“If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me]” Ps 66:18 AMP
What is cherished sin? Cherished sin is any sin that lives inside of us that we know is there, yet we choose to keep it hidden. It is those deeds and actions that we choose to coddle and excuse from our life.
It is the kind of sin that hinders our prayers and our relationship with God.
“We know [according to your tradition] that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone fears God and does His will, He hears him.” John 9:31
“God makes this offer to both Christians and non-Christians. Obviously non-Christians remain in sin bondage. But many Christians are also in the bondage to a secret sin they fear to expose. They were offered a forbidden fruit, they listened to their deceitful desires, and they ate. They didn’t fully realize they were enslaving themselves to sin (Romans 6:16), but having been snared by enticement, they have discovered sin to be a ruthless slave master.”
1 Cor 5:1-5 speaks of the Church of Corinth that was allowing a man to continue in the church, ignoring and excusing his behavior while he was having an adulterous relationship with his step-mother. In this letter to the Church of Corinth, Paul admonishes the church leaders that the member must be disciplined. This sin, known and acknowledged by the church, left unchecked would polarize and paralyze the church. What message does that send to the other members of the church? What message does it send to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc that see your walk with the Lord? What message does it send to others watching that may not believers’ – that are looking on? Is that the witness you want to put forward?
Cherished sin doesn’t have to be as sordid as adultery. In Mark 10:21 we read about the rich young ruler who came to Jesus to find out what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus, knowing the man’s heart, says to him that he is to go and sell all that he has, give all of the money to the poor and then come and follow Him. That is not the answer that the rich young ruler was looking for. Scripture says “at this the man’s face fell” (v22). He was dejected and he left. Jesus knew this man was harboring sin – he loved his money more than he wanted the eternal life Jesus offered. Did he sell all that he had to gain eternal life? Did he treasure his possessions more? We don’t know.
What is cherished or secret sin? A fair list found in Galatians 5: 19-21
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God”
This is not a complete list for sure. Perhaps you struggle with gossip, anger, jealousy, lust, envy, stealing, lying, drunkenness, gambling… this list is long. While we all struggle with these or other vices, are any of these actions or behaviors cherished? You know in your heart that it is wrong, but somehow you justify it… it is not something that you want to give up. Yet you still want the blessings of God on your life, your family, your home. But you are not willing to acknowledge your cherished sin. You are not willing to give up your secret sin.
Perhaps you are a gossip. You love to find all the juicy gossip about family members or friends. You are the go-to person for what’s going on. Do you know that gossip is considered murder according to the Bible? Proverbs 11:9. “With his (her) mouth the godless (wo)man destroys (her) his neighbor”.
Perhaps you covet and believe that it is permissible to desire (lust) after another person that is not your spouse. After all, there is no harm; you’re just looking, not touching. But perhaps now, that lust takes on a life of its own and you start innocently enough delving into the sordid depths of soft pornography. After all, they’re mostly covered and I’m just looking not touching, it’s just entertainment. How long before that is not enough and you find yourself delving into hard core pornography? This innocent cherished sin has caused you to commit adultery against your spouse. The Bible tells us very plain… “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman(or man) with lust for her (him) has already committed adultery with her (him) in his (her) heart” Matthew 5:28
The list goes on. The Bible is clear when it comes to sin. “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:2-14
What I am speaking here is pervasive and on going sin behaviors in your life. These conscious behaviors and deliberate actions become your cherished sin. The sin you want no one to know about. The sin you don’t see as a problem. The sin you don’t feel the need to give up. Those sins cause a disconnect with your Savior. They are a hindrance in your walk with God. As with any sin, they are your choice to keep or remove.
So what do you do when you realize that your actions and behaviors have stunted your spiritual growth? You repent and ask forgiveness. You pray and ask God to reveal to you any and all secret and cherished sins in your life.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “ 1 John 1:9
Yes He is Faithful and Righteous to forgive our sins and cleanse us. Is it time to ask Him now?
Something for you to ponder from Reinhard Bonnke:
““FOOLPROOF RECIPE FOR VICTORY” by Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke
Maybe you have not read this before:
This is how my parable begins. Let me call him John. John had a double story house, five plus five rooms. One day there was a gentle knock on the front door. When John opened it was the Lord Jesus. “Please come in”, John pleaded, “I will give you the best room in my house – it is upstairs. Well, Jesus is a gentleman and said “thank you”.
The next morning someone hammered against the front door. When John opened it, who was there? The devil. “No” shouted John, “I don’t want you here” But the devil said “I’m already in” – and a big fight started. Satan poured filthy temptation on him, it was horrible. By the evening John somehow got the victory and threw the devil out. Then he said “wait a minute”. I gave Jesus the best room in the house, why didn’t he come to my rescue?” Jesus said to John “Look, you gave me one of the ten rooms…”
John was on his knees and said “I can see my mistake. Sorry, Lord. Let’s make 50/50.” Jesus is a gentleman and accepted. The next day was a repeat of the day before. Somehow the devil got in and out and John was totally exhausted. “Why didn’t Jesus come to my rescue today? I need to go and ask.” The Lord said “My son, why don’t you give me all 10 rooms and then, instead of me staying with you, you stay with me?” John broke down. He pulled the key of the front-door from his pocket and handed it to Jesus. Now, he had given it all.
The next morning, it was still dark, when someone was knocking at the front door so hard that the whole building shook. John jumped frightened and shaken out of bed crying “O, it’s the devil again”, when suddenly he heard footsteps – but this time inside the house. Jesus was marching in majesty and power towards the front door. He had the key. It now was His duty to answer the door. John was wondering what would happen and stood right behind Jesus when the Lord opened the door wide. Who was it? The devil of course. But when the devil saw Jesus standing in the door he bowed low, very low indeed, and said “Sorry Sir, I knocked on the wrong door!”
Some have given 9 rooms to Jesus and on the door of room number 10 they have written “Strictly Private”. It is there where they have their secret sins and live their double life. But Jesus cannot be cheated.
C’mon. Let’s sing it together from the bottom of our hearts “Unto Jesus I surrender, unto Him I freely give….I surrender ALL, unto thee my God and Savior, I surrender all.” This is my foolproof recipe for victory! Does it speak to you? Please let me know. God bless you.”
If you recognize that you are harboring secret and cherished sins, perhaps now is the time to pray and ask God to help you to acknowledge them and remove them from your life.
Lord, I know that I harbor sins within me that, in my foolishness, I believed I have kept hidden from You. But You know everything about me; nothing comes as a surprise to You. Hear me now as I confess these secret sins – those that I cherish and kept hidden. I no longer want this behavior in my life. Lord, help me to bring them to light and give me the strength to tear down and remove their stronghold on my life.
My hearts singular desire is to live a life dedicated to You, and in worship You only with a clear conscious and a clean heart. If there are other cherished sins remaining in me that I have yet to recognize or have disregarded, please reveal them also that I may be free of their control. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
I leave you with this encouragement from David:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord does not count iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1)