Stop Saying that Sin Doesn't Satisfy

And start admitting that satisfaction isn't the goal of the Christian life.

I love to sin. If anyone tries to tell you differently, ignore them because sinning is fantastic. Unlike anything else you could ever do, it's the most satisfying feeling on the planet. Sure, doing good has its moments, but it's too dependent on others. No one cares about your interests more than you do.

Sin is little more than selfishness. Just like Christianity's greatest commandments involve loving God by loving others, so sin stems from loving the self first and foremost. And it's hard to argue with its efficacy as we're not prone to disappoint ourselves, unlike other people. We may not make or keep many friends, but then again, they're only disposable objects for our satisfaction anyway.

Such a life, many will warn us, is wrought with consequence and judgment. They'll say that sexual sin will bring disease, deceitful sin will bring poverty, and violent sin will bring injury. They'll claim that God is watching and waiting to return a person's sin to them like a cold dish of vengeance.

Many will point to incidents like Hurricane Katrina as God's righteous judgment against the lewdness of New Orleans' Mardi Gras festivities. Or more recently, they'll say that the Orlando shooting of 2016 was a divine warning against homosexuality.

What none of those folks will mention, however, is the fact that evangelical stronghold Focus on the Family has been repeatedly threatened by Colorado's wildfires over the past few years. They certainly won't mention that the President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, lost his home to the Louisiana floods.

Even the Bible won't be of any help here as it, too, confirms that sinful people often live long, prosperous lives while good, godly people find themselves in hardship and ruin. If nothing else, all it teaches us is that there is no formula to this life and that sin won't necessarily have consequences.

Yet against all common sense and clear, biblical teaching, Christians continue to perpetuate the myth that sin is not satisfying.

Let's get one thing straight: if sin wasn't satisfying, no one would do it. This preposterous narrative that the pursuit of selfish desires will, at best, lead to an empty, meaningless life demonstrates a misunderstanding of both the gospel and sanctification.

The gospel is not a message that needs a lot of bells and whistles to be effective, but that hasn't stopped the church from trying to make it more appealing. Even though sex has been cheapened to the price of a condom, Christians still claim that the pleasure folks are having is empty. Sit on that one for a minute. Christians are actually telling people that their orgasms don't feel good. My former porn addiction and I heartily disagree.

What these Christians don't understand is that the gospel is only attractive to the people who understand why they need it. The burden they feel from their sin is not natural--it's a gift from God. Most people hear the gospel and scoff because they see no reason to give up a life of selfishness. Trying to convince them otherwise will only disillusion the handful who don't call your bluff that monogamous sex is magically better.

Likewise, portraying the Christian life as a sanctifying process punctuated by success and victory is a heinous lie. Becoming a Christian means trading selfishness for selflessness. It means giving up a life of comfort for a life of suffering. God may choose to visit prosperity on us from time to time, but that was never promised with our salvation.

The false narrative that sin doesn't satisfy is the result of a myopic view of God's redemption. God isn't interested in simply turning wicked individuals into righteous rule-followers. He wants to reveal to us that we are responsible for the evil around us, and that the only way to combat it is to stop caring about ourselves and start caring for others.

Thus, there is no such thing as personal redemption in Christianity. We are not all broken vessels destined to lives of agony and despair and in desperate need of divine favor and heavenly rewards. We are simply self-centered creatures unaware of how deeply our actions affect others. And true redemption is an awakening to God's desire to love people rather than use them.

Sin satisfies through a relentless pursuit of our desires without regard for anyone else. Why would God redeem that by simply replacing the object of our desires? An addiction to ministry is just as selfish as an addition to heroin. No, God doesn't redeem us by redirecting our desires; he redeems us, he redeems all of creation, by opening our hearts to the desires of others.

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photo credit: Cocaine addiction. **this Is Is a ilustration only, i'm not addicted... via photopin (license)

Comments

  1. If sinning truly brought satisfaction then why is there the constant need to do it? All sin does is corrupt and destroy people until there is nothing left of their soul. Jesus didn't die so we could be free to sin, he died so that we could be free from its influence. You need a real heart check if you think sinning is a good thing.

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    1. I never said sinning was a good thing; I said quite the opposite. And within your question is your answer: why is there a constant need to bring one's self satisfaction? Because who wouldn't want to do that. Kind of a weird question to ask.

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