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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

But I’m Not Hurting Anybody …

Wiccans and other new age groups often quote the credo, “An ye harm none, do what ye will”. As long as what they are doing is not hurting anyone, they believe that they are free to commit whatever acts they desire — including many things Scripture calls sin. The question is, however, whether they can be sure that these ‘harmless’ acts really are harmless.

It’s Not Arbitrary

When God calls something sin, He does not do so on a whim. God is not a cosmic spoilsport, trying to keep mankind from pleasure. The Scriptures assure us that “no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Ps. 84:11). So when God declares something to be sinful, and asks us to avoid it, we can be sure that it is best for us to do so. It doesn’t matter how tempting it looks or how many other people are doing it. If God has forbidden it He has done so for a reason. 

Hidden Consequences

Sin is not just bad in theory, it is hurtful in practice. When we sin we hurt both others and ourselves, whether we realize it or not. In the short term we may justify a sin by saying, “Well, I don't see how it could hurt anybody”. But just because we cannot see does not mean it is not hurtful. We are not able to look into the future and see all the far-reaching consequences of sin — how one sin leads to many, how lesser sins open the door to greater ones, how hidden things unexpectedly come to light with disastrous results. But God is able. That is why He forbids certain things even though we, looking at the short term, can’t see how these things could be bad.

Some people say, “I'm only hurting myself”. But we are capable of sinning against ourselves as well. Paul pointed out that “he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). This was written to believers, but it is certainly true of unbelievers as well. Sin brings pleasure for a short time, and the pleasure deceives us into thinking that what we have done is good, but we cannot begin to recognize how far-reaching the consequences of that sin may be or how subtly it may damage our hearts and minds.

Whether we can see how an act can be hurtful or not, if God has forbidden it then it is wrong. The wages of sin — all sin — is death (Romans 6:23). Nothing good ever comes out of disobeying God.

RJA

Republished by permission of the author

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