Why am I angry? Well, I am angry because he was robbed. This friend of mine was robbed in the worst way imaginable. In John 10 of the Bible is says that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” and that is precisely what has happened to my friend. The thief lied to him, robbed him, and in the end destroyed him.
Sin robbed me of a friend. It robbed a boy of his father. It robbed two parents who were already grieving. Sin is a thief. Some might argue that sin doesn't exist and that all people are just doing their best. Well, frankly, that is a lie. How do I know? Because this friend of mine was good, and kind, and generous, and a helper of men, and a comedian, and full of life. This friend of mine loved people and was loved by people. Sin stole that from him and left him broken, depressed, addicted, and hopeless. I miss the friend who I knew. The friend who Jesus knew. And I am furious that sin robbed his potential, stripped him of his self-worth, and left him to die. I'm furious.
Sin is insidious... it snakes and weaves and intertwines with good intentions and selfishness and goodness and our fallen nature. It weaves in and out of our souls and it sings a lovely tune to us in the process. It lulls us into complacency and blinds our eyes to the destruction that it causes. This makes about a dozen friends that we have lost over the past few years, not to accident, but to the consequences of sin and I am furious about how they have been robbed and how those they love have been robbed.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Let me be clear. I grieve my friend. I grieve what he was created to be and what he was blossoming into during this life. I grieve the beautiful way the LORD knit together his heart and his spirit and I grieve the plans that the LORD intended for him. I grieve my friend and I abhor the sin that brought such wreckage.
The entirety of that verse in John reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 Only in obedience can we experience the fullness of the plan God has for us. This death haunts me and makes me angry over my own steps toward sin and away from God and people. I lament my own inferiority to defeat the habits that bind me and I cling to Jesus who is the only one who can undo those cords.
How now should we continue through our grief and through our anger? How can we move forward with this burden? I charge you with this--
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
We are not running alone, friends. Let us reach out to others for help and be willing to humble ourselves enough to accept correction and discipline. Let us cling to Jesus who authored our faith, who sustains us in that faith, and who alone holds the keys to salvation.