I read a story of a man who was being disorderly in a supermarket deli. When the clerk threatened to call the police, he grabbed a hot dog from the market counter, shoved it in his mouth—and walked away without paying for it. The clerk called the police, who upon arrival, found the man who had stolen the hot dog lying dead in front of the market—having choked on the six-inch hot dog. Now that’s messed-up! Another story I read reported the sad tale of a man who was killed instantly when a deer fell from an overhanging rock above him. The man, unfortunately, had shot the deer from below. Now that’s messed-up!
Messed-up stories like these remind me that we—you and I—are the most responsible for the majority of the mess-ups / troubles we find ourselves in. I know almost every day; I wish I had “do-over” or two. Don’t you? Maybe you’ve said something to someone that you wish you could take back. Perhaps you didn’t follow through on something you promised to someone else. Sometimes the troubles we get ourselves into are just part of being human and no big deal. But, at other times, our troubles are directly related to the problem of sin. “Some people think they are doing right, but in the end, it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25 NCV).
The bottom line of sin is we’ve messed-up when we live our lives as if God doesn’t matter. We may never say those exact words, but so often by the way we live our lives, we might as well shout, “God doesn’t matter!” from the rooftops. Whenever we live life on our terms, we cement another brick in a wall that separates us from having an intimate, vital relationship with God. The momentary pleasures we find in making our own choices, leave us empty. And, eventually we end up saying to ourselves, “How did I get myself into this mess?”