Worry, Panic & Schemes – How Sin Works – part 2

When David was told, "Uriah
did not go home," he asked him, "Haven’t you just come from a
distance? Why didn’t you go home?" 2 Samuel 11:10

The second common form of deceit is that it offers a
shortcut to what we want. The real truth behind this shortcut is that we assume
we know better than God what is good for us. It is ironic that these shortcuts usually
involve much more planning and scheming than simply doing what God requires. There
is definitely an overlap between this form of deceit and the form we discussed
in the last post—living for the moment. Living for the moment drives you and
your children to look for shortcuts to avoid the impact of sin.


When you are led by fleshly desires instead of spiritual
ones, peace does not follow. A child eats some of the cookies that Mom just
baked for dessert. The momentary enjoyment is quickly replaced by the fear out
of being found out. The scheming begins. Since he took the shortcut of instant
gratification, now he must look for another shortcut to avoid the consequences
of acting on his desires rather than obeying Mom and loving God. So, sin
hatches a plan. He puts the cookie plate on the floor, calls the dog in from
outside and shows him the plate. Then he runs to tell Mom that the dog knocked
the plate off the counter and ate the cookies. When Mom comes to look, the dog has
gone into the living room with her muddy feet and made a mess everywhere. Mom
turns to her son and asks how the dog got into the house in the first place.
The cookie thief has been found out. The desire for immediate gratification led
to a chain reaction of events that were anything but pleasant – worry, panic
and scheming.

This is exactly the same pattern of events that occurred
with King David in his sin with Bathsheba. The outcome of David’s worry, panic
and scheming was far more devastating than mud on the carpet. David’s shortcut
to gratification led to lies, the murder of Uriah, an innocent man, and the
death of his infant son—and those were only the short-term consequences. David’s
“shortcut” to sexual gratification eventually led to rape, more murder and the
attempt by his own son overthrow his throne.

That is how sin works. Children who will use the dog to hide
the theft of cookies are using the same methodology that King David did. Take time
to work through these narratives with your children. There is valuable insight
into the workings of the human heart. These narratives will help you to teach
your children to truly guard their hearts, as Proverbs 4:23 teaches. The
tendency of the heart is to look for shortcuts to gratification and then embark
on a pattern of worry, panic and scheming to cover up what was done.

the power of Christ and his gospel can break this pattern. When you see your
children worrying and scheming, don’t focus only on the missing cookies. Deal
with the heart that is driving these schemes. Mud is easy to clean. More
cookies can be made. But a young heart that is running from sin and from Christ
will lead to problems in life that are not dealt with so easily. Help your
children see how sin works and then point them to Christ. More on how this
pattern impacts teenagers in the next post.

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