Feeling numb can be either a good thing or a bad thing. For example, when I go to the dentist and he is about to drill on my tooth, then I want the nerve to that tooth to be numb. But if I wake up in the morning and my left arm is so numb that I have no use of it, then I am concerned about it.
Likewise, when I am numb, or indifferent, to the sins in the world around me, then that is a bad thing. “… Righteous Lot, … was oppressed by the ﬁlthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)” (2 Peter 2:7-8). Perhaps it is true that Lot made a bad choice spiritually when he chose the fertile plain of the Jordan for his family and cattle (Genesis 13:10-11), but he never grew accustomed to the wickedness of the society in which he lived! God praised him for his righteous indignation at the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah! Lot never became numb to sin!
The moral degradation of television today stands in stark contrast to the kind of shows I grew up watching. Today’s sitcoms blatantly advertise fornication, adultery, homosexuality, cursing, etc. as that which is commonplace and accepted. Christians can get caught up in a sitcom, especially a comedy, and ﬁnd themselves laughing at the things they should ﬁnd abhorrent. It is easy to become numb to the sin of the world, and that is a bad thing.
Interestingly, the word “numb” does not appear in the Bible anywhere, but insensitivity to sin is warned against repeatedly! Paul referred to it as a kind of spiritual sleep (Romans 13:11). Sexual sins and strong drink take away the heart (Hosea 4:11, KJV). Jesus admonished: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the ﬂesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
The apostle Paul warned the brethren at Corinth of this moral numbness: “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34).
Things will not always continue as they do now! “For as in the days before the ﬂood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the ﬂood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:38– 39). One day all the spiritual, moral numbness will become an acute pain that consumes one’s whole being! Christians cannot afford to get caught up in the sins of the world because they will then wind up being consumed in ﬁre with the world (2 Peter 3:10-13)!
What should the faithful Christian do? The apostle Paul answered that question clearly: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:11–17).
Let the “light” of God’s Word inform your mind, alarm your conscience, cause mental consternation at the sins of the world, and expose sin for what it is — moral, spiritual cancer which leads to certain death! Watch your step, and avoid sin like the plague (James 1:15)! Brethren, have you become numb to sin?
By Wayne Goff