So This is What Sin Looks Like

One movie I can never pass by when flipping through the channels on television is A Few Good Men. In the movie, Tom Cruise played a military lawyer, named Daniel Kaffee, who defended two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Kaffee was essentially a used car salesman lawyer, who exclusively negotiated plea bargains, to the extent he had never seen the inside of a courtroom. Because higher ups did not want a trial, Kaffee was chosen over more qualified lawyers to take the case. After a dramatic courtroom scene, Kaffee turned around while exiting and remarked, “So this is what a courtroom looks like.”


Recently, that scene came to mind while witnessing and experiencing the consequences of another’s sin. While sin can have a temporary shiny veneer, and in the moment feel good, it nevertheless leads to darkness. The darkness may come quickly, or it may linger off in the distant future, or it may come in an unrecognized form, but it comes nevertheless, and it comes to steal, kill and destroy.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy . . . .

John 10:10.

This particular sin led to anger, yelling, tears, broken hearts, remorse, disappointment, breach of trust, and potentially fractured relationships. After moving beyond the peak of the drama, standing among the rubble, I took a deep breath and thought,

So, this is what sin looks like.

The Bible plainly teaches that all are sinners, so I am no stranger to committing, witnessing or experiencing sin. However, there are times when God reveals a particular spiritual truth in a glaring and moving way, and this was one of those times for me.

As the destruction and desolation unfolded, I was able to observe and experience the consequences of this person’s sin in vivid detail. I looked around at all of the people adversely affected by one seemingly small act of depravity, and it was a Kaffee courtroom experience.

It is so easy for Christians to dismiss or gloss over sin. Everybody does it, right? So what’s the big deal? And we are forgiven, right? Isn’t that what the Cross was all about?

While it is true that a believer’s sins were forgiven on the Cross, he is not spared sin’s sting. Sin works its way through believers’ hearts, lives and relationships like a deadly poison.

Picture Frodo Baggins on his long and tortuous journey to the land of the Elves after being pierced by the Witch-King of Angmar’s poisoned Morgul-blade, spared becoming a wraith only by the healing of Elrond, the Elven Lord of Rivendell.


While in the moment, sin can be alluring and pleasurable. This is where Satan thrives, whispering lies into the ear of a believer that sin is better than following God, just as he deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve took and ate of the forbidden fruit and was pleased and then enticed Adam to also ignore God’s instruction. And the consequence was literally deadly, as that was the moment when death entered the world as the penalty for sin.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned . . . .

Romans 5:12.

That moment of worldly pleasure in eating what Adam and Eve thought was a simple piece of fruit resulted in a curse on all Creation (Genesis 3:16-19), which is described as a mother in childbirth, groaning in eager expectation of Christ’s renewal.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:22-23.

Though Adam and Eve were forgiven, the darkness still came, and not just to them, but to all Creation for all generations to come.

While some sins may seem inconsequential at the time or may seem private and personal, Christians must always be mindful of the consequences of sin and the ensuing darkness, and not just consequences to themselves, but also to those around them and to those who come after them.

Disregard for the gravity and consequences of sin is the result of a lie whispered in the believer’s ear by Satan. The serpent was banished from the Garden of Eden along with man, and on this side of the Cherubim and flashing sword guarding the gate (Genesis 3:24), he constantly strikes at man’s heel, his poison bringing darkness and destruction as if by a Morgul-blade.

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3: 14-15.

Examples abound illustrating the extent and severity of consequences following sin. Consider flagrant sins, such as infidelity, divorce, abuse, addiction, gambling, and the like. The darkness and destruction to the sinner and to all those close to the sinner are obvious and long-lasting.

But even “smaller” sins, such as dishonesty, hatred, anger, love of money, gossip, disrespect, and the like, have similar results, even if the darkness is not as apparent or immediate.

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.

Numbers 32:23.

And sin can result in a dulling of the mind, making sin easier to choose the next time.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

Matthew 6:22-24.

This is what scripture means when it warns against giving “the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:27. The more one sins, the easier sinning becomes, and the greater influence Satan acquires.

Yet Christians con themselves into believing that there are no consequences to sin, or that the consequences are insignificant, or that the consequences are merely private and personal. Such an egocentric view of sin is toxic, and not just to the sinner, but to his friends and loved ones around him.

A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8.


