Yesterday I shared a Scripture with you that cut me to the core as I meditated on it: “The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has repaid me.” (Ps 18:20) If the Lord gives me what I deserve, I will burn in the lake of fire for eternity, and I will deserve no joy in this life. That’s what I deserve “according to the cleanness of my hands”, because His Word says: “as it is written: ‘There is no righteous person, not even one’” (Rom 3:10)

Sin enslaves, like a jailer who convinces a prisoner to forge the very chains that bind him. Jesus said, Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). The habitual wrongdoer may think he can extricate himself from his sin, but he is wrong. Once consequences come, they’re permanent and bring regret (Prov 5:11–14).

Which brings us to today’s look in the mirror: “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” (Prov 5:21-23) Sin springs a trap on those who disobey God. The idea that ungodly actions bring surprising consequences is a common theme in the book of Proverbs. Part of the purpose behind this metaphor is the idea of suddenness and surprise; another is that of being trapped or entangled.

Sin tricks people into thinking they can go on forever without consequences. Those trapped in that attitude are slaves of sin (Rom 6:20–21). However, whoever believes on Jesus as Savior finds freedom to serve God. Jesus also said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). And we are reminded that sin easily entangles, so we must be diligent:  “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1)

Unrestrained sinning weakens the body and inflicts damage on the person who indulges in a wicked lifestyle. This suffering is physical, mental, and spiritual. Discipline keeps a person’s body strong and healthy, but fools lack discipline and therefore greatly increase their risk of suffering an early death. “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Prov 14:12)

But we have an alternative to the chains that bind us to sin. “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30) Trust in the rest that only Christ can give!