There is a 16 year age gap between my brother and I. I always looked up to him as a little kid so my excitement was pretty high when he and his wife took me to the zoo one day as a special outing. We all had a great time. There was a problem though. When you think about a zoo you think of all the various animals you see. Some of them hide in different places and almost seem to blend into their surroundings. This issue can be magnified when a young boy is in need of glasses, but is not yet aware of it. There was a large portion of things that I never saw at the zoo that day. The funny thing is that I was not upset about it. I was thrilled by what I did see which essentially amounted to a squirrel that was not even part of the zoo. I didn’t think I was missing out on anything. I didn’t know that there was something better.
We often go through life like this. We do not realize that life can be better than it actually is. We do not see it because we never realize what it is we are missing out on. So many of us are missing out in life. We think we can get the most out of life by living off of our personal pleasures. There is so much more to life than this.
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-12)
My sin keeps me from living a better life. It keeps me from living a life to the fullest. I often do not even realize what I am missing out on. Sin blinds me from what a better life could be. It convinces us that this is as good as it gets. Sin keeps us from craving more of what is good. Peter tells us that a life worth living is one where we break away from our sin to seek personal pleasures.
This is easier said than done though. We want to indulge in the desires of our flesh. We have convinced ourselves that giving in will give us the pleasure we crave. We fail to see that there is better. Sin in the moment keeps us from knowing that there is better out there.
Culture even thinks this is so backwards. Christianity is a list of rules to the world. It is a giant list of things you cannot do. They look at Christians and believe that we are held in captivity to our delusions. There are rules in Christianity, but there is also freedom. We never talk about the freedom in Christ enough. I’m not talking about the fake kind of freedom where people say we can do whatever we want because God loves us. I am talking about freedom from sin.
It is sin that holds us in real captivity, but we never notice it. The guy who indulges in his sin thinking that is the best life has to offer is like me when I thought a squirrel was the best the zoo had to offer. I was missing out on so much, but I never realized it until I got to experience it later on. How do we break out of the blindness of sin?
Look up and open your eyes. Read God’s word and allow it to pierce into your heart. Don’t be afraid for your sin to come into the light. You need to be willing to admit that your sin is what it is. That is so hard. I do not like to admit when I have let pride take hold of my heart. I think it would feel better to hold bitterness towards someone rather than give it up to God.
Listen to what Peter says. Do you want to live a life that is worth it? Then realize sin isn’t the answer. Sin is true captivity. Life is full of so much more than squirrels.