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20 thoughts on “So This is What Sin Looks Like

  1. I’m not a wildly religious guy… well… okay, I’m not religious in any way (so apologies if my comments are intrusive or unelcome). However, your use of the analogy to “A Few Good Men” (which, I am ashamed to admit, I have never seen… but maybe it’s you who can’t handle the truth!) and “Lord of the Rings” made this a very nice read for me. Thanks for sharing something so important and personal to you with the rest of the world. As we all should, I’ll think twice before the next bad thing I do… whatever that may be (for not being religious, I feel I hold myself to fairly righteous standards). Thanks, DaddyBlitz!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I once showed my sons that sins have consequences….we hammered a nail into a board (like sin entering our lives), we pulled the nail back out (that was Jesus dying for our sins and removing them from us.), then I showed them that though the sin was gone; the hole it had made in our lives remained. We could patch it up with filler but the hole would still be there and realistically the board (our lives) would never be the same.
    Great post!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Great point. After reading TheDaddyBlitz post( great post by the way) it got me thinking about the wounds on Jesus’s body. Sin will leave scars all over our bodies even though we may have been healed from the sin by Christ blood. It shows the world that God can heal even the most battered of souls.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This was point on by God to you, no doubt! He really gives us these words to share with others. I had been struggling with a particular sin, not that I am perfect, nor do I want to be and yes I have issues. Yes I knew it was wrong when it was happening and while doing this. I prayed and prayed and came to the realization that I need to deeply pray to “REBUKE” this particular sin out of my life. Yes, we all have temptations but it is God’s mercy that has helped me through it. I truly am grateful for it. I pray to remove a sin but ask God’s mercy and use my feet to walk right out of that path and go into the “Light With Christ”. If I don’t do that I cannot see myself as a strong person. I have looked back at my sin and your analogy was just beautiful to His word. Thank you for sharing and everyone else here as well. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen Jay! Welcome back. Satan is shrewd, he will cause us to rationalize, or try to find a way that our sin is not so offensive, or see how far we can go before it is a sin, but God knows our heart. We fail to believe him, when we yield to the ploys of Satan, and you said it right, the consequences often affect more than just the person who sin, but those around them. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good post and well written. I am not fully on board with your closing comment though, that Christians con themselves into believing there are no consequences to sin. I don’t know how you could read James and buy such a con. But thIs opens the debate about how works affect the after life. My study of scripture leads me to believe that works (which includes the corollary sin), do matter. We are saved by faith, but “faith without works is dead.” Thanks for writing this!


    1. Keep in mind the topic–Christians’ appreciation of the WORLDLY consequences of sin. This post is not about the relationship between sin and salvation.

      To your point, Christians are saved by their faith–that is the essence of the Abrahamic Covenant. The point in James is that mere belief without works is no better than demons believing that Jesus is Lord and shuddering. Salvific faith is belief combined with works. But what James does not teach is that we can work our way into Heaven; a works mentality was the stumbling block to the Jews. But a Christian is one with salvific faith–one whose faith drives him to do good works–and his sins were forgiven on the Cross. A Christian is no longer burdened by his sins (his sins having been nailed to the Cross), but his faith drives him away from sin. But this deeper theological point is beyond the scope of my post.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post. Sin is a topic that is foreign to many churches in our society — gotta be politically correct and don’t offend anyone by saying any activity is “sin”. Unfortunately, Scripture calls a spade a spade and sin is something that we have to recognize and deal with, whether we like it or not, whether we give it another name or not, whether we think we will ignore it or not. The consequences are real and they are myriad. And, the presence of sin, even in the Christian life, is a problem for all of us.


  7. I love how God warns us when we’re about to make a wrong choice in a gentle, reproving tone in my thoughts. When it’s “Don’t eat the chocolate, sometimes I stop my hand from moving. Other times, I think that one won’t hurt me, and I murmur, “Sorry, God.”
    Then there’s the guilt, the stomach ache, the excess weight and the knowledge that I added another sin to Jesus’ cross. If it weren’t for Romans 7 and Romans 8, I don’t know how I could stand being a Christian because I sin somehow every day. Thank God for repentance and God’s forgiveness.
    I’ve been a Christian a long time and I’ve seen some sad things happen to marriages because of rebellion instead of submission, or a wife listening to her parents reviling a hard-working husband, a spouse flirting with someone besides their mate, etc. All these divorces started by wrong thoughts that didn’t get captured and then the sinful actions that brought consequences. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First time reader of your post, will return for more. If I understood you right you do not believe salvation depends on our works?


  9. The knowledge of good and evil is not a curse. Without it, we would be, like animals, incapable of doing good. Animals can be good, but they do not consciously do good. Like all great gifts, consciousness is a two edged sword. Without it, sin is not possible. With it, and with even minimal self awareness, one sees that he or she has sinned. Only one with perfect self awareness would be able to avoid all sin. That one, we call a Christ.


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