Looking at Sin Like a Vegan
How do you view sin? Do you find it disgusting, vile, dark or terrible? Or, do you at times overlook it, tolerate it, or even make excuses for it for yourself or for others?
God views sin with disgust for He is holy and cannot be associated with such uncleanness. As God’s cleansed children we should imitate His attitude towards sin. It can be very difficult to do in a world that is promoting and embracing it, that looks down upon it, that despises you if you don’t follow suit. But we have a calling to serve God, to be holy, and to try to teach others as well. We are to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4.1ff).
A couple of my family members decided to become vegans within the past few years. I suppose one of the most surprising things about it is that they became vegans without previously being vegetarians. So, in the action of becoming vegans, they gave up all meat, cheese, eggs, milk, and many other food items; all things that they used to desire and enjoy! But they have determined that they will remain on this diet and avoid the items they used to partake in.
As Christians, we have made a big change within our lives as well. Our “diet” used to consist of fleshly lusts and desires and consumed whatever was appealing. Through the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus we have been transformed. We have put on a new self, discarding the old, fleshly self. Romans 6.6 says that “the old self was crucified with Him” so that “we would no longer be slaves to sin.” As a Christian you should be significantly different now than when you first began your walk with Christ. You should be a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5.17).
We cannot follow the paths that we used to walk or the lusts that we used to desire, but we must follow Christ and His paths. We must be holy for God is holy (1 Peter 1.16; Leviticus 11.44). We must not be blind or shortsighted, forgetting our purification of sins (2 Peter 1.9). Rather we should remember that we were dead in sin and held captive, but through His victory over death Jesus allowed us to be brought to God as holy and blameless (1 Peter 3.18; Colossians 1.22). We must stay on the path, for individuals who go back to sin and defilement after escaping are said to be in a state that is “worse for them than the first” (2 Peter 2.20).
Do not go back to the old self; rather “be renewed” and “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4.22-24). Instead of being filled with lusts and evil thoughts, be filled with Christ and dwell on holy and heavenly thoughts (Galatians 2.20; Philippians 4.8-9).
As new creatures we are people who have left the world and turned to Christ. We need to view sin as disgusting, as something we never want to go back to. It is unclean and separates us from God. We cannot make excuses for it, regardless of who is doing it. People may not view that attitude as loving but remember we are trying to follow God and save souls, not save face.
View sin like a vegan. View sin as something that you are determined not to go back to, even if you at one time did desire and take pleasure in it. Recognize that sin brings death and destruction (Romans 6.23).
Be holy for God is holy!