Helping your Children See Their Sin: For Families to Read Together

Have you ever heard the saying, “seeing is believing?” This is a proverb and means, “you need to see something before you can accept that it really exists or occurs.” Sometimes we have to be shown our sin by others in order to know that it is there. Do you clearly see your sins?

Have your parents ever told you to clean your room? Of course they have! When I was a kid, my mom would ask me to clean my room. An hour later or so she would ask me, if I was finished. I would answer that of course I was. When she would come to inspect my room I was always amazed at how many things that she found undone. I didn’t mean to not do some of it, I just didn’t notice the details that she would point out to me. She would ask me why there was a sock still on the floor and why I hadn’t vacuumed part of the carpet. She would point out that I didn’t get all of the dust off of my dresser. Honestly, sometimes it was a little depressing for her to point it out. I hadn’t noticed all of the spots that were unclean in my room until she pointed it out. In order for me to fix the problem’s in my room I had to first see them.

Sin is sometimes like that sock on the floor, or dust on your dresser that you don’t notice at first. It doesn’t belong there and it needs fixed but if you never notice it or it’s not pointed out it just remains there like unfinished business. Before we can repent of sin, we must first see the sin. God has given us authorities in our lives that help to point out those difficult to spot sins.

God uses parents to help us see our sin

Your parents love you deeply. They want to watch you grow up to become a strong Christian. One way they help to guide you toward a relationship with Jesus is by pointing out sin in your life. When your parents point out sin in your life, do you listen carefully and take responsibility, or do you defend yourself and make excuses? It is important to take responsibility for your sin. If you don’t take responsibility for sin you can never “change your mind about it” and repent of it. Parents not only cheer you on and tell you of the great things that you do, but they also help you to see your shortcomings and your failures. This is not a bad thing at all. This is a good thing! The reason they show you your sin is so that you can ask for forgiveness and have your relationship with God and others restored. When your parents point out your sin, it may be hard to hear at first. The bible tells us that being disciplined for sin is tough! Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Parents point out sin so that you might be trained to spot out the differences between the truth and a lie. You can help your parents by inviting them to point out things that they might see in your life that may not please God. Ask them to point out sin so that you may clearly see it and ask God to help you change your mind and repent of it.

God uses the church to help us see our sin

If you have went to church very long, you have probably heard of King David. He was Israel’s most famous King (besides Jesus). David was the warrior who defeated Goliath, unified Israel and conquered many of his enemies. David was also a musician and a poet. He was a very gifted person. Once when his men were out to war, he fell into sin by stealing Bathsheba from her husband Uriah! David ended up having Uriah killed and taking Bathsheba as his own. Just when David thought that he had gotten away with it, a prophet named Nathan told David a parable. This parable allowed David to clearly see his sin for what it truly was. David realized the seriousness of his sin and wrote a Psalm to God that says, “against you, and you only, have I sinned.” (Ps. 51:4). David’s heart had grown hard to his sin, but God used Nathan the prophet to show him his error.

In the New Testament, Jesus also tells us that if we notice sin in another Christian’s life, we should help them to see it. We should go to that person and kindly tell them about the sin that they are committing. If they listen to you Jesus says, “you have won them over.” But if they don’t then you are to take others with you to again show the mistake to the Christian. If they still refuse, then that sin is to be brought before the church. Hopefully, if someone shows you or I our sin, we are quick to “see it” and repent, or turn from it.

God uses His Holy Spirit to help us see our sin

If you are a Christian, then you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the triune God that we serve. We believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, yet there is only one God. God the Holy Spirit is said to live inside Christians. I Corinthians 3;16 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit came to live inside of Christians that “when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…” This means that God’s Spirit will remind you of what God expects from you and you will see that you fail at reaching his standard. If your parents ask you if all of your homework is finished and you say to them “yes,” but you know that you are really planning to finish it up at school in the morning, you are really lying to them. The Holy Spirit may be clearly telling you in your heart that this is wrong. Will you listen to Him and walk in God’s Spirit or ignore the truth and walk in the flesh? The bible says to not “harden your heart” (Heb. 3:15) against God’s Spirit. God wants to mold you into the person that He desires you to be. Jesus says that a blind man cannot lead another blind man. If he does, both of them “will fall into a pit.” (Lk. 6:39). One of the two persons must be able to see clearly so that they don’t both fall into the pit. The Holy Spirit guides His disciples into truth (Jn. 16:13). John Newton a famous song writer who used to buy and sell slaves before becoming a Christian and repenting of this horrible sin wrote a famous song called Amazing Grace. One of the lines in the song says, “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Let God use family, the church and His Spirit to open your eyes to sin that you might see clearly and turn from your sin. To repent of sin you must first have “sight of sin.”

Memory verse:

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Hebrews 12:11

Questions to consider:

  • Do I invite my parents to point out my sins so that I might grow more to be like Jesus?
  • Do I have Christian friends in the church that are willing to tell me when I am in sin?
  • Do I listen to the Holy Spirit in my life when He warns me inside about my sin?
  • Do I want to see my sin, or ignore it?

Things to remember:

  • You will never be perfect in this life. Jesus was perfect in your place. Jesus paid for all of our sins on the cross.
  • Repentance is our way of remembering His great sacrifice in our place and turning from our sins out of love for Jesus.

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