I recently developed a bad case of carpal tunnel in both my wrists. I had some sense that it was coming but thought my passive attempts to prevent it would be enough. Really, I didn’t divert enough attention to it. Now I am.
It has taken over a good portion of my time. It did this in two ways. First, I can’t do things the way I normally would. Typing this blog is taking me longer than normal, and as I type I wonder if I am worsening my condition and if I should take the time off. (I tell myself it doesn’t matter because all of my work involves computers and typing to come degree.) My second loss of time comes where I have spent an ample amount of time researching what to do to aid in the healing process and prevent from happening again.
Why did it take me so long to address this? Because I was busy. I had other things that I prioritized over my hands hurting and sometimes going numb. I had other priorities over my arms being tight and being frustrated when I couldn’t grip correctly. Silly, I know. But it made me thing: don’t we do this with sin? I do.
I see a sin in my life that is “small.” I know it is there, but it really isn’t something I have the time to deal with. It isn’t my priority because it isn’t affecting many people. It is minor and there are more important things to deal with. But sin doesn’t stay minor. It never does. It grows when allowed to have a place. When we have made excuses for it, that is like emptying a room and having a multiplying slime monster (slime monsters make the easiest analogy here – they split in half each creating their own unique being that continues to split and multiply) move in and grow within that room as much as it wants. It is the back room and no one can tell. But soon that room is full and the hall and other rooms become overtaken with the them. When sin is allowed to go unchecked, unrepented, and unaddressed, then it grows; eventually it affects every area of our lives.
This takes our time. Dealing with the consequences of our sin takes time. Dealing with the sin itself now that it has left the back room and is front and center takes time. We lose those other priorities because now we have something that has grown larger than it should ever have been allowed to grow. We must deal with this sin head on.
But the second thing, that I think we often do not do, is to research, examine, and ask how to beat the sin. With my wrists, I have talked to many people. I have talked to nurses and done much reading. I have talked with others who have experienced this, and talked with others who have treated it. I have used Google extensively and read all about tendons and what can go wrong with them. I have dived into this subject so that I could best deal with it. Why don’t we do that with sin? Maybe you do, great!
We should if we don’t. We should dive into the Scripture to see how to deal with it. We should research what the actual sin is and not just the symptoms. We should read God’s mind on the matter and see how Biblical characters have dealt with it. We should talk to other saints. He that walks with wise men will be wise. We should look to others to see how they have overcome this. We should talk to those who have helped others overcome it. Whatever the sin is, we should get help. We need to go to our pastor and our friends. And if they don’t know what to do, ask again. Ask the older generation at church. Read some commentaries. Read some messages, or download a podcast. There are a plethora of options for getting help, but we don’t reach out. We need accountability. We need someone to be there with us to break our bottle of alcohol, to unplug our internet, or whatever accountability we need.
Most importantly, with any sin, is repentance and going to God. God gives us the victory through Jesus Christ. Jesus has defeated sin and death for us. We are winners, and we need to lean and trust fully on Him. Just like with my carpal tunnel, I’m going to do everything I can, but in the end my trust is not in me icing my wrists. My trust is that God will heal me. Even as I look for a brother or sister in Christ to hold me accountable for sin, and to give me help when I need it, I look to God to deliver me. I don’t trust in myself to overcome sin. I don’t trust in my friend to deliver me. Christ will deliver me. Whatever the case may be, the most important aspect of recovery and prevention is trusting in God.
What “minor” sin is slipping by in your life today? Deal with it now before the throne of grace, that it doesn’t have to overwhelm your life. Is it already at that point? Figure out what God says about it, get accountability, and throw yourself on God’s mercy trusting Him to give the victory Christ has already won for you.