It's hard to watch some stories on television or read about them in the paper. My wife likes to watch Law and Order: SVU but I can't take it, too much senseless violence, especially against children. Stories of terror or destruction can be very difficult to see or hear. A friend of mine told me the other day of a relative that was just diagnosed with stage III cancer who has three little girls. Heart-breaking. But knowing of someone who is hurting is not nearly as bad as knowing someone who is hurting. When that illness or hurt or problem has a name that we know it changes everything.
I think that same can be said for sin. I know that there is sin all around me. Marriages falling apart, infidelity, stubbornness, adultery. I run into people using course or foul language nearly every day, in the grocery store or on the street. Addictions run rampant in our lives and there seems no end to the lengths people will go to in order to plunge headlong into sin and destructive lifestyles. But it's different when I don't know the person. When a friend or a church partner's marriage is falling apart it's a whole new level of hurt. When partners at Real Life are struggling with addictions, sexual immorality or other sinful lifestyles then it gets personal. Then that sin has a name that I know.
In Mark 14:21,22 Jesus said, "In one sense, it turns out that the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures - no surprises here. In another sense, the man who turns Him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man - better never to have been born than do this!" (MSG).
The way that Jesus was going to be betrayed had been well documented in the Old Testament Scriptures, it was going to be someone who was close to Him, from His own number someone would rise up to betray. This had been known for many years. But now that sin of betrayal has a name, Judas. It's more difficult when it's someone you know.
We know that Satan is behind every sin. He's the father of lies. His desire is to steal, kill and destroy. So in a sense every sin already has a name, Satan. But that's just generic. It doesn't mean much to us. Saying sin is from Satan is like watching the starving children in third-world countries on TV. We know it's there, we feel bad about it, but for most it doesn't inspire or require anything of us. We're not personally involved. But when Satan capitalizes on the thoughts of someone close to you so that they act on their sinful desire, now that sin has a name that means something to us.
We sin when we are dragged away by our own evil desires and enticed (James 1:14). When I sin it starts with me, not Satan. My sin has a name, it's Corey. We each give sin a name, ours, when we give in to desire and give birth to sin. Then it's personal. Then it means something. Adultery is not just adultery, it's John. Or Mark. Or Tonya. Gossip is now, James. Betty. Samantha.
Jesus said the sin is going to come, but woe to the person through whom it comes. Sin always manifests itself through a PERSON and gets a name.
Genesis 4:7 - Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.