Shattered Lives

July 12, 2015

                                                 Shattered Lives

          Many live with stress and anxiety because their lives have been shattered.  How did they arrive at that lamentable situation?  The cause is not always the same for all, but there is a common cause for lives that are shattered.

Romans 6:23 gives us some insight into the cause of much human suffering.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Sin is the most common cause of suffering.  The most common theological interpretation of this verse is that sin results in the separation of the sinner from God.  That results in spiritual death.  That is true.  In this article, however, we are going to pursue another result of sin.  Something always dies as a result of sin. Proverbs 13:15 puts it very bluntly when it says, “the way of transgressors is hard.” Let me explain that by means of the following illustration.

Under the cover of darkness John goes out to see what he can steal.  He walks through the back alleys of houses in his neighborhood because he knows that he is more apt to find things to steal there.  It isn’t long before he finds a wheel barrow along with a spade and a pouch with several tools in it.  He puts them in the wheel barrow and pushes it home.  The next morning the residents of the house where John stole those things find that someone has stolen something of theirs.  The benefits they can realize from the wheel barrow and the tools died during the night.  It no longer exists.  To replace those things means a loss of money they could have spent for other things.  Some of their money died also.  The money and things stolen don’t have life, but the benefits their owners expected to realize from them has died for them.

John also suffered loss.  Most likely he doesn’t realize it.  He is thinking of the money he is going to get from the things he has stolen.    The feeling of honor and dignity has died in John’s mind.  Even the thief knows that it is wrong to steal.  He may find a way to justify it in his case, but deep down he knows that it is shameful.  It could be that John’s heart is so hard that he feels no shame.  If so, sometime in the past his dignity and self-respect died.  Also the respect and confidence others had for John died.  Sin is a way of death and degradation.

The deeper we go into sin, the more death we cause for ourselves and others.  Our dignity and self-respect die.  We die to the good life we could enjoy if we were living uprightly.

When the sense of self-worth and dignity die in us it is much easier to yield to sinful ways.  Our attitude will be, “Why not?  What have I to lose?  No one loves and cares for me.” It is especially tragic when a young person’s life has been shattered by sin.  He looks for the easiest way to get what he wants and needs, regardless of whether it is right and honorable.  Proverbs 30:20 describes the attitude of one who’s dignity has died.  “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.”

The life of many has been shattered because of physical disability. They have suffered the death of some of their bodily functions because of sin.  In the second church we started in Argentina we ministered to two young men who were physically handicapped because of taking illicit drugs.  They came to church with a walker.  We expect to see the elderly with walkers, not young men.  Those two young men will never enjoy the freedom and mobility most people have.  They lost it because of sin.  For them, the wages of their sin was the death of a sound, healthy body.

Dear reader, if you are one of those whose life has been shattered because of sin, don’t go on living in depression and despair.  There is still something good for you.  Some things that have died will never live again.  If you have ruined your body because of a sinful lifestyle, most likely there is no way to recover that loss.

Thanks to God, there is still a glorious future ahead for you.  If you are willing to humbly repent of your sin and ask God to forgive you and make you a child of his, he will do it.  Then, if you will surrender your life to God and let him direct your life, he will make some dramatic changes.  Isaiah 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Then in Romans 12:1 we are told what we need to do.  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” With God’s help, you can recuperate the respect you have lost.  II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  Some of what has died will come back to life again.  God can give you the grace you need to live with your handicapped body.  II Corinthians 12:9 says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Apart from that, looking further into the future, the child of God has the promise of a glorified body after this life.  I Corinthians 15:42-44 says, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:   It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

Perhaps you are a child of God, but you have been unwilling to surrender your life to God.  That too can lead to a shattered life.  It isn’t too late to let go and let God take over your life.  Much of what has been lost; what has died because of your sin, can be recuperated.  You can start laying up treasure in heaven that will be waiting for you when you arrive.  What you think to gain by sin is an illusion.  What you gain by living a righteous and godly life is certain and secure.  Let God have his way in your life.

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