Today we will pick up our cross, die to ourselves and live for God by being faithful. We have talked about sin in the past and we’ve talked about the ten commandments. But you need to be faithful to God as well. One part of being faithful isn’t just not sinning but also avoiding what makes us sin. If we avoid that it makes it easier to be faithful. This is called the near occasion to sin. You need to avoid the near occasion to sin.
Say your sin is the sin of lust and you just can’t help hooking up with random people. Now, when do you do that? Oh, I just meet them at the bar and one drink leads to another and you know. Okay, easy. Don’t go to the bar! Going to the bar is your near occasion to sin. Say your sin is greed and you just have to go to the mall and get new shoes oh and a new outfit to go with the shoes oh, and a lamp for the living room and some of those cute little knick knacks that just everyone is obsessed about right now and and and and… Your near occasion to sin is going to the mall. Don’t go to the mall. Think about it. What action do you do that puts you in jeopardy of sinning? We all have our sins that are habitual and we hate ourselves for them. The good news is that habits can be broken.
So, don’t sin. Don’t near occasion to sin. And lastly, don’t cause others to sin. There was this psychological experiment in which they studied what is called, “Implied Permission.” On a hot summer day, they put out a coke cooler of ice and a bunch of drinks on a busy sidewalk. People walked by, looked at the cooler, looked around to see who had left it and walked on. No one stole a drink. Then one of the experimenters walked with the crowd stopped and took a drink from the cooler. He opened it and had a sip then moved on. People saw him do it and suddenly everyone was taking drinks because of implied permission. Well, if it was okay for him to do it, then it’s okay for me. Everyone of those people technically stole from the experimenters. Why? Because they saw someone else steal so therefore it was okay. Do not live your life in a way that causes others to sin because of your actions. People think that if it is okay for you then it is okay for them.
Peace be with you.