Holy Week: Hating Your Sin

If we will allow it, God can change us from the inside out. We must first come to the realization of the need to change by recognizing the sinful behavior(s) controlling our lives, and an authentic desire to turn from these behaviors once and for all. This isn’t abstinence—it’s a complete transformation of the inner man.

Multiple Scriptural verses admonish us to put off the old self (Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24; 5:3; Romans 6:6; 8:12-13; Galatians 5:16-18; 25; 1 Peter 2:24). This requires letting go of the idols that have consumed us; idols that we love and worship the pleasure they bring, and bring them to a point of hatred for the separation they are causing from a pure relationship with our Father.

It cannot be simply an attempt to control the sin, or manage and maintain its effect on your life. You have to see the sin the same way God sees sin. When Jesus bore all of our sins on the cross, he cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”, as at that moment in time God could no longer look upon His Son because of the sin He had taken on (see Matthew 27:45-46). Jesus was out of fellowship with His Father, just as we are when we carry our sin.

This revolution towards hatred of sin requires a new King over your heart. Jesus Christ must be allowed control over your daily walk in such a way that you no longer seek your will first, but instead that of your Lord. When you try to maintain your sinful behavior, you are not letting go of what is necessary to break free. The values of Christ cannot coexist with deliberate sinful behavior. This is what Paul was referring to in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and in Ephesians 4:17-24.

When we allow God access to our heart, we can see a shift in our thinking about the sin we previously enjoyed. Whereas in the old self, we used the images of the pleasure the sin would bring us as a build-up to acting out, where now, through the strength of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we instead focus on the aftermath and the miserable feelings we have when we know we have just let ourselves, and more importantly God, down by giving in to our fleshly lusts.

When we can make this shift in thinking, we are on our way to hating the sin just as much as God does. And as we reflect on our own miserable condition this Ash Wednesday, we connect with the origins of this celebration in an outward expression of true sorrow over our sin.

And that brings us one step closer to a faithful walk with the Lord.