12Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. 13Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it…”
Sin is not a fun or comfortable word. It conjures up a collage of negative imagery that most of us would rather not think about. However, while the consequences of sin or separation from God are terrible, perhaps we can approach the word through another word that most of us are comfortable with. The word is hunger.
Sin capitalizes on our appetites. Throughout the day we have a physiological appetite that nourishes our bodies, and a variety of appetites related to our emotions and our personalities. Sin within us finds a good thin, something we all have a healthy appetite for, and makes it into an ultimate thing that we are starving for. Over time, left unaddressed, sin creates in us a famished appetite that hunts for satisfaction and pleasure, an unhealthy need for a particular thing. Appetite does not consider right from wrong, consequences or righteousness. Sin creates in us an addiction that relates the thing we hunt for to the source of our emptiness and our need to fill it in order to survive. Sin creates a spirit in us that ignores right and wrong, and ultimately opposes God altogether.
On our own we are not able to control this appetite. This is not to say that everyone who is not following God is a rabid animal wreaking havoc on villages of innocent people. However, sin unaddressed creates in a person appetites that have the power to kill or take away the good things in our life. Sin can destroy a marriage. A job. Friendships. Families. Sin creates self-righteousness and destroys mercy and grace. Step by step, sin divides rather than creating harmony. Submitting our lives, including our appetites, to Jesus as our King and Savior, we are suddenly given the power to not only resist our prior feelings of starvation but we begin to lose our appetite in our old addictions and instead hunger for new things, pure things, Holy things, Godly things. While sin creates a tolerance for theft, the righteousness of Christ creates a hunger to give away what we have. While sin feeds a tolerance for dishonesty, the righteousness of Christ creates a hunger to tell the truth. It is beyond us to always do the right thing, especially when doing the right thing stands in the way of us feeding our appetites. But as Christ said, “With man this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.”