Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 3:13

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Battling sin is a task for today.  We live in a world of doing the hard stuff later and the fun stuff now.  Battling sin isn’t fun.  It’s hard.  It’s dangerous.  It brings guarantees of success, yes, but also of pain.  And yet it is a task we cannot put off until tomorrow.  We must tackle it today.

Today must be the day we find ourselves an accountability partner; someone who can walk with us on the journey, giving us the encouragement and strength we need (and us them) to manage the task.  Acknowledging to another person we are struggling with sin is a scary thought.  It’s doubly scary if the person is one we know well as a good accountability partner should be.  Yet we must put the fears of embarrassment aside and get help, because the risks of walking in sin a single day longer than we must are too great.  The life waiting for us in righteousness is too big a prize to not claim now.

Today must be the day we decide we will not harbor that grudge any longer.  It has been eating away at our souls for far too long and it’s time to let it go.  It’s time today to reach out with forgiveness, knowing well the burden it will mean we have to bear.  Yet it is a burden we will be able to share with our Lord and so we will have more than enough strength to do it.  Today is the day.

Today must be the day we decide we will no longer get caught up in the cycles of gossip and jealousy that spin around the office or the gym or the halls of the school or church or anywhere else we might socialize with the usual crowd.  The gossip is introducing lies and false suspicions of other people who deserve the dignity of being addressed directly about their issues.  The jealousy is leaving us hollowed out and endlessly discontent with the good things God has given us.  We will instead lift others up with our words and celebrate their successes with them.  Today is the day.

This must be the day we decide we are going to put away the insecurities about our image and value we have been carrying around possibly for years.  They were sinfully foisted upon us by someone else, but we don’t have to bear the burden anymore.  They are leading us to seek affirmation in places it will be given only temporarily and conditionally; places where we will be called to idolatry of some kind in order to keep it coming.  They are leading us as well to tear down the people around us in order to feel better about ourselves because at least if they are brought down to our level we won’t be alone in our insecurities.  We will instead embrace the image of God we bear by virtue of being human and rest confidently in the high assessment our loving heavenly Father has of us so that we can build others up around us instead of tearing them down.  Today is the day.

Today must be the day we decide we will no longer get lost in the fog of sensuality and false pleasure of our hyper-sexualized culture.  This means saying no to the easy pleasure of cheap sex when the opportunity presents itself; choosing instead to embrace the richer, deeper delight of sex in its proper context.  It means no longer enslaving ourselves to the addicting, degrading influence of pornography–degrading both to those who are being featured in it, but also of our own minds and our ability to enjoy those things as they were intended to be enjoyed.

Whatever sin happens to be the thing that is threatening to entangle you (or in fact has entangled you), make today the day that you leave it behind for good.  Encourage others in your life to do the same.  Get in community groups and work together to encourage each other on toward righteousness.  Stand firm in your faith and walk toward the life of Christ.

But know as you go that sin can be tricky.  Be always on guard, ready to say goodbye to decisions and habits that are leading you away from Christ.  But above all else, make it today.  Don’t want until tomorrow.  A hard heart is nothing to mess around with; the risks are simply too great.  As long as today is called “today,” walk in the light.

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