Sweet to Bitter

Journal Entry // December 23, 2021

And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.

Revelation 10:10 ESV

As I was reading this morning and reflecting on this interaction of John in his revelation, my thoughts moved from the meaning of the little scroll that tasted sweet but was bitter in his stomach in context of John’s message to how this is a helpful reminder of the poison of sin in my life. I have seen my thoughts and attitude drifting and wandering away from the goodness of God into a place of self-righteousness and fear. Putting myself into a position where I enjoyed and sought after this sweetness to put in my mouth that then turned bitter in my stomach.

Sin is so deceptive and yet so simple in its message. There are of course times of deception where I may truly not see that sin is the object of my desire, but most of the time temptation comes in a form that simply appeals to my most base desires. Temptation comes with the promise of sweetness on the tongue. I’m not diving headlong into sin because it tastes bitter in my mouth. If my initial response to the temptation of sin was pain or reviling then it would be a simple matter to reject the temptation and move on. But as it stands, that familiar and simple sin is sweet as honey in my mouth and I know it is sweet in my mouth. And that sweetness pulls at me.

Most of the time I understand that the sweetness is temporary and leads to a stomach full of bitterness. Bitterness of guilt, shame, fear, doubt, anger, and anxiety. All of these overwhelm me and wash over me as if I’m a small boat on the sea in the midst of a great storm. Which then fuels all these same emotions and magnifies them even more. It builds and it builds because once I allow myself to taste the sweetness offered I more readily accept the next and the next. Layer upon layer of sin building and building in my heart.

This is the battle for my heart and mind and soul. I become distracted by these temptations and lose focus. I see and remember the taste of sin from my past and it calls to me. I turn my eyes away from the path in front of me and drift. It’s a slow drift, but one that leads off the path. The path of Christ is difficult in a lot of ways because it leads me straight through my struggles. The path of Christ is not a lazy stroll through an idyllic fantasy land. The path Christ leads me and engages with me is at every area of conflict in my life. All of my emotions, all of my fears, all of my doubts, all of my joys, all of my feelings are fully engaged with Christ.

The purpose being that this path is designed to work out my faith with fear and trembling. This path teaches me to look beyond the initial taste of sweetness that sin offers and see the poison that lies within. This path helps me to better understand who I am as a child of God. A child that will surely make mistakes and get it wrong at times, but also a child that is maturing in his relationship with the Father. Learning more and more each day that the depth of the Father’s love for me is deeper still. His grace and mercy wash me and cover me. Each and every moment of each and every day. So I can better see the vileness of sin and the beauty of trusting Jesus.

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