Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Sin Makes Me Squirm

February 18, 2019
00:00 4:00

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I am a sinner.

I don’t mind saying that one bit. I don’t just sin; I am a sinner. But I’m a redeemed sinner, thanks to Jesus, and He has saved me from the penalty of sin and the power of sin (there’s always grace to overcome sin), but He has not saved me from its presence. I live in a fallen world and you do too. We still wrestle against the flesh, the sinful nature, this body of sin and death as the book of Romans calls it, and it’s not easy. Because one of the most cunning aspects of sin is that it will try to deceive you. It wants to say to you: “Oh, you don’t lie; you only fudge the truth and that’s not so bad, everybody does that.” Sin will deceive you into thinking that you are not a prideful person when, in fact, you really do cherish inflated ideas of your own importance; you really do think you are a paragon of virtue. But sin really pulls the wool over our eyes when it convinces you it can be acceptable, that there are lots of gray areas, forget about things being black-and-white! You’re not so bad. In fact, you’re not bad at all. You’re pretty good, all things considered.

I call that an effort to housebreak sin, to domesticate it. If there’s anything that proves we are all sinners, it’s that we are always trying to tame our transgressions and make them look respectable. And it’s fair to ask, what sins have you housebroken? What secret, small transgressions have you tamed to make your own? A private fantasy that you keep replaying, a daydream you've shielded from the scrutiny of the Spirit.

I had a friend in college who enjoyed gossiping with one particular classmate. She wasn't loose with her tongue with anyone else, she was strict about that. But oh, did that classmate get an earful! My college friend thought she had housebroken her gossip, and made it respectable just because she only gossips with one person.

The major problem with our minor offenses is that we tend to whitewash them. We think that they are not all that offensive to God. If you are harboring small sins in an attempt to housebreak them, tenderize your heart, would you, with this advice from one of my favorite theologians, JC Ryle. Bishop Ryle wisely says:

“We are too apt to forget that temptation to sin will rarely present itself in its true colors. Never when we are tempted will we hear sin say to us, ‘I am your deadly enemy, I want to ruin your life.’ That's not how it works. Sin, instead, comes to us like Judas with a kiss. Sin is deceitful. It comes to us like Joab with outstretched hands and flattering words. Sin, in its beginnings, seems harmless enough—like David walking idly on his palace roof which just happened to overlook the bedroom of a woman. You and I may give wickedness smooth-sounding names, but we cannot alter its nature and character in the sight of God.”

You know, we don’t like to talk about this sort of thing nowadays. And we hardly hear many pastors preach on sin. But the book of Hebrews is clear. Sin entangles us. It hinders, it trips us up. It’s why the Bible tells us to throw off today (not tomorrow) but today any sin that entangles, or deceives, or tries to appear housebroken and respectable. Do not minimize your sin by making excuses for it. Ask God to help you see your transgressions, great or small, as things that deeply offend the Lord Jesus. For the sake of Christ, let’s disentangle ourselves from it and never get entangled again. When you have a chance today, drop by

By: Joni Eareckson Tada

© Joni and Friends

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About Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope is a broadcast ministry of Joni and Friends committed to bringing the Gospel and practical help to people impacted by disability around the world. Joni and Friends has been advancing disability ministry for over 40 years. Their mission to glorify God, communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability answers the call found in Luke 14 to “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame… so that my house will be full.”

About Joni Eareckson Tada

Paralyzed as the result of a diving accident at age 17, Joni Eareckson Tada envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. As the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, she is known worldwide as an author, speaker, disability rights advocate and radio personality. Her 10,000 radio programs are broadcast across the country and around the world, inspiring listeners to realize that there is hope in every hardship.
Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world. President Reagan appointed Mrs. Tada to the National Council on Disability, then reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, the ADA was passed and signed into law. Mrs. Tada served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She served as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni Tada its prestigious William Wilberforce Award, and she was also inducted into
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Society of World Changers. 
Joni Eareckson Tada has been awarded several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College and Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is an effective communicator, sharing her inspirational message in books, through artwork, radio, and other media. Joni Tada served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people affected by disability. Joni and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.

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