Part of allowing God to take control of every aspect of your life is reacting to sin the way that He would. Psalm 45:7 says that God “hates evil.” (NLT) So what do we do when encountered by evil and sin? How do we react when others around us are blaspheming our God and polluting the minds of our children with their words.
I know that it can be hard. But let’s look at a practical example. Let’s say you’re standing in line at the grocery store with your children. There are two guys behind you, cussing and telling crass stories that everyone, including your children, can hear. They have no shame for their sins, in fact, they seem to revel in them. What is your reaction? Do you just wait until you’re in the car and then privately tell your children that what they heard was wrong?
2 Kings chapter 22 tells about a king the likes of which the kingdom of Judah had never seen before. King Josiah wanted nothing more than to please the Lord. He raised enough money to start some serious renovations of the temple. One day, the man in charge of overseeing the renovations found a copy of the Books of the Law and brought them to the king. Here was the king’s reaction to hearing the Law of the Lord.
“When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do.'” (2 Kings 22:11-13 NLT)
King Josiah was brought to the point of despair at the knowledge that he and his kingdom was not doing everything the Lord had commanded them to do. The rest of that chapter and all of the next go on to say that he effected a massive religious reform in Judah, the likes of which hadn’t been seen before. He removed everything that resembled another god, anything that could be worshipped other than the one, true God.
He didn’t just repent, he tore his clothes and felt deep despair. He felt about sin the way God feels about sin. He was repulsed by it, deeply offended by it. And upon realization of the sin of his country, he spent years cleansing the land of the evil they had turned to. I believe that there are two major applications for us. First, we need to rid our lives of things that cause us to sin. Paul tells us to run away from temptation, (2 Timothy 2:22) not bring it into our lives and hope we are spiritual enough to overcome it. If you find something is replacing your God-time, perhaps it’s time to get it out of your life and replace it with God. Don’t let the false gods of today (television, computer games, work, cleanliness) take your focus off of your relationship with God. Take the steps to remove them from your life.
Second, we need to take action against passive sins. These are sins that are not necessarily committed by us, but by those around us. You can’t stop people from sinning, it’s their choice to either follow God or reject Him. But there are things we can do in response to those sins. If we go back to our example in the grocery store, what is the proper response? I’ll leave that up to you and your conscience. But for me (as I have been in this position before, as I’m sure most of you have) I would turn around and politely tell them to watch their language around our children. I wouldn’t boast that I’m a Christian, so we don’t talk that way. But I would take a stand for the innocence of my children.
If we want God to come into our lives and completely take over, then we need to have the same attitude that He does regarding sin. We have an amazing example in King Josiah and his reaction to the sins of his kingdom. He didn’t just sit back and pray for the strength to resist the idols that had been erected all over Judah. He took action and rid his life and the lives of those under him of any temptation. He exiled and executed the priests of those false gods. (in our day, this could be as easy as unfriending those who are a bad influence in our lives) We need to follow the example of King Josiah and treat sin the way God does, with contempt.
Lord, please help me to view sin as you do. Help me rid my life and the lives of my family members of the idols we have erected, of the false gods that consume our time and energy. Help me to place you and keep you at the center of every part of my day. Thank you for your faithfulness and love. Amen.