For decades, General Electric (GE) was the model company. Seemingly everything it touched turned to gold, making it a company everyone wanted to be a part of. Among the many things GE was famous for was leaders who always delivered. If the company President set an annual goal, ALL the division leaders delivered results. GE certainly seemed to have it all figured out, and everyone wanted in on the action.
The problem was that much of GE’s success was a lie. The bosses kept setting bigger and bigger goals, and no one wanted to be the one to fail their boss. So, leaders created all sorts of ways to lie, cheat, or creatively “cook the books” in order to appear successful. The ruse was eventually exposed, and GE suffered one of the largest corporate collapses in history. Why? Because they failed to deal with the truth and make the correct changes. They failed to deal with consumer preferencias, globalization, and market changes. Instead of changing, they just kept “putting lip stick on a pig” until the whole thing crumbled.
I share this because I fear we do very similar things. In just a few days we will enter a new year. Many of us will set big goals and promise to make big life changes. We do this in our personal lives (this is the year I lose weight) and our spiritual lives (this is the year I read the whole Bible or lead a Bible study). Yet, like GE, we seldom make the changes we need to. Why? Because we fail to adequately deal with the thing keeping us from real success in life: sin. Paul describes this perfectly:
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Romans 7:18-25
Paul notes that our inability to own, name, confess, and address our sin keeps us in a continual pattern of sinfulness. The sad thing is, Jesus sits ready to forgive us of our sins and to help us live better. Yet, we just keep on sinning. My question for all of us is: what sins do you need to own, name, confess, and address this year. What sins are keeping you from real success in God’s eyes? My prayer is that we may all lay a pile of sins at the Cross this year, and spend our 2021 living and serving our God to the fullest.