the truth. It is the anti-truth. God is truth. His words are truth. It is impossible to find true joy outside of truth. It is impossible to find true joy in sin. If you want to love someone, you will not find any joy in your sin or their sin. Instead, true love will find great joy and fulfillment in the truth of God. You love people by doing right by them. If you do the wrong thing, you do not love them. If you support their wrong, you do not love them. People find joy in the wrong things because they don't have love for the right things. Loving God and loving people means that our joy will be in the reality of who God is, and who He designed us to be. Today, let your heart take you into truth, and experience the joy that comes with that love.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.