Throughout my christian life I have been living under a wrong assumption. I've had the idea that by not sinning I have missed out on something. The truth is that I have been missing out on something God had for me because I was sinning.
I believe I am not alone in this assumption.
I can easily envision the cause and effect of my sins of gluttony and verbal abuse through sarcasm and imagine what I would be like if I weren’t so.
I could put Barnabas to shame if I just thought of good things to say instead of sarcastic things to say. This is going to require massive re-training.
The basic question of all of these thoughts is this. What have I missed by sinning? Man's heart is desperately wicked and who can know it? My first choice in most of the forks in life's road is usually sinful. Unless I stop to take every thought captive and really consider my motivations I will take the easy road to sin. In taking the first option or the easy way all the time I have consistently chosen curtain number one and never looked at what was behind curtain number two, God’s curtain. What has He had in store for me if I had gone there?
In training up our youth I feel like I have to entice them to do good because evil tastes so sweet. We tend to try to sweeten the good with pizza and candy and it only defiles it. I need to show the good as good as it is, really. Even now I am suspicious of myself, what does goodness have to offer? Has anything good come out of Galilee?
The rewards of goodness are rarely immediately gratifying. Just like a meal from a crock pot or slow roasted meat has a depth of flavor. It takes time to develop the flavors of goodness. You can't experience the fruits of a long and happy life in a weekend! you can however suffer the consequences of unrighteous decisions only minutes after making them. In short, righteousness is it's own reward and it comes with a menu of complimentary sides that have lasting value.
Take the time to seek out the righteous options and goodness will follow.