The True Source of Sin

Ever come across one of those Bible verses that you’ve known about for years—decades, even—but then suddenly, it hits home in a different way?

I was just a kid when I first heard, learned, and even memorized a quote from James Chapter One that identifies the source of sin as being within us. “… each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire...” (verse 14). Even as a little church brat, I had a pretty good understanding of that. In fact, I quite easily applied the notion to a variety of sins and behaviors… in other people’s lives.

But I was nearly forty years old before the Holy Spirit finally slapped me upside the head with it.

For nearly all of my adult life, I’d blamed a particular weakness, fault, habit, errr… sin of mine on a variety of events, situations, and even other people. But one night, in a mysterious bout of self-examination, I finally realized and admitted out loud to myself, “You did that because you liked it. Period. No other reasons, no excuses; you nourished that temptation into sin because you liked how it felt. YOU are the only reason and explanation.”

Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I wilted like a honeysuckle bloom plucked off the vine and tossed onto a gravel road on a hot August afternoon. It was simultaneously devastating and liberating. Finally, I was able to begin to escape nearly thirty years of slavery to my own evil desire. Even though I was not completely free of the temptation itself, I at least was no longer under any delusions about its cause, source, and power.

True repentance seems impossible without that recognition. It is the beginning of true liberation. No matter how long we think we’ve been saved, that notion will always be pivotal to our escaping the sin that lies within us.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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