1 John 2:4-6 – “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
1 John 2:4-6 is so incredibly direct that you can see it and feel it cutting like a double-edged sword. It cuts in numerous directions as we listen to God’s Word speak. There are so many ways this passage applies to us. One truth that this communicates is that Christians are not to be comfortable living in sin. John says anyone who knows him, yet rebels against him in sin, does not truly know him. John also says something similar to this in 1 John 3:9 when he says, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” You cannot be born of God and be comfortable sinning.
One of the unfortunate realities of living in this world is how the world influences us more than God’s Word. Sometimes what is comfortable to us is comfortable because it is culturally acceptable. Yet, how much of what is culturally acceptable is actually contrary to God’s standard of good for us? If we consider what John is saying in 1 John 2:4-6 and 1 John 3:9, if it is against God’s standard of good, it should not be comfortable, even if the culture says it is normal.
These culturally acceptable sins can be likened to blind spots while we are driving. In a typical car with rear view and side view mirrors, you will have a blind spot. While blind spots are inevitable, one thing that we can do before we drive to insure that the blind spots are as small as possible is properly adjust the mirrors. To properly adjust the mirrors is for us to regularly peer into the Word of God to make sure that we are hearing from the Lord. Adjusting the mirrors is spending time in prayer, asking the Lord to show us our sin. Though we might adjust the mirrors properly, we still need to turn our heads to look and see what is inside our hearts, what is around us in the world, and to hear how people are illuminating blind spots for us. In order to properly address these culturally acceptable sins, we need to have a disciplined habit of addressing blind spots in our lives.
So what are the culturally acceptable sins we are sometimes comfortable with? Unfortunately, when you start to list them, you find that the list is pretty long. We are comfortable with consumerism in this culture. But consider how consumerism kills church community. When looking to consume from the church, we fail to see our place in ministering to and for the church. Consumerism kills mission, because it deceives us into thinking that the church’s job is mission, not mine. Consider the culturally acceptable sin of busyness. How many great things are we saying no to because we are saying yes to good things? Consider the culturally acceptable sin of addiction? Do you sleep with your phone by your bed? Are you addicted to coffee? How are you comfortable while being mastered by something of this world? Consider the culturally acceptable sin of gluttony, or sloth, or dishonesty. I could go on and on.
As followers of Christ, we must be regularly checking our blind spots. What other culturally acceptable sins are we comfortable with that God is revealing to you?