The Emotional Effects of Sin

Mental illness is undoubtedly one of the major health problems of our society. It has been estimated that at least half of those persons in hospital beds are there partly because of their emotional problems. Dr. S. I. McMillen, author of “None of These Diseases,” has made the statement that “medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sickness. Estimates vary from sixty percent to nearly one hundred percent.”

What are some of the emotional effects of sin? First, sin separates a person from a being of absolute purity, God (Isaiah 59:1-2). No one can live a fulfilling life and enjoy true happiness as long as he is separated form his creator.

Second, sin saddens. The prodigal son was in a state of depression until he “came to himself” and was reunited with his father (Luke 15:1ff).

Third, sin scars. Even when a person knows he has been forgiven of his sin, he may continue to carry the burden of his sin. Long after his conversion, Paul still referred to himself as the “chief of sinners” (I Timothy 1:15).

Fourth, sin sours. Carrying the burden of sin can often cause a person to become negative and overly critical of others.

Fifth, sin sickens. Sin, along with its consequences and feelings of guilt, can produce heart problems, ulcers, and emotional difficulties.

Sixth, sin sears. When sin is left uncorrected it allows the heart to become hardened. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus concerning those persons who were “past feeling” (Ephesians 4:19).

Rod Halliburton

 This article was adapted from “The Bible and Mental Health,” by Wayne Jackson.

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