Inspiration

Sin Leads to Relational Conflicts

"I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless." (Ecclesiastes 4:1 NLT)

In a perfect environment where there is no sin, you're not going to have any conflict. But in, say, a marriage where you take one person who's imperfect and another person who's imperfect, it cannot make a perfect relationship. It is impossible. You're not going to have a perfect relationship. You're going to have problems in any relationship.

Solomon mentions this, too. In Ecclesiastes he says, "I've been watching people in the world, and you know what I've discovered? They're not nice to each other. People don't treat each other kindly. People misuse each other. People abuse each other. People lie to each other. People fake each other out. People are phony in their relationships. People wear masks; they cover up; they abuse; they take advantage of each other."

Why do we do this? Because nothing works on this planet because of sin. When we don't follow God's will, it causes damage.

Ecclesiastes 4:1 says, "I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless" (NLT).

When Adam and Eve rebelled, it not only disconnected them from God; it disconnected them from each other. You cannot have the kind of intimacy God wants you to have with your spouse without having intimacy with God first. When you're disconnected from God, there's no way you're going to be fully connected the way God meant for you to be as a husband and wife.

Sin also damages the area of your finances and career, too. How do economies get broken? By ignoring the biblical principles of finance that God has said in his Word. There are many principles of finance in Scripture. All of the economic problems we have that the government can't seem to put together and agree on is because of irresponsible living - spending money we didn't have and not obeying God's financial principles.

Ecclesiastes 5:13-14 says, "Here is a terrible thing that I have seen in this world: people save up their money for a time when they need it, and then lose it all in some bad deal and end up with nothing left to pass on to their children" (GNT).

Talk About It

  • How does knowing the results of sin make you want to counter them differently or more effectively?
  • How have you seen God's grace at work in the midst of financial and vocational difficulties?

 

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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional ©2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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