By Matt Dawson
I’ve never felt more defeated in my life!
I remember the feeling as if darkness was completely overtaking me and the rage of all that is wrong in my world was being unleashed. I had allowed thought after thought to pervade my mind and DECIDED that I just wasn’t going to take it anymore. I unleashed my anger, rage, and frustration and was left with nothing but shame, guilt, and a defeated heart.
To those we tell this story to, it’s usually filled with laughter at the site, sounds, and hilarity of the story. In short, my car inexplicably broke down for the 84th time, so I beat the engine with a cast iron weight from the trunk of my car and then preceded to lock my wife out of the car while I beat the steering wheel mercilessly, and cursed it to the point of exhaustion. Anger had won the battle. (To get the full story – my wife retells is in her book “Crowning Wisdom” – go buy it, Chapter 1 alone is worth the read!)
In the sermon this week, I made a statement that FREEDOM comes when we not only UNDERSTAND our SIN (that entity, force, cancer) in our hearts – BUT we also acknowledge our SINFUL behavior (thoughts, actions, words).
WHY is this so important? Why is this the only way to FREEDOM?
The part of the “beat the car up” story that I usually don’t park on often is the clarity that God revealed to me about my own sin. To recognize the failure of my thoughts, actions, and words to the degree that in my state of defeat – I understood WHY I was so defeated.
You see, when I decide to SIN (yes, at every level SIN is a decision) it’s like looking in the back yard of my house after a 9 day rain and deciding that I want to go play in the MUD. And once I get in the MUD, I decided to just go all in – after all, its just MUD. I roll, flop, slide, and play in the MUD because IN THAT MOMENT – it is satisfying. BUT IT DOESN’T LAST.
At some point, I want to go back into my house… but I can’t. I’m covered head to toe – soiled from my clothes to my skin – in my ears and up my nose. I’m beyond a mess. As I attempt to walk back in, MUD GOES EVERYWHERE. It hits my wife, my kids, my stuff, EVERYTHING is affected because of my choice to “go roll in the MUD.”
I was so defeated that day with my car, struggling to understand how that kind of anger could’ve taken such a hold on me. I realized later it wasn’t even about “the car,” but a culmination of issues in my life that I was so desperately trying to manage and control that it overwhelmed me.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned about Freedom from SIN, is that we HAVE TO EMBRACE our FULL CAPACITY to WANT to SIN. We need to realize the DARKNESS that lies in our old heart, and that there is NO THOUGHT, WORD, or DEED that I am not capable of!
It’s only in fully embracing this that I find FREEDOM in the SAVING GRACE of JESUS CHRIST.
When I understand this – I am FREE. I’m free to love those in my life who struggle with their sin and feel LOVE and COMPASSION for them. I cannot feel CONDEMNATION for someone else who has wronged me or wronged others when I realize that I’m capable of the same actions! This is the HEART of Jesus at work in us!
I hope this series is helping you in Making Sense of Sin. Please don’t allow this series to just pass through your mind as knowledge only.
Take some time to let it sink in. Understand the SIN that lies within you. Embrace your past thoughts, words, and actions as SIN and fully understand the depths of what you are capable of!