Sin Makes Us Silly
She stomped her foot down on the floor with all the two-year-old strength she could muster.
“I don’t need a nap. Sleeping is for babies,” she told me as she wiped the tired from her eyes. She normally was a pleasure to babysit, but today was proving to be a clash of power. Somehow she assumed that only babies need sleep and our little friend was certainly not a baby. I tried to reason with her gently, “Well, I need sleep too. Does that make me a baby?”
She just stared at me with those tired blue eyes. I could definitely tell a nap was much needed.
“Well, I want to play. I don’t need a nap. And you can’t make me.”
My eyebrows raised. “Oh, so you would rather get in trouble than obey and take a nap?”
She nodded, “Yes.”
“Don’t you think that is silly?” I asked her. “If you don’t obey and take a nap, you won’t play at all. But if you do obey and take a nap, you can definitely play when you wake up. Plus you will feel so much better on the inside and outside.”
She looked over her shoulder at her toys. She looked back at me.
In the end, my little friend made a good choice that day. But am I the only one who faces similar choices just like this -- but maybe on a grown up scale?
On a daily basis, I face choices like:
- instant gratification or faithfulness
- making it happen on my own or waiting on the Lord’s timing
- choosing to value the world’s opinion or walking the narrow path
- reacting in pride or responding in humility
- striving to be seen and praised when I do good or trusting that my Father sees and His reward is better
In the heat of the moment, making the right choices can be severely difficult. But when I step back and look at the end result of both options, I can see how silly -- how foolish -- it would be to choose what my flesh wants over what God gives.
When God describes Israel’s sin in Hosea, He says they are “like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.” (Hosea 7:11, ESV) This word “silly” means “easily seduced or deceived.” They were led astray because they weren’t convinced of the truth.
Some of us might assume that this is only something that happens to “baby believers.” But that’s not always the case. It’s not the having “access” to truth that keeps us safe from sin’s seduction, it’s being convinced of the truth that offers protection. The people of Israel had unlimited access to God, but their silliness was revealed when they chose not to trust what was revealed to them about the Holy One.
Not only do we become “silly” when we engage with sin, but our hearts grow hard to the purity of God’s Word. And the more we choose sin, our hearts grow accustomed to the foolishness and nothing God says or desires makes any sense -- it seems plain ridiculous. We become foolish children making bad choices while our hearts become blind, hard, and skeptical of God’s character and love.
Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
they have become to him altars for sinning.
Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands,
they would be regarded as a strange thing. (Hosea 8:11-12, ESV)
Sin always makes God’s Word appear to be a strange and silly thing.
So what can we do to stand firm against sin’s relentless seduction? And how can we help others see the silliness of their sin compared to the abundant treasures of walking in obedience to a kind Father?
Hebrews 3:12-13 says, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Pay close attention to the people the author of Hebrews addresses. Is he talking about unbelievers here? Nope -- he’s talking to believers, his brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore it is possible for pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, accountability partners, Christian friends, and family to have a sinful, unbelieving heart that is slowly being seduced by sin. It is possible for you and I to slip into this pit as well.
The author of Hebrews tells us that God wants us to pay attention for these things by daily encouraging one another.
What a simple, powerful role each one of us plays in the body of Christ! It doesn’t have to be complicated or threatening or condemning. God gives us a perfect plan:
- Stay aware of sin’s deceitfulness.
- Daily encourage others.
I appreciate the people in my life who engage in this battle for my heart just like my little two-year-old friend who wanted to refuse a good nap and play instead, I have had friends sit across the table from me and point out how silly and foolish a certain choice would be. When done in a loving and encouraging way, their words have allowed my soul to escape a slow, foolish hardening that would inevitably begin to view God’s Word as an inconvenience or nuisance. I am forever grateful that they take this responsibility seriously.
Hosea was also a person that took this responsibility seriously. He faithfully reported God’s Word, pointed out sin, and encouraged them to return to their first Love. The results were left up to God. Sadly, in this case we already know the end of the story, and that the people’s hearts remained hard in their sin. But I wonder what Hosea would say if he knew that people not yet created would one day read his words, be confronted with the truth, and choose to return to the Lord his God?
I’m pretty confident that his soul would be encouraged.
I’m thankful that the Lord provided us with examples like Hosea in the Bible. Not only does it “give flesh” to warnings like we discovered in Hebrews, but by studying the results of the Israelites choices, we can see clearly just how silly their foolish hearts had become.
Let us take these warnings seriously. Let us keep a watch on ourselves and our brothers/sisters in Christ. Let us be diligent to encourage one another daily. Because so much is at stake.
Kaysie Strickland is definitely nothing fancy. Jesus found her in a mess and won her with His Words. She feels called to be a servant of the Word and His people through spending her life and words proclaiming the reckless restoration available in the gospel. She is married to her best friend on earth, drinks lots of coffee + tea, constantly rearranges the furniture in her house (God bless her husband), loves gardening and DIY projects, enjoys long conversations over coffee, and loves all the words. She and her husband are expecting their first little one this month! You can find her on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Blog