Sin and Shaving
Unless I’m growing a goatee or beard, stubble on my face bothers me. It bothers me for a variety of reasons mostly related to my vanity but also because my wife hates it! Up until recently, I felt like I had hit the sweet spot of cost effectiveness and a quality shave. Through a series of what some may call unfortunate events, I call them providence, I discovered what has absolutely revolutionized my shaving experience – the double edged razor, less admirably also called a safety razor. This little beauty has been around for over a hundred years but went by the wayside with the advent of the disposable razor. What a shame! I bought a Merkur HD 34C (it even has a super cool sounding name!) and it has my face in awe of its ability to get me a super-close shave. The razors used are surgeon quality sharp and when used properly it is a much more enjoyable experience than my old, gross, barely (in retrospect) functional disposable blades.
I feel like my shave routine has reached near perfection. The quality is outstanding and the cost savings (you can buy 100 double edged blades for $12 on Amazon compared to the extortion prices of disposables) is incredible! Believe it or not though, this post is not about my revolutionized shave experience.
While rubbing my hands over my yet to be mowed stubble the other morning, a couple of thoughts popped into my feeble mind. With the help of a sharp double edged razor, I spend time and energy every morning meticulously shaving in an effort to rid myself of the stubble that by the next morning will stubbornly reassert itself. However, do I likewise spend time and energy everyday meticulously attempting to remove sin from my life with the help of the razor sharp, doubled edged sword of the very words of God?
Let me conclude this post with a personal challenge to deal with our sin with zealousness. I can best do that by posing a series of statements that I have lately found to be of great help to pray over every day. These are articulated in the first person because that’s how they originated in my journal.
- My sins are serious offenses before a holy God.
I think the major reason I don’t deal with sin strongly and firmly is because I underestimate its seriousness. My sin steals my joy. My sin mars my fellowship with God. My sin diminishes my fruitfulness. My sin robs me of peace. My sin renders my service useless. My sin mitigates against my effectiveness in evangelism. My sin hinders my prayers. My sin brings the discipline of God. I need to understand the seriousness of my sin. It violates first and foremost my relationship with the Lord.
- I purpose and promise to obey, today.
Psalm 119:32, “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” It’s a very beautiful picture. It means I’m going to run in the way of obedience because you have given me a heart to do that. That’s the kind of purpose that is absolutely essential. There’s a great difference, you see, between sin dwelling in us and sin entertained by us. I promise You I will obey You.
- I am not as spiritual as perceive myself to be.
Paul said it this way, “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” I have to be watching for sin’s subtle movements within my own supposed spirituality. The seducing motions of my own heart can sometimes rise out of the moments of my most supposed spirituality. I must be suspicious of my own spirituality.
- Today, I determine to resist the first risings of my flesh and its pleasures.
James 1 notes for a certain process of sin, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin.” I want to stop sin at the point of conception not try to stop it at the point of birth. Trying to stop it at that point is dangerous. Whereas resisting and opposing the first uprisings of the flesh and its pleasures is usually met with greater successes.
- I will meditate on God’s Word today.
The familiar words of Psalm 119 are helpful. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” How can I lay aside sin? How can this battle be won? “By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” The constant input of the Word of God begins to fill up my mind and control my thinking and that alone becomes the strength and resource in me that can resist the initial impulses of the flesh. And as some attitude of sin or some kind of act of sin begins to well up within in me, the Word of God acts as a restraint. When I remember the truth I know, I will meditate on that, not on the enticement of the flesh and its pleasures.
- I will immediately and specifically repent over my failures.
Matthew 26:75 records helpful event on this matter. Peter having obviously been aware of his sin at the crowing of the cock went out and wept bitterly. There is something very admirable in that. We castigate, and rightly so, Peter for his defection but we must also honor and respect him for his immediate remorse. Being immediately repentant over my sin isn’t only saying, “I’m sorry, Lord, forgive me,” it is saying, “I’m sorry, Lord, forgive me and I don’t want to ever do that again.” When I do this I must also name my sin specifically. Naming sin specifically develops a high degree of accountability with God for having named the very sin for which He is holding me accountable not to commit again.
- I will depend wholly upon you, Lord, today for divine help.
Jesus said to His disciples, ” Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” I cannot fight this battle on my own. By staring my day with something along the lines of, “Lord, please today lead me away from temptation, please today, Lord, deliver me from evil.” I need to set the course of my prayers before the tempter arrives, before the flesh begins to rise and entice.
My sinfulness offends a holy God, so much so that Habakkuk rightly records that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil (Habakkuk 1:13). I am thankful that in Christ God does not see my righteousness but Christ’s imputed righteousness on my account! Hallelujah what a Savior! However, that does not diminish my responsibility to not let sin reign in my life. I must labor diligently to live in light of my position in Jesus.
May God help you remove sin from your life!