A young man went to the doctor and was told he had an incredibly debilitating form of a virus. It is slowly eating away at his organs. So the young man decided he would get help from the doctor every single week. He was committed to recovery. He continued his visits until the virus was in control for the most part. Once there was no notable pain or visible signs of the disease he slowly stopped taking the medication. The doctor reminded him that there was a long period where the disease was destroying his organs with no obvious signs before the young man’s first visit. Regardless he stopped taking the medication until one day when he collapsed and died from the major damage done within him.
Unfortunately that is our perspective when it comes to sin. That is why Paul states here in verse 3 “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.” Paul knows that the normal path for humans is to overcome obvious sin and then to act as though they cannot sin! So after exhorting us to gently address a fallen brother or sister, and after warning us that we are just as easily tempted to sin, Paul says this. With the immediate context (verses before it) we can deduce that Paul is saying this in relation to “thinking” we cannot fall into sin. Paul leaves no room for someone who says “oh I cannot be tempted to sin.” He wants us to be realistic with ourselves. Paul knows that as human beings if we are not in step with the Spirit we are only a few decisions away from being in the darkest of sins. We must be REAL with the depth of human depravity. We have a virus. Yeah, it has been kept in control by the Spirit, but if you are unwilling to admit you are prone to sin you may find yourself eaten from within with this virus. You must acknowledge it and be intentional about treatment.
Oh Lord I know that it’s easy to look at someone in sin and think we cannot be there. It’s easy to forget that we were once in the same situation. Help me to refrain from deceiving myself, instead be REAL and know that sin lingers in the wings waiting for me to deceive myself. Amen
I genuinely hope no one reading this is in that mindset: you don’t feel you CAN struggle with temptation. If you have done this in relation to someone else’s sin you need to admit it. You need to reach out to that person and tell them you were proud when dealing with their sin. You need to admit you are just as much at risk as they are.