I have chronic pain. I'm not using "chronic pain" in the medical sense, because that refers to pain that persists with no cause. My pain has a cause; it's just not something that can be fixed without big risks. It's chronic in the everyday, literal sense, meaning it's always -- almost always -- there and doesn't go away. It's a result of the intestinal adhesion that my Crohn's symptoms have caused in my right side. On a normal day, I feel like someone is stabbing me in my side with a knife. I try to live with the pain, but I know it affects me. Pain harms mental functioning and lowers quality of life.
Sin is a little bit like that. A sin problem doesn't just go away. It sits in a corner of our hearts, eating at us. We may think we've "learned to live with it" because "that's just the way we are." How often have we done this? We have an anger problem, but we excuse it. We gossip, but it's just normal. We look to something besides God to fulfill us. We let our "little" problem with lying, porn, or overindulgence just stay right where it is. And we think it's not that big of a deal. We fail to realize the damaging toll sin takes on our spiritual life. The quality of our relationship with God is severely harmed when we fail to address the "way I am" and bring it to the cross of Christ.
Fixing a sin problem has big risks. In fact, it kills a part of us every single time. But it's worth it. I have to live with an intestinal adhesion, but you and I never have to live with the sin that threatens to destroy us spiritually. We have an advocate with our Father, Jesus Christ, and He's willing to do whatever it takes to bring us to perfect spiritual health. Have you ever felt like sin is a lot like a nagging pain? What can we do to ease this pain?