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When You Don’t Have A Problem With It


By: Kristen L. McNulty

This devotion first aired on the MAD Christian Radio Show


Recently one of my nephews asked me, “Auntie what’s worse? Not knowing about God and not believing, or knowing about God and not believing?” While thinking about this pretty profound question that came out of the mouth of an eight year old, I then started thinking and thought of a situation that is even worse: believing in God but not obeying Him.

Sadly there are many people who are quick to say they are a Christian and they believe in God wholeheartedly, but when you look at their lives, their actions don’t match up. Now I get it, we are all capable of messing up, of sinning. I sin on a regular basis, as I’m sure you do too. What I’m talking about is not believers who stumble, go to God and others and confess, and then do better the next time. I’m talking about people who know what the Bible teaches, but live a lifestyle in contrast to it and seemingly don’t have a problem with it or make any attempt to change. 


This takes on many forms, such as:

The guy or girl who knows the Bible clearly teaches against premarital sex, but it doesn’t stop them from sleeping with their boyfriend or girlfriend and they don’t have a problem with it.

Or the man who greets everyone with a smile on a Sunday morning when the church is watching, but behind closed doors treats his family poorly with sinful outbursts of anger and hostility, but doesn’t have a problem with it or even attempt to offer an apology and genuine repentance.

Or the church member who is upset with their church leadership and leaves, but doesn’t leave well and instead slanders and gossips about the church to anyone who will listen and ignores the instructions in the Bible against gossip and slander (see Romans 1:29 and James 4:11).

Or the business owner who knows Jesus clearly teaches us to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar (Matthew 22:21), but cheats on their tax returns year after year and doesn’t see an issue with it.

Or the child whose parents are getting older and while they know the Bible says we have a responsibility to care for our relatives (Matthew 15:3-9), they ignore meeting the needs of theirs and don’t see a problem with it.

And maybe that’s what differentiates those who obey God and those who don’t: they both can sin at times, but the one who lives a lifestyle of disobedience to God doesn’t have a problem with their sin or seek to repent and change.


The book of James in the Bible teaches us this is not the kind of Christianity we are supposed to be living out, as we are instructed in chapter 1:

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (James 1:22-25)

As Christians we have a responsibility to not just know what the Bible says, but to actually do what it says. And if we don’t, we are fooling ourselves if we think God is okay with that. Over and over in scripture we are called to not just believe, but repent (Mark 1:15). And let’s not forget that Jesus clashed the most with the teachers of religious laws, who knew the law inside and out but didn’t live it out. Like Jesus said to them in Matthew 23:

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs-beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27-28)

Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. Can the same be said of me? Can the same be said of you? If the answer to that question is yes and this is hitting home with you, then I’m pleading with you to make a change. Here and now, ask God to forgive you and He will and then study His Word and do whatever you can to not just know it, but obey it. 


Closing with what I find to be one of the most sobering verses in scripture because it clearly shows us that we can be in church and in ministry, yet be so far off the mark. There would be no bigger tragedy than to one day hear these same verses said of you or me. So let’s listen carefully to what God says and then obey it.

Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)