“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
The damage that sin causes goes much deeper than most can see. We often hear about the surface damage that sin causes. We hear how sin destroys relationships, testimony and the ministry in which you serve, but these are only a sampling of the surface damage that sin causes.
In Psalm 51:10-12, David shows the sin’s greatest damage. The greatest damage that sin causes is the damage against your spirit. Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Satan knows that if he can destroy your spirit, he will most likely destroy your usefulness for Christ. It is not that Christ can’t use you, but sin damages your spirit causing you to think that you can never be used. This is why David’s greatest concern after getting right with the LORD was that his spirit would be repaired. Sin often damages the spirit so deeply that most never get back to be used by the LORD. These verses show four areas where sin damages your spirit.
First, sin damages your spirit towards right. The verse above says, “…renew a right spirit within me.” One of the greatest struggles that many people have after they have sinned is their spirit towards God’s dealings with others. Sin often causes you to see how others are supposedly getting away with sin while you are suffering the punishment of sin. You must never allow the perception of God’s dealings with other’s sin to affect your spirit towards doing right. You may be suffering grave consequences because of your sin, but you must guard your attitude towards God’s dealing with you.
Second, sin damages the power of the Holy Spirit on your life. Verse 11 says, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” Sin always hurts God’s power on your life. Look no further than Samson who thought he could go out “as at other times before” and do what he had always done. Sin always hampers what the Holy Spirit can do through your life. This is why God says in Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God…” Sin always grieves the Holy Spirit, and He cannot do the work He desires through you when He is grieved.
Third, sin damages the joyful spirit needed to enjoy life. Verse 12 says, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation…” One of the most obvious effects of sin is on the Christian’s joy. People who once used to be happy walk in sadness with a gloomy spirit because of sin’s weight on their spirit. My friend, God wants you to walk in His joy, but sin always robs your joy and ability to face life with a right and joyful spirit. The joy that comes from doing right is priceless; whereas the anguish of sin’s affect on your spirit is costly. Sin always takes your joy, and when your joy is gone, it always affects your enjoyment of life and effectiveness in your ministry.
Fourth, sin damages the confident spirit needed to be effective for the LORD. Verse 12 continues by saying, “…uphold me with thy free spirit.” Sin always causes the Christian to have a timid spirit. If you are going to be effective for the LORD, you need confidence and boldness to stand against the Devil. When you do right, you will have the freedom to say whatever needs to be said and do whatever needs to be done. You must stay away from sin if you want to have the freedom and confidence needed to be effective for the LORD.