I’ve written before about how we tend to minimize the sin of wasting time. We convince ourselves it’s no big deal.
We do that in order to avoid the devastation we feel when we look at God’s perfect standard. But our strategy backfires and we end up missing the life-changing freedom of the gospel.
The problem goes further, though. There are other ways that this plays out. When we downplay our sin, we can actually miss out on some of the blessings that God has for us.
Joy of Various Trials
James 1:2 instructs us to count it as joy when we meet trials of various kinds.
Of course, it’s difficult to think that a cancer diagnosis or a job loss is a joy. But that’s not what I want to talk about here.
Notice that joy comes from trials of various kinds. When considering this verse, we tend to think first about cancer or persecution or the other major trials of our lives – and appropriately so. But the verse goes beyond that.
Fighting Sin Is a Trial
Even something as “trivial” as being a faithful steward of our time is a trial that we should count as joy. Struggling with sin is no small matter.
When we minimize the sin of wasting time, we minimize the struggle with this sin – which minimizes the extent of the trial that we face.
Then we miss the blessings that come from this trial, which is the whole reason that we are to count trials as joy in the first place.
We miss the full blessings of verse 12: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
When we are fully aware of – and fully battling – the trials that we face, we have such blessings and wisdom and joy in store. It’s foolish to unnecessarily bring trials upon ourselves, but it’s equally foolish to hide our eyes from the trial right in front of us.
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