In a previous devotion, I wrote about how everything God created is inherently beautiful; and how our failure to see that beauty is a symptom of a sin-sick heart. We also saw that evil is the result of something God created becoming corrupted; and how, since we are corrupted by sin, our ability to recognize the beauty God created is messed up.
Now I would like to talk about what happens when our spiritual eyesight becomes so corrupted that, not only do we not recognize the beauty God created, we actually begin to think the corruption of God’s creation is beautiful.
Isaiah 5:20 says:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
When your heart delights in something that is sinful, you are effectively calling something good that is evil. I would bet that most people who read this verse imagine people who say it’s good to sacrifice babies to their idols, or something equally outrageous. Thinking of it in those terms allows us to comfortably say: He’s not talking about us. He’s talking about those really evil people. Right?
Don’t be so quick to let yourself off the hook. The fact is, if you were to be honest with yourself, you are guilty of the same thing. For that matter, so am I.
Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. I remember when I was a young child, seeing something on television that really shocked me. My immediate reaction was to be disgusted. I just knew, without anyone telling me, that what I saw was wrong. Later on in life, because I had seen so much of the same behavior, I got to where it did not bother me at all. Then, I actually got to where it would excite me to see that stuff. My heart had moved from knowing without a doubt that it was wrong, to enjoying it.
What I am telling you is that when your heart enjoys what is evil, you are calling evil good. That is a sign of a dangerously sick heart. Oh, it may seem perfectly normal to you and everyone around you, because we are so easily blinded to the truth. But God says, “Woe” to you.
Do you know what “Woe” means? It is a pronouncement of judgment from God. It is a curse. It is a warning that you are headed for a lot of grief if something drastic is not done.
I can’t tell you how many people I have heard tell me about their past, and all the bad things they have done – and when they were telling me the story, it was often obvious how much they enjoy the memories of the things they used to do.
I can’t see anyone’s heart, but I fear for people when I hear them say things that make me think they still love their old sin. Even if you have long since put away your evil deeds, your heart can still long for them – and if your heart longs for what is sinful, you are calling evil good.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that it is not merely the sinful act that makes us guilty. We are guilty from the moment our heart wants to do the act. So you could go years without sinning; but if your heart still wants to sin, then you have not truly gotten free of it. You have not really repented. Repentance does not start with your action. It starts in your heart; and it is a gift from God (2 Timothy 2:25).
If your heart still gets excited when you think about your sin, you need desperately to recognize that your heart is still sick with sin.
Pray and beg God to grant you repentance. Pray God will change your heart so that you no longer look on your sin and rejoice. Pray that He causes you to look on your sin and weep over it. “Blessed are they that mourn…” because of sin (Matthew 5:4).
I pray that God will continue to break my heart over my sin. I pray that I will never more think about sin as something exciting or beautiful or good. Sin is evil and ugly; and we have a serious problem when we see something that is truly ugly and think it is beautiful.