Originally Published: 2-13-2017
Sin is progressive. It starts small and then grows bigger and bigger. When we begin to accept the small sins, then be assured that greater ones are just around the corner. The problem is we believe the things we tell ourselves concerning the things we do. We make justifications for our sins or blame others for them. One of the things we do as we justify ourselves is use the phrase “yeah but”. This is such a great phrase because it gives the appearance of agreement and yet follows that up with a justification. Let’s look at some common “yeah buts” we use when it comes to sin.
Yeah but, everybody does it!
This says a lot about where we get our standard for living. We begin to look to others for our standard instead of God. Sin is never okay; but when our standard is man, it can look pretty good to us. As Followers of Christ, we are to seek God’s standard for life from His Word. We can certainly have role models to follow but they must follow God’s standard. We are to be God-imitators. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1
Yeah but, I’m not hurting anyone.
Sin’s consequences nearly always spill over to others. For example: pornography can affect relationships in marriage, driving drunk can cause an accident and death affecting the families involved, or an abortion is the murder of a baby that affects both the mother and father, emotionally and spiritually. Sin’s consequences can last a lifetime. We need to check ourselves to see if we have hurt others with our sin. We need to confess and repent seeking forgiveness from God and those who have suffered because of our sin. Our lives are about God and others. “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:2
Yeah but, no one will ever know.
We may think things like no one can see me, no one knows what I’m thinking or I’m in a different town where I’m not known so it’ll be okay. We’re only deceiving ourselves when we think like this. There is nothing hidden from God. There are not secret sins that we don’t have to be concerned about. We can’t hide from God. He is all-knowing, all-seeing and ever present. He knows about what we do; He sees and He is there with us when we do it. God wants to reveal our hearts to us to bring about repentance. He’ll use consequences to do that in our lives. He wants to bring about repentance in our lives. Don’t be deceived. “Your sins will find you out.” Numbers 32:23b
Yeah but, I wouldn’t have sinned if he or she hadn’t made me.
We hate to take responsibility for our sins. We want it to be someone else’s fault and we make that happen by blame shifting. We shift the blame of our actions onto someone else. If we always blame others, then we will never change. When we take responsibility and call sin, sin then there is hope. We have hope because Jesus died for our sins and there can be forgiveness granted to us. We get so used to playing the blame game that we never learn or grow. We just spend our time pointing our finger at someone. We need to remember that we are to take responsibility of our sin before we can point at someone else. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” Matthew 7:5
Yeah but, I couldn’t help it, I love him.
Hollywood would have us believe that lust is love. They are always showing those who fall all over themselves to be together after just looking across a crowded room. This assumes that we don’t have any self-control. As a Follower of Christ, I have the Holy Spirit indwelling me who has a gift for my use. Part of that gift is self-control. This tells us that we don’t have to sin. We don’t have to give into feelings of lust. In the midst of a situation like this one, we need to preach to ourselves instead of listening to our desires. We need to depend on the Spirit to overcome. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
When we acknowledge sin as sin then we have hope. There is hope at the foot of the cross of Christ where forgiveness is found. This forgiveness brings about peace because of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. We need to check our lives, call sin, sin and then confess and repent of it.