We have all been there. Standing in the mirror, looking at ourselves, and asking ourselves the same question: “Why did I do that?”
Some of us may take the time to investigate our motives. But even after getting at the heart of the problem, we still find ourselves back at the mirror. We never know our motives, and that just makes the mirror a frustrating place to be. Still, we all can agree that every time we come back to the mirror we can see the damage of our decisions in our eyes. Jaded. Suspicious. Hurt. Mistrusting. Dying. And that is what sin is. Sin is the inescapable, unavoidable death we see in the mirror. Sin is the reality that I can keep coming back to the mirror all I want, but I can never change what it shows me.
We have an ugly habit of thinking the best of ourselves; and quite frankly, that habit is the basis for the worst of our problems. In the beginning, humankind was without sin. But the desire to think the best of ourselves ushered sin into the world. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he tempted her by convincing her that God was holding back the best. Satan said, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). The ugliness that followed was death. And not just death for Eve and her husband Adam but all those who came after them.
We all have sinned, still sin, and will continue to sin. And sin enslaves. We know it enslave because it is sin that keeps driving us back to the mirror to ask ourselves the same question, “Why did I do that?” In John 8:34, Jesus says it like this, “Truly, truly, I say to you everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” As humans we are finite in both will and ability. Essentially, we have absolutely no ability to free ourselves from the slavery sin causes; nor do we have the full capacity to desire to be free from sin. Paul says, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:18).
The very real reality is that even though we are incapable of stopping ourselves from sin, there is a part of us that wants to sin.
But there is good news. Jesus has come!