Nobody wants to be tricked. A practical joke might bring a laugh and good-natured retaliation, but a real trick–a well-planned deception–leaves us scarred emotionally. Depending on the deception, feelings of humiliation, betrayal, anger, embarrassment, and despair might easily follow. This is what sin does. It’s what sin is. Every sin, from the tiniest white lie to the largest-scaled war, carves out a path to self-destruction. Yet every sin begins with something so simple–just a little desire to satisfy a little craving.
Sin is simply a corruption of God’s initial design for perfection. Everything that is evil in the world is a distortion of something God designed to bring mankind pleasure and to explain His great love for us.
The devil doesn’t create anything; only God is capable of designing something out of nothing, including our emotions and our pleasures. Satan craftily manipulates and distorts what God has already designed to bring us fulfillment–like love, friendship, and satisfaction–thereby replacing it with counterfeit emotions and desires that will never bring us fulfillment. Everything in this world that looks appealing–popularity, beauty, intelligence, physique–are all qualities that God placed within us to define us as unique and complex individuals. God intended each gift to be shared with the world to reflect His glory, not our own, so that people will seek Him. Whenever we find ourselves striving for accolades or even a pat on the back, we can be sure we are after our own glory and that we have allowed the master deceiver to manipulate us into thinking that somehow our personal achievement directs the world’s attention toward God.
And all those sins we seek to subdue, year after year? They are nothing more than indulgences of the flesh and mind. Somewhere along the road, we have convinced ourselves that they aren’t truly wrong–merely expressions of our personalities or well-deserved vacations from Puritanism. However sinful (an angry outburst can be as dangerous and addicting as internet pornography), each indulgence comes from a lie, either that the sin isn’t so terrible, or that it isn’t a habit, or that it won’t lead to anything destructive.
Sin is the supreme hoax. What a shame that it has mortal and eternal consequences!