Several years ago I counseled a woman who was consumed by bitterness toward her father. He had abandoned the family and refused to acknowledge her as his daughter. Then he became ill and sought to make amends, but the woman refused to hear him. She clung to that unforgiving spirit for many years after her father died. When she finally repented, she told me that the burden of her bitterness had kept her from enjoying God.
One of the Holy Spirit’s roles is to make believers aware of attitudes and actions that are contrary to God’s will. If we decide to resist conviction, we will naturally try to quiet the Spirit’s voice—which often means giving the Lord less of our time or none at all. Then unconfessed sin will cause us to walk away from the Father instead of delighting in our relationship with Him.
Sin usually feels good in some way—temporarily. For example, we can feel justified in our bitterness when the other person has wronged us. Sometimes we want to hold on to resentment and prolong our sense of validation. But as believers, we cannot run our life by emotion. We must consider God’s truth: The Bible says that if we refuse to confess and repent, sin will enslave our heart and destroy our testimony.
Satan tempts us with sins that are likely to look and feel good to our natural self—a habit that gives pleasure or solace is easier to justify than one that seems repulsive. But no sinner is truly happy chasing after wickedness. Authentic joy is found only in oneness with the Lord.
Bible in One Year: James 1-5