We talk so much about avoiding sin and overcoming temptations
, but we're human. Sometimes we sin. So, what are the emotional effects of sin? Is it really a big deal? We often talk about consequences of sin in discipline like groundings or tangible things like losing a job or hurting others. However, sin has a way of creeping into the way we feel. It creates separations, makes us sad, creates doubt. Sin can be extremely damaging, not just to others, but to ourselves. Here are just a few of the emotional effects of sin in our lives:
Separates You From GodGod wants a relationship with each one of us. He desires our love, and he wants us to turn to him in good times and bad. He is our Father. He is our guide. Yet, when we sin, we hurt God. We turn away from Him and look to other things that are far less important. When we lie, cheat, steal…we hurt God. This causes a separation. Think about your best friend. If your best friend found out you had been stealing from him or her, what do you think that would do to your relationship? When we sin, we become separate from God rather than one with Him. While he is very forgiving when we ask for it, sometimes we allow that separation to grow and we move further and further away from the biggest support in our lives.
Adds Sadness to Our Hearts
One of the biggest emotional effects of sin is the sadness that grows in us after we sin. Once we realize we did something wrong, we become sad. We know we've hurt God. We know we've probably hurt someone else. It creates a sadness inside of us. For some people, that sadness is a catalyst to make things better. Yet for others, it is an insidious sadness that becomes consuming. It can be a trigger to more self-destructive behaviors
and greater sadness.
Lowers Our Self Esteem
Sin has a way of making us feel bad about ourselves. While some people get sad, others beat themselves up over sin. It has a way of taking our self-esteem down several notches. While God may forgive
us, low self-esteem may prevent us from forgiving ourselves. When that happens we often get stuck in self-destruction. We never feel good enough, and we stop listening to God. We start listening to the voices telling us we can never be good enough. That's not what God desires. God loves us…self-perceived flaws and all.
Allows Bitterness InSometimes when we sin it's not just sadness that settles in. Bitterness has a way of rearing it's ugly head. We stop thinking that things matter. We become angry and cold. Our hearts become hard and we turn away from God. Bitterness makes us unpleasant. Sin takes us away from the warmth of God's grace, because we lose sight of the good.
Drowns Us in GuiltWhen we become sad and lose our self-esteem due to sin, it's usually because we are overwhelmed by guilt. It's not to say that we shouldn't take sin seriously, we should. A small amount of guilt it healthy, because it allows us to correct ourselves and our behavior. However, when we cannot let go of the guilt, we just end up dwelling on it. Again, we have to learn to forgive ourselves and try better next time. Yet sometimes that guilt keeps us from moving forward.
Let's Doubt Creep In
One of the greatest emotional effects of sin is the creeping in of doubt. It's not to say that people never doubt their faith
, but when doubt comes from sin it means we're allowing the sin to have control. When we give control to sin, that means we're no longer giving control to God. We're pushing him out and allowing other things to come in and take over. We often talk about sin being so bad, but we forget that most sin doesn't always feel bad when we're sinning. When sin seems pleasurable and fun, we find ourselves in a crisis of faith. God says it's wrong, but it doesn't feel wrong. So what does that say about God? This is how doubt works to push us away from God.