We are half-way into a short series of confession exhortations under the banner of Confession 101. The first two lessons were that one, sin is bad, and two, we all sin. The third reminder is that no one makes us sin.
This is easy to believe right up until we sin. In the heat of disobedience every heart goes looking for the escape hatch. Since we learned that everyone sins, that means that you sin too, in fact, it must be your sin that caused me to sin. Another man’s sin, however, is never the cause of my sin.
You may have sinned or you may not have but, even if you did, the most you could do is give me an opportunity to sin. You are not the boss of my soul and I cannot throw you under the confession bus for my sinful response.
Nothing outside a man ruins him. This truth is stated by Jesus in Mark 7:20-23.
What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. (Mark 7:20–23, ESV)
Everything we need to make a mess we already have. The hot water doesn’t determine the taste of the tea, it just pulls out what was already in the bag.
Adam was the first contestant to play the blame game. When confronted on his disobedience, he blamed the woman and ultimately God Himself. “The woman You gave me…it was her fault.” When we apologize for sinning because someone else sinned first, we are still trying to make ourselves look better.
If a man couldn’t help sinning when another person sinned against him then we could never be saved. All kinds of people sinned against Jesus and yet He never sinned back. That’s good news since we needed a perfect substitute. We might be tempted to say, “Yeah, but He’s God.” True, and it’s God’s plan to make us like Him. We’re called to walk in Christ’s steps, which includes confessing that no one else makes us not.