By Darwin Hunter


I read an arresting story in the paper recently.  In Romania, a woman suffered from benign tumor.  The doctors decided that the tumor, attached on her back, had to be removed.  The tumor was benign, but it was robbing the rest of the body to feed its voracious appetite.  The tumor was large, and like an unwanted parasite, it was draining her body of its vitality.  The tumor was surgically removed, and it weighed 176 pounds!  Without the tumor, the woman weighed a mere 88 pounds.  What a relief it must have been to be rid of that burden.

It reminded me of sin in a person’s life.  Sin, to the practitioner, seems harmless enough.  It starts small and begins to grow, taking more and more of one’s energies to feed it.  After a while, sin that was once a pastime becomes a beast which controls and ravages the individual.  The occasional drink to unwind morphs into a full-blown alcoholism which drowns the sinner in an ocean of unimaginable slavery.  The gambling fun, once an “innocent” little vice of raffles and lottery tickets and video games, mushrooms into a casino habit with a voracious appetite which eats the weekly income, maxes out the credit cards, and threatens the family home.  The crushing weight of addiction to sin of any kind smothers the very life out of the one who is trapped in it.  The warning of Paul should have been heeded, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in its lusts” (Romans 6:12). Paul also captured the helpless feeling of one struggling under sin’s curse when he wrote, “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death.” (Romans 7:24)  Only if the one so burdened by sin realizes that Christ is the only answer, and comes to Him for help, is freedom possible (Matthew 11:28-30).  Paul answered his own question, “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)  Sin is like a stifling dead weight which only Christ can remove as we turn from our sins and receive His forgiveness (Acts 2:38, 3:19)

Sin may seem benign.  It may appear to be harmless good fun.  But, look around you.  It is a tumor which must be removed, or it will kill. (Isaiah 59:1f, Revelation 21:8) It will damage your life, and steal your soul eternally.  Beware!