"Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you."
It Only Hurts Me
We never sin alone. A study of 8,415 adults revealed that those exposed to secondhand smoke experienced a 10 percent increase in the thickening of their carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain. Thickening of the carotid arteries is a major cause of strokes. Other statistics indicate that drug and alcohol abuse is costing businesses more than $60 billion a year in absenteeism, workplace accidents, higher insurance costs, waste and low productivity. This cost is passed on to consumers in the prices of goods and services.
Achan may have thought that his sin affected only him. Yet when Joshua went before the Lord to find out why his army had been defeated at Ai, God said, "Israel sinned." Achan's sin caused grief to Joshua (vv. 6-7), to the families of the 36 men struck down at Ai (v. 5) and especially to his own family (vv. 24-25). Achan's sin not only hurt him, but everyone around him.
People still excuse their sin by saying, "It doesn't hurt anyone but me." But the facts prove otherwise. Sin hurts everybody either directly or indirectly. A study claimed that a New York City subway token, which costs $1.25, would cost only $1.19 if no one evaded fares. The cost of a property-casualty policy costs $600, but if no one committed fraud, it would be $540. A spreadsheet software package costs $495, but if no one pirated programs, it would only be $322.
The next time Satan encourages you to sin, just remember that you won't be the only one who gets hurt. Sin hurts all of us.
Satan is the only one who comes out ahead when we sin.