This is by no means a well thought out post. I had a thought pop into my head this morning and I am simply working it out here for better or worse. The Psalmist in Psalm 19 speaks of two types of sin- hidden faults and presumptuous sins (ESV). He says, “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me.” (v.13) I think there are certain sins that have a greater capacity to rule over us than others. Obviously, it would be helpful in our fight against sin to be able to identify these areas where we are most vulnerable to the slavery of sin.
The first area has to do with our gender. In the beginning God created us male and female. We see the beginnings of our unique struggles against sin in the garden. Adam and Eve both sinned with respect to their God-given roles as man and woman. The man was to teach, lead, protect and nourish his wife in accordance with what he received from God Himself. The woman was to come alongside her husband to benefit from and help him in that exercise of dominion. Instead, Adam sinned by passively letting Eve be deceived by the serpent. Eve sinned by usurping Adam’s leadership and finding her wisdom and pleasure elsewhere. The curse that followed was also gender specific. Leading, providing and protecting would now become really difficult. Helping with humility and contentment would now become really hard.
We must recognize the unique weaknesses of our flesh as it relates to our gender. Men will usually find themselves being ruled by being satisfied with too little. They will be passive, lazy, immature or brutish. Women will tend to be ruled by wanting too much. They will be discontent, controlling, unrealistic, or depressed.
The second area has to do with our individual dispositions. We must be aware of how much sin has twisted and marred our God-given personalities. God is in the process of restoring to its original splendor and beauty all that was affected by sin after the fall. This is especially true of His children. However, we are not free from the effects and presence of sin yet. Our personalities are still vulnerable to sin’s entanglements. Pride, selfishness, unbelief, and idolatry look very different from person to person. The roots are always the same, but the fruit can grow in any number of varieties. We must be able to discern how these sins look in our own lives. It can be very easy to compare our fruit to another’s tree. Rather, we should be asking the questions, “What does pride look like in me?”, “How do I seek after my own desires?”, “How do I usually respond when my faith is weak?”
Presumptuous sins are dangerously enslaving because they are easily excused and sinfully pleasing. It is so easy to justify the presence of these sins in our lives by blaming it on our nature, our dispositions, our upbringing, our genetics, our brain chemicals, and on and on it goes. They are the unwanted house guests that provide a new excuse every day for why they should stay. And deep down, there is a part of us that likes their company. Once they move in it’s really hard to kick them out.