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Seriously, it is. First of all, the marketing is off the hook. It is advertised everywhere; even when TV, internet and billboards are nowhere in sight. No need to watch HBO to be tempted by lust, when some girl walks past in a skirt up to her navel and her neck line 2 in. above that. Who needs sensationalized news reports to spark hatred, when someone just has to cut us off? Sin has billions of ads targeting every country on the planet. In fact, sin must be somewhat environmentally conscious since every ad is 100% organic.
If you have not guessed it yet, sin’s best marketing tool is…people. It is nearly impossible to come into contact with other human beings without them throwing out an advertisement or two just begging us to indulge in short-term gratifying behavior. They even changed the name from advertising to temptation. And admit it, temptation sounds much more alluring.
Another factor in sin’s skyrocketing revenue is a willing team of relentless salespeople. A good portion of sin people engage in occurs because of salespeople who know how to seal the deal. We already have enough money to be content, but here they come convincing us one dollar more will bring fulfillment. We want to save ourselves for marriage or be celibate, but all our friends want to tell us is how great and wonderful sex is. So we are making a move to put our gluttonous ways behind us, but our family shoves a buttery plate of something in our face because we are missing out. Whether our resolve is in the stratosphere or we have just hit rock bottom, they just keep coming. The craziest thing of all; most of them are not even paid to do it!
A key ingredient that keeps customers coming back to sin for life, is some sort of amnesia-inducing agent in its chemical makeup. Think about it. Unless someone has really grown in their faith walk, sin always seems better in memory than it actually did at the time. We forget all about the hangovers, toilet hugging, DUI stops, fights, date rape, fractured relationships, etc…that occurred last time we went out partying, by the following weekend. We will totally blank the angry boyfriends/husbands coming after us, vindictive baby mamas and getting the clap when considering a return to booty prowling. Somehow, only the highlights come flooding back to our minds rather than the side effects and shame which accompanied them. Sin is the equivalent of smoking ruffie-laced crack when you think about it.
Speaking of crack, sin is terribly addictive. Once we cross one boundary, we often find ourselves on a slippery slope with no bottom. Telling one lie will often lead to an untold number of additional ones to dodge exposure. Greed will drive a person with millions and billions of dollars to regularly risk jail time to get a little more. The gossip junkie never decides they have dished enough dirt and the fame whore fails to find a cost too high for publicity. Despite any guilt we may initially experience, we tend to find ourselves more easily repeating the same behavior and eventually moving to the next level. And just like any other addiction, we deceive ourselves into believing we have more control over it than we actually do. Sin and discipline rarely reside together in a person. But when they do, we know those people as sociopaths.
Sin practically sells itself when it comes down to it. But just like anything else that is sold, it comes with a price. Yes the ultimate price is eternal damnation, but most of us naturally struggle with taking delayed consequences seriously. However, the toll of sin will often haunt us in this lifetime as well. It operates in many ways like the worst of credit cards. We have our fun for now, but the bill hits us on the back end with a ton of hidden fees. Relationships ruined by infidelity, children scarred by abuse, jobs lost, body-aging stress, jail time, public embarrassment, STD’s, physical injury, death and a whole slew of other rewards are just the minimum payments. As devastating as these may be, it is basically just interest. The payment in full still has to be made to the one who is the living manifestation of justice.
Unlike credit cards, someone else is always required to pay for our sin as well. There is no such thing as a sin that does not affect other people. It may not always be readily apparent, but it does. That indulgence we can be so cavalier about may actually make someone’s life hell somewhere else in the world. Hunger and poverty cannot exist without greed. Without the soils of pride and fear, ignorance has no place to take root. Oppression only thrives under the shelters of hatred and indifference. Exploitation fades away when departed from the company of selfishness and excess. As much as we like to fool ourselves into believing our sins only affect us, they will always have an impact on those closes to us or even people in distant lands. If we question why evil is in the world, we must begin with ourselves.
So what can be done to deal with sin given its pervasive influence and power over us? Well the direct answer is Jesus, but that hardly says much by itself. Many Christians end their quest with merely accepting the ransom Jesus paid to cover that gigantic card bill. But unless we also accept he gave us power to resist the daily slew of advertisements we would otherwise eventually fall victim to in thought or deed (both of which are sinful), we do little to diminish our share of interest we pass along. What we truly want and need are three things. One is for our credit card to be paid off. The second is to no longer be pulled in by the swarm of ads surrounding us. And when we can reach that point, number three becomes possible. That would of course be, to no longer be an ad for anyone else.
By Corey Dorsey