Take a moment and think about what John Maxwell and Jim Dornan wrote in their book Becoming a Person of Influence; “Slaves is the right term to describe people who lack integrity because they often find themselves at the whim of their own and others’ changing desires” (p. 32)
The movie version of The Lord of the Rings has made J. R. R. Tolkien’s story accessible to thousands of people who would never bother with actually reading the story. One of the characters that people seem to identify with is the character Gollum. Gollum is a pitiful creature because he has been corrupted by the power of the One Ring. The Ring consumes Gollum’s life, and there is nothing he can do to break free from its power. Colin Duriez in The J.R.R. Tolkien Handbook describes Gollum like this: “In The Lord of the Rings a once-hobbit who bore the marks of long centuries underground guarding yet possessed by the One Ring which he called ‚ ‘my precious’, and which he had deluded himself into thinking was a birthday present to him” (p. 106). The possession of the Ring had changed Smeagol to Gollum, from a Stoor Hobit to a pitiful creature. The Ring may have granted Gollum unnatural long life, but it also physically changed him. Worse than the physical change was the control the Ring had on Gollum’s desires and dreams. They were twisted and corrupted so much that all Gollum could think about was to regain possession of his “precious”.
I think sin has very similar effect on us. Unlike the Ring sin will not prolong our lives, in fact God promises us that sin brings about death. It will also not physically change us from human into something less human, but sin will cause us to behave less than human (true humanity is found in Jesus). It will twist our desires and dreams into things that are evil and wicked. Sin will make us think that the only thing that will make us happy is the evil behavior that we are involved in. Sin consumes and corrupts us, which keeps us from becoming the people that God created us to be.
Consider what the apostle Paul wrote about the effect of sin on the lives of people:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:24, 25; ESV)
The apostle Paul in Romans 1:18-32 is very clear about the corruption that takes place because of sin’s presence in our lives. When we are in the possession of sin it is impossible for us to be who God created us to be. The reality is that sin twists our hearts and souls making us corrupted forms of the people God created us to be.
I want you to understand the vile effect that sin has on our lives. Sin not only corrupts us, but it also controls us. It makes us long for the things that not only will not make us happy and content, but will ultimately lead to our destruction. Sin is not something to mess with; because it will take control of our lives, and in the end destroy us.
I know that this sounds dark and depressing, so I will not end on that note. Instead I want to give you a glimpse at light at the end of the tunnel. The apostle Paul wrote this about the power of Jesus’ resurrection in our lives: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17; ESV).
The Good News is this: Jesus has the power to restore! He can breathe life back to the dead. He can heal the twisted and evil soul that we have. We don’t have to be possessed by sin because Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has rescued us from sin and death. This Good News is for all who are chained by the power of sin. We need to remember that freedom is found in Jesus!