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Dude, Your Cholesterol’s Showing!

June 24th, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 19: 12-13 (NLT)

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
      Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
      Don’t let them control me.
   Then I will be free of guilt
      and innocent of great sin.


Cholesterol.  A word that I never thought about as a kid.  A word that “old” people talk about as they drive slowly down their driveways in their Mercury Grand Marquis complaining about the loud music next door.

Cholesterol.  A topic in science class that is much less interesting than your attractive lab partner.

Cholesterol.  A word that captured my attention in my early 20’s (that’s right-20’s) when routine blood work revealed that my cholesterol was as high as one of those “slow drivers” I zoomed past in my little black sports car.  Me, high cholesterol?  That’s preposterous!  But whether I agreed, understood, or was ready for it, high cholesterol was “lurking” within me.  Truth be told, it had been there for a long time.  The only thing that had changed was my knowledge of the situation.

To me, this particular passage from Psalms holds the key to closeness with God.  It begins with the realization that we have spiritual cholesterol . . . or sin.

Sin.  A word I thought a lot about as a kid.  A word with as much “eye-roll-ability” as any term in all of Christian culture.  

Sin.  A question to answer in Sunday School that is much less interesting than the size of your Sunday School teacher’s beehive hairdo.  

Sin.  A word that captured my attention when I realized that my internal flaws were worse than I thought.  Me, a sinner?  That’s preposterous!  But whether I agreed, understood, or was ready for it, sin was “lurking’ within me.  Truth be told, it had been there for a long time.  Once again, my knowledge of the situation is all that had changed.

Ah, knowledge!  Something we all claim we want (though not necessarily from school.)  The stuff dreams are made of.  Invaluable, intangible, and full of  . . . wait for it . . . responsibility?  Once I “know” the speed limit, I’m much more likely to have serious trouble talking my way out of a speeding ticket.  Pull me over once . . . shame on me!  Pull me over twice . . . I’m an idiot!  Once I know that I’m allergic to a certain food, it becomes my responsibility to avoid having my face blow up like a Macy’s Parade float.

You may not know it, but you’ve got nasties flowing through your veins- clogging your ability to find your purpose in life– ruining the spiritual circulation that keeps you alive and vibrant.  Don’t get mad like I did when I first got my cholesterol report, take responsibility and get some help!  

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?”  Just like David, we must present ourselves to God and admit to Him that we have no idea what’s really going on in that heart of ours.  That’s where I begin my prayer time each day: with a sincere request not only for cleansing of what I know is dirty within me, but also of all those hidden rooms in the recesses of my heart that I may be unaware of.  These are my “hidden faults”; my spiritual cholesterol.

But this sin issue is progressive by nature.  This passage leads us to the next stage: “deliberate sins” (verse 13.)  Oh yeah, now we’re getting somewhere!  There was a point in my life after I admitted I had a “cholesterol problem” that I had to do something about it . . . or in many cases, stop doing some things that were exasperating the problem.  Like Crestor, we need treatment that addresses both areas of weakness in our lives: the hidden things we don’t know about and the blatant disobedience we deliberately plunge headfirst into.  

Sin begins with unknowing mistakes, but it can quickly progress to deliberate acts of defiance.  Take it from David: once you’re there, you can easily become controlled by this sin.  That’s why David took his prayer to the next level by asking God to “keep your servant from deliberate sins!”  (verse 13)  What a great prayer to pray!  Don’t just forgive me, but lead the way and I’ll follow so I don’t even have to pass by the way of deliberate sin.  Now that’s getting inside those veins!

The final stage of the “sin progression” is “great sin” (verse 13.)  Great sin is like mutiny against God; like a deliberate turning away from Him with no intention of repentance.  Ouch!

No one jumps straight into this kind of rebellion, just like bank robbers don’t begin with machine guns and ski masks.  They begin as kids taking little pieces of candy from the grocery store.  The final product of who they become is the direct result of a progressive process being allowed to continue with no intervention.  When we don’t deal with “hidden faults” and “deliberate sin,” we may not be far away from falling into “great sin.”

The answer?  Daily treatment.  For me, it was Lipitor combined with my efforts to change my lifestyle.  Spiritually, the answer is similar: only God can correct the internal issues of sin within us.  Forgiveness is free to all who desire it.  However, this is not a one-time fix.  We’re not saved over and over again, but we must still address the sin nature within us by living the kind of life that David lived having an open heart before God through a humble attitude of constant repentance.  Then, like verse 13 says, we can live “free of guilt.”

So, ask your “spiritual” doctor if this kind of lifestyle is right for you.  You’ll be glad you did.



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