Sin’s Bad-to-Worse Exchange (Lent 4-2013)

I must have lived under a rock in 1990.  Not until I started working on today’s devotional did I realize The Monty Hall Problem was ever such a national fixation.  The question was loosely based upon Monty Hall’s program “Let’s Make a Deal” and explored the odds of picking correctly among three doors of which only one was a winner. 

The problem was popularized in the Ask Marilyn column of Parade magazine in 1990 and generated more response mail than just about any other column.  The answer given by high-IQ-famed Marilyn vos Savant (i.e. switch doors if given a choice) appeared incorrect but was demonstrably true.  Even so, nearly 10,000 readers –PhD mathematicians and average readers alike—wrote to scold her for being wrong and vehemently asserted that one should never switch doors from one’s original choice.

Interesting isn’t it: things can be proven true, yet people will still exchange the truth readily for a lie?  Worse, in the “Let’s Make a Deal” of life, people still choose the bad deal (door number three) knowing that it’s already been revealed to be wrong!  This is the type of bad-to-worse exchange referred to in today’s passage.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them…so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-19, 20b)

God reveals His wrath against sin.  It’s like He’s opened door number three and plainly shown us the truth: choosing sin will always be a losing proposition. Yet many people will refuse to turn from their choice to sin.

Each of us is without excuse and will eventually be stuck with the door we choose.  Will you stay with sin’s Bad-to-Worse Exchange or will you switch and choose the way of Christ that leads to life?

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Give it up for Lent: Making Excuses for Embracing Known Sin

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For further study, read Romans 1:18-32 to see the full extent of sin’s Bad-to-Worse Exchange.

Questions to think about:

  1. What sin is at the root of our refusing to change our ways?  What does it mean to be without excuse?
  2. To live a lie, we suppress what we know to be true.  Find the ways our passage (Romans 1:18-32) reflects that idea.
  3. How does God decide what is a sin?  I have written an article on sin that you can read today.
  4. When Scripture says that God “gave them over” it’s referring to God’s intentional releasing of people to the full natural consequences of their chosen actions.  Are there any natural consequences you’re presently facing that might be warning flags to return to God and seek His truth?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 16, 2013

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