Q: What should you do when you do something you know is wrong, and you want to resolve it with God, but for some reason you don’t even feel guilty about it? Because I know what I did was wrong, but I don’t feel bad about it.
Can I let you in on a little secret? Satan would love for you to buy in to one of the world’s biggest lies: feelings equal truth. It took me way too long in life to figure out that what I feel sometimes has nothing to do with what is true or what is right. My Sunday School teachers meant well when they said things like, “Sin feels awful,” but I think they led me astray. In reality, sin usually feels really good and fun! But that doesn’t mean we won’t face consequences–natural or spiritual ones–eventually.
They say that when a person freezes to death, it actually feels really good–nice and toasty warm–right before the person dies. Many people who have died from hypothermia have actually taken off clothes in the final moments, thinking they are too hot. I think a similar thing happens when we sin; the deeper we get into that particular sin, the less we feel like it’s hurting us. The Bible says that a sequence of sinful living can lead to literal physical death for a believer. James describes the process quite vividly:
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. -James 1:14-15
While a believer can’t lose their salvation, they can make choices that eventually lead to death. That’s pretty scary. God doesn’t mess around when it comes to our sins. He is a loving Father who will not ignore bad choices; rather, He will discipline us, sometimes severely until He gets our attention.
I don’t know what you did wrong, but I do know that it’s hurting your relationship with God. He will always feel it. Unfortunately, you won’t. And the more you do what you know is wrong–even if it feels wonderful–the farther you get from where God wants you to be. There’s an old saying, “Let your heart be your guide.” I say let your mind for Christ be your guide. I have found this to be true: when you deliberately choose to do what is right in God’s eyes, your heart will eventually get there too. Like I said earlier, it took me too long to figure that out, but now I know: When I do what I know is right, I know that I will feel good about it in time. Mind over heart, sis.
Matthew 6:21 says,
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
So true! The more we choose to make Jesus our treasure, the more we desire Him and His ways. However, if we choose to do what we know is wrong, we end up quenching the Holy Spirit (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Let me leave you with two passages from Scripture that say these things better than I can.
With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy -Ephesians 4:17-24
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your word. I have tried hard to find You-don’t let me wander from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. I praise You, O LORD; teach me Your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations You have given us. I have rejoiced in Your laws as much as in riches. I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways. I will delight in Your decrees and not forget Your word. -Psalm 119:9-16