It starts out as a small pain. You feel like you may have sprained a muscle. But even as you try to rest, it just gets worse. The pain starts to radiate to other parts of your body, and soon all you can think about is the pain. It’s all consuming. You go to the doctor, and after some tests and scans they tell you the news: “You have a kidney stone.”

That’s the situation my wife faced this past week. (By the way, she says a kidney stone is in fact worse than labor, so keep that one in your back pocket guys!) With a couple prescriptions to help with infection and pain, she was sent home to wait for the stone to pass.  The crazy part was, the stone was so small, they couldn’t even see it on an x-ray.

But isn’t that like sin? Sometimes, we look at the little things we do wrong and write them off. “That won’t hurt anyone,” we say to ourselves.  And yet it does. It hurts us first of all, because once sin enters our life, our relationship with God is no longer whole.  He still loves us, of course. Nothing changes that.  But when you have a fight with a friend and leave angry, that relationship isn’t the same until you say sorry and  make it right. It’s the same with God.

Which means our sin also hurts God. He longs to be with us, and He’s gone to great lengths, sacrificing His Son, so that He could make us part of His family for eternity. “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Which is why no matter what we do, He stands ready to pick us up and brush us off. We do the same as parents. We’d do anything for our children, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt when they do something wrong or ignore what we’ve told them.

And finally, our sin hurts others.  When we tell a white lie or commit a sin in secret, we hold those things inside and they change how we interact with people. The problem is those things won’t stay secret forever.  The Bible tells us that “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:3).  And we often see how those things we try to hide eventually come out. We can’t lie forever before we become trapped in that lie. And when those things are exposed, the things we though wouldn’t hurt anyone, we see the pain in our friends’ and family members’ eyes.

Sure, that white lie, or that sin done in secret may seem small, but just like a kidney stone, the more you try to ignore it, the more pain it’ll cause.

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