Hidden Costs

Hidden Costs

How many times have you tried to buy something which you thought was going to be a bargain, only to find out that there were hidden costs? Whether it be for holidays, buying a house or tickets for a show, companies are getting very clever at hiding the overall price so you end up paying far more than you wanted to.

Sin is just like this – it seems so easy, so enchanting, so enticing that we can forget that the price is high. Before we realise it, we’ve been sucked in and find that there are hidden extras to pay.

How amazing is the grace that Jesus Christ paid for our sin on the cross – His painful, humiliating, ugly death satisfied the Father’s wrath for my costly sin. But that doesn’t mean that it is without consequence. Dealing with the aftermath of sin doesn’t mean God hates us (His love for us doesn’t end despite what we do), but He disciplines those He loves. Too many Christians assume that the blood will cleanse them and they’ll walk free, but the Bible tells us how sin entangles us and traps us. There are consequences for all sins, but sexual sins carry their own price. Perhaps if we remembered these ugly, overwhelming ramifications first, we may be able to stand up to temptation.

Sin grieves the Lord, and one day we’ll have to look Jesus in the eyes and give an account of what we’ve done. We drag His reputation through the mud when we sin, and sexual sin draws someone else into it too. Sexual sin doesn’t just affect you, but affects your relationships, present and future. If you commit adultery, there are untold hurts for your family. Many people have forfeited their ministries and paid the cost of their sexual sin. It means that trust is lost, respect is ruined and loved ones feel betrayed.

If you are having sexual intimacy with someone who isn’t your husband or wife, you could be jeopardising your future, tainting intimacy and bringing plaguing memories or flashbacks. It brings a shame not just to your church family and friends, but to people you’ve discipled. For those you are witnessing to, they will see hypocrisy and won’t believe what you’ve told them. There are so many sexually transmitted infections out there now (a constant reminder for so many!) which can cause all sorts of issues with fertility or are painful and embarrassing, some which lead to death.

Sin makes us lose our self-respect and dignity, invoking shame and embarrassment. It’s a cost that’s too high to pay. Yet Jesus tells us that His burden is light. We can give Him our heavy burdens of guilt, shame, hurt and pain and He will give us rest and peace.

As the psalmist says, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight O God. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:4, 10-12.

Take time today to repent of your sins, asking Him to create a pure heart in you. You can be a new creation, but it will involve turning away from your sins and not looking back. He is faithful to forgive and set you free. He has paid the ultimate price, so you don’t have to!

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