There is a fantastic little girl I know who finally successfully grew up and no longer needs diapers. This is a pretty amazing thing. I am just embarking on this transition with my 2 year old daughter and the task is daunting to say the least. The difference with the other little girl (lets call her FLG for fantastic little girl) is that she has just finally successfully done this at 3 1/2 years old and while this is not super uncommon it is still on the later side for her to be making this transition. FLG had an excuse though. Actually she probably could've listed many excuses but the main one was the dissolution of her parents marriage. At the time she should've been doing the typical potty training transition there was all kinds of stress and turmoil in her house so the diapers stayed on and stayed on and stayed on.
While thinking about FLG I started thinking about myself and other adults. We frequently sin and then blame something or someone else in our life for that sin almost as if the other person or thing would then bear the punishment for it instead of us the sinner. I heard a speaker say once that we use self pity as an excuse to sin. "I've had a hard life therefore I get to do drugs." or "I'm a victim, therefore I get to abuse alcohol," or even "People are mean to me therefore I am allowed to be mean to others." John Piper has revelatory things to say about self pity and this line of thinking
"The nature and depth of human pride are illuminated by comparing boasting with self-pity. Both are manifestations of pride. Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Boasting says, “I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much.” Self-pity says, “I deserve admiration because I have sacrificed so much.” Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing. The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego, and the desire of the self-pitying is not really for others to see them as helpless, but as heroes. The need self-pity feels does not come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride."
Ouch! So when I look at it this way, when I choose to wallow in self-pity and then sin within that self-pity it becomes a reward to me. That is a crazy thought. To use sin, the thing that leads to death and makes people miserable, as a reward? Romans 8 says
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
I want to please God. I want to have life and peace. At some point we have to realize we are on the older side of learning this, and no matter what problems we've had in our lives, even those caused by others, we have to make the transition out of sin. Next time you think about making excuses for your sin just imagine yourself being the one who refuses to get potty trained because you like those diapers...