I frequently get invited to watch people do an autopsy on their failures. They lay open the remnants of their sin and dissect every detail to discover what went wrong. They set in my office heartbroken as they tell me of their slide into the mess they have made of their lives.
I have heard their stories dozens of times. None of them seem to shock me anymore. In fact, most of them sound eerily similar. There are several predictable behaviors on the slide into sin.
1.A Disconnection from Church. I know you would expect a preacher to say that, but it is true. With the disconnection from Church, there is no longer anyone pushing them to live a life for God. No songs, no sermons and little or no scripture on a regular basis to fill their minds with Godly living.
2. A Withdrawal from Others. Frequently people will lose their connection to other people on every level. If anyone gets close there is a withdrawal from them as they might see into the darkness of their life. Isolation is common.
3.A Dance With Questionable Behavior. This usually occurs about the same time as the last activity. The person starts to do things that they know are wrong. They push boundaries to see they will break. This is usually a dance between the fledgling steps of sin and then the feelings of guilt when it happens. This is repeated frequently.
4.A Dulling of the Senses. The further sin takes us, the less we feel the guilt for doing it. We push the boundaries further and further away from where we used to be. Slowly we move to the point where sin overtakes our lives.
5.A Discovery of Destruction. Eventually, sin finds you out. For some their conscience gets heavy and they admit their failure. For others, it comes through an unforeseen discovery. Usually when their senses were being dulled their mind was also unclear and left a traceable path for others to find. For some, their actions were neatly hidden and it takes years before the truth comes to light, but it always does.
Every time I listen to their stories I see this predictable pattern of behavior emerge. They look at me in desperation and say, “How did I get here?”
I know they do not want me to outline the steps. They are not looking for me to retrace history. They know the truth. They just never thought it would happen to them. Then the truth hits them hard and they realize the shame that comes with all sin.
I wonder where are you on this journey? Which step are you taking?
I know you think, “It will never happen to me.” Everyone thinks that until they are in too deep.
There is a slow drift into sin and very few see it coming while it is happening. You need to live with your eyes open and continually be seeking the wisdom of those around you. Be careful. Sin is knocking at the door.