Thursday 2/9/12 – The Tricky Little Slave Master
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
What if I told you, you were a slave and you had an evil slave master ruling your life? Would you look around for the slave master? What if you did and you couldn’t find it – then what would you do? Shrug it off? Well, this situation happens in many people’s lives – especially Christians. People will look for this slave master in their life, not find it, and think they’re all set and free. All the while, though, they are helpless slaves obeying the every whim and command of what can be named “The Tricky Little Slave Master.”
“Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin,” Jesus said. Notice that Jesus says “sin.” He doesn’t just say “big sins,” or “obvious sins.” No, He doesn’t make a distinction. Sin is sin and the one who sins – whether it is a big or small sin – becomes a slave to the sin. It’s so easy to look at this verse and automatically think of big sins that could have a hold on your life – drugs, alcohol, pornography, lust, etc. Maybe you’ll even look for the “medium” sins – lying, pride, disobedience, covetousness, etc. But what about the little sins? As bad as the “big” sins are, and as annoying as the medium sins become, what if there is a small sin in our lives that we don’t realize or won’t let go because it’s “not hurting anyone” or is barely even there. Are we any less of a slave because it’s a “small” sin that we hardly notice in our lives (if we even notice it at all)?
Matthew 6:24a says “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” Even if it’s a “small” sin that is in our lives, we still become slaves to it, and it therefore hinders us from serving God with all our heart. In a way, a small sin could be more dangerous than a big sin because you can go much longer with a smaller sin in your life.
For instance, take the example of drug abuse as the “big” sin, pride as a “medium” sin, and a lack of faith as the “small” sin. The drug abuse becomes a harder task master bringing many of its victims to a point of realizing that they are addicted and a slave. “You need more drugs! I won’t let you sleep or even function properly until you obey my command,” he screams at his victim. The “medium” sin of pride becomes an annoying task master, eventually bringing its victims to a point of weariness and burden.
However, now we talk about the third slave master. He might not be as dangerous or annoying as the other two masters, but he’s a tricky little master that doesn’t intrude as harshly in all areas of a person’s life. He sneaks in, barely noticed, and instead becomes a part of the person’s life. He’s not that demanding and he’s not the traditional sins you would think of when you hear the word “sin.” While we are using a lack of faith for our example, there are other Tricky Little Slave Masters – lack of love, selfishness, fear, false humility, good desires that take the place of God in a person’s heart, bitterness, perfectionism, and the list goes on. However, know that these small sins aren’t the same for everyone. While pride might be my medium sin, it could be your small sin. These sins’ victims can go years or even a lifetime of being a slave to this sin without even realizing it or without getting to the point where they seek God with all their hearts to free them. “It’s just a little sin; it’s not that bad,” some will say as they try to reason it away and ignore it. Or worse yet – what if they never realize they have one of these sins because they’re keeping their eyes open for “big” sins.
I will ask God to reveal any small sins that have become a part of my life and ask Him to free me from them.