Sin, of course, is not a good thing. Sin is evil; sin is lawlessness. However, in God’s sovereignty, he can use sin for the benefit of his people. Paul said it very clearly: All things work together for the good of those who love God (Rom. 8:28). “All things” includes those instances when people sin and hurt us in doing so. In “All Things for Good,” Thomas Watson listed several ways how the sins of others work for our good. Here’s one of them worth contemplating:
“The sins of others work for good, as they are glasses [mirrors] in which we may see our own hearts. Behold a picture of our hearts. Such should we be, if God did leave us. What is in other men’s practice is in our nature. Sin in the wicked is like fire on a beacon that flames and blazes forth; sin in the godly is like fire in the embers.
Christian, though you do not break forth into a flame of scandal, yet you have no cause to boast, for there is much sin raked up in the embers of your nature. You have the root of bitterness in you, and you would bear as hellish fruit as any, if God did not either curb you by His power, or change you by His grace.”
That’s a very insightful Christian thought! When someone else sins, rather than bragging that I’m better, I remember that I too am sinful and if it weren’t for God’s grace and power, I too would act out in all sorts of evil ways. So the sins of others should not make me proud, but humble. It will still hurt when people are sinfully cruel to us, but as Christians we can be confident that God will use it for our good.
The above quote is found on page 47 of All Things for Good.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015