the road to sin is often wrapped in virtue

Sin isn't always easy to see. Like the Bible says, some are easy to spot, and some will be revealed later. For me, the Lord has slowly revealed that my sin is almost always wrapped in what looks like virtue.

** what it appears to me: I love shopping, it's a way to relax. I love putting new outfits together, or finding the perfect item
** what it really might be: greed, covetousness, the need for happiness outside of Christ, addiction to the adrenaline of finding something new and having the best or newest things

Body Size
** what it appears to me: I want to be x size or y weight because it is a good stewardship of my health, I don't want to indulgent, I want to be self-disciplined
** what it really might be: jealousy, selfish ambition, the desire to be desirable by the standards of the world, comparison to former days or others

Clothing Choices
** what it appears to me: this outfit is really cute, this is the style right now, I just want to look nice and presentable, and not out of date or terribly untrendy
**what it really might be: immodest, revealing, a showy outward display of my selfish inner indulgence and unbeknownst revealing of my true foolish desires- to be approved of by man more than God

And believe me, I could go on and on with lists of ways I can blind myself to sin by wrapping it in virtue.

Can these things sometimes be beneficial and necessary and approved? I'm sure, but as Matt Chandler says for me they can become ultimate. I'm not doing them to please Christ- in my heart I covet, I crave, I long for things outside of Him to please me. This is where my sin can be so deceptive. It can look shiny and good and virtuous, but in the end it's all filthy rags and I'm a whitewashed tomb.

This is why I need Jesus so desperately to change the desires of my heart. Through His Holy Spirit, given to me through faith in Him, I can see my sinful heart for what it is, and be made new. I'm a sinner {beyond words}, and I will never be able to overcome my sin without the hand of the Lord God Almighty.

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. 
Psalm 25:11

Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:9-10