Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him ? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? – Malachi 2:17
If someone came to you and said, “Hey, I am going to steal your wife and abuse your children,” would that be acceptable to you? My guess is no. Maybe it would be better if they lied to you or deprived you of food. No? Why? Because such things are clearly evil, sinful and unloving.
At various times in the history of ancient Israel, the Israelites waxed and waned in their devotion and obedience to God. I can relate, and I think you can too. Even those with a sincere desire to follow God mess up. In fact we mess up a lot. The danger lies in becoming complacent.
Without the grace or unmerited favor of God, even the most devoted disciple would yet be lost and dead in sins. We are left with no bragging rights before our holy and completely righteous Creator (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our salvation is His doing through Jesus Christ. His grace is sufficient. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer” (Romans 6:1-2).
Since the children of God, saved by His grace, are not to continue in sin, we cannot simply ignore sin in our own life or in society at large. Furthermore, we should be diligent to keep ourselves from unrighteousness in order to be prepared to call sin a sin. While I know that if God did not express love toward sinners through forgiveness and mercy, then He would not have expressed love to anyone on earth, I also know that He despises sin. It is destructive and deceitful, seducing us into pleasures that harm our hearts and souls and minds.
No amount of good deeds or donations or prayers or study will bring us closer to God without a clean heart. For this reason, David wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (Psalm 51:10-13). We must repent and humble ourselves before God on this side of heaven until all sins are passed away and death is swallowed up in victory.