I’m Just Sharing!
“I’m just SHARING!” This is the phrase Ella Jane has been screaming at her angry little sister as she quickly snatches a toy from her. Of course, knowing that her sister is “just sharing” does nothing to pacify Clara. After calming both girls and having them reconcile, I remind Ella Jane that sharing is not stealing. Sharing is giving. Since it is still happening I suppose my words have yet to sink in.
Clearly, Ella Jane’s heart problem is selfishness. She is looking for a way to excuse her selfishness by disguising it as kindness. It got me thinking about how often I try and disguise my sin. I disguise my worry as “caring concern”. I disguise my fear as “rational wisdom”. I disguise my gluttony as “a hard earned treat”. I’m sure I could think of others.
The more I think about it the more I realize disguise is not a tactic isolated to me and Ella Jane. The enemy has been using this tactic to make sin look alluring and justified since the beginning of the world.
At the beginning of humanity, Satan came disguised as a serpent. Immediately, he began his interaction with humanity by portraying himself to be something he was not. Not only did he disguise himself, but he also disguised the fruit as desirable rather than destructive. Genesis 3:4-6 says, “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” The very thing that God had said would bring death, Satan twisted to make it sound desirable. The result was the fall of humanity and spiritual death.
Several hundred years later, Abram disguised his lying as protection. Genesis 12:11-13 says, “It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, ‘See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman;and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.’” Because Abram had convinced himself that his lies were necessary to save his life, he failed to trust in the one who held his life in His hands. Abraham ended up getting caught in his lie, and looked like a fool.
The Israelites disguised disobedience as progression. When they begged Samuel for a king, they did it because they wanted to be like all the nations around them. In the Israelites eyes allowing God to be their king kept them in the dark ages. Disobeying God allowed them to progress forward. The result was a nation in turmoil, as king after king turned his back from God leading the people into further idolatry. Because of their disobedient idolatry, God handed them over to be exiled and put into captivity. I’d say slavery is not what the Israelites had in mind when they disguised their sin.
How do you think Peter justified betraying his beloved teacher and friend? Peter disguised betrayal as self-preservation. Three times he valued his own life over his relationship with the Savior, and when the rooster crowed he was instantly convicted of his sin. Matthew 26:75 says, “And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
As we see in each of these examples, as well as countless others in scripture, sin has consequences, no matter what you try and disguise it as. My fear, which I like to label “rational wisdom”, has consequences. I miss out on so many blessings when I refuse to take the leap of faith. Ella Jane receives consequences when she disguises stealing as sharing. I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s quote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I believe the reverse is also true. A sin by any other name would be as dangerous. Sin always has consequences, no matter what we try to disguise it as. Let’s ask God to give us his eyes towards our sin and stop trying to make sin palatable. Sin is not palatable. It’s dangerous.