I haven’t eaten McDonald’s food in years, but I really want a Big Mac. Since that fateful day I first watched the documentary Super Size Me, I have had no interest in putting anything McD’s-related into my body (one exception: an ice-cream cone I got on a road trip).  Not that I’m cold-turkey on fast-food or anything, but this company in particular has made a practice of growing its business in spite of the best interests of its customers and their communities.  My simple, solitary act of defiance against this unethical style of growth, is to simply not shop there…

…And, yet, my mind remembers that Big Macs are really good.  The fries, with those little ketchup packets, are really good.  My brain knows what goes into them (or doesn’t know, which is scarier yet), and my heart doesn’t want to support this company, but the other parts want me to stop by, throw down the $3, and enjoy some Special Sauce – induced happiness.  Just one won’t hurtThen you can start your little boycott again.  All those other people in line at the drive-in can’t all be wrong.

“”Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both.”  — I Corinthians 6:12,13

Awfully funny thing, sin.  We were designed to reject it, to embrace its antithesis, and to walk in holiness with our Creator.  And yet, like with my little friend with the bun in the middle, our thoughts, hearts, and actions keep taking us back to its alluring golden arches. 

“I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.”– Romans 7:18-20

Anger.  Jealousy.  Self-pity.  Gossip.  Lust.  More lust.  Miscellaneous dumb choices.  What is it about these awful, regrettable things that keeps drawing me back?  I know I’m a better man for rejecting them, and, when I do, I clearly see God’s hand working in my life and in others’.  I despise the path these things take me down, and desperately long for the path they take me from.  It seems so silly, that there’s even a discussion to be had…

Volumes of books, and pages of choruses have been written about the nature of sin, and maybe someday I’ll get to read those.  In the meantime, I’ve just got 32 years of field-tested research to go on.  And, at the end of it all, here’s what I’ve got:

(a) I’m at my best when actively searching for, and listening to, the voice of God (read: daily disciplines of prayer, study, worship)

(b) I’m at my worst when other factions have the opportunity to present their case (read: undisiplined life, just waking up and doing stuff)

(c) When I haven’t intentionally let the Holy Spirit run my thought life each day, those other guys’ case starts looking really good, because they’ve got a really good marketing department (read: lies, deceipt, illusions)

(d) I like sin.  But I love Jesus.  But sin makes me forget that.  So I have no choice but to hate sin, even when I don’t want to.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
      and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
   I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
      And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
  – Psalm 32:5