Don’t Overcomplicate Your Life

Don’t Overcomplicate Your Life June 4, 2024

The Two Poles on the Line of Life Paintings and Photo by the Author
The Two Poles on the Line of Life Paintings and Photo by the Author

Don’t get me wrong, there are some things in this life that are very complex and hard to understand, but there are a lot of things that really aren’t. So today, please hear my plea. Don’t overcomplicate your life. 

Your Life Is a Line

One of the things that I think people really overcomplicate is the idea of sin and repentance. It’s not all that complicated. Sin is anything that God calls sin, and repentance is turning from it. To really get this, picture your life as a line. A long straight line with two poles. Oddly enough on those poles are polar opposites. 

On the Poles

On one end of the line is Jesus, on the other, Satan. Jesus is love incarnate. Satan is hatred personified. Jesus loves you with a love that no one and nothing can take away. Jesus loves you do much He died on the cross to save your from destruction. Satan’s sole mission in existence is to destroy that which God loves most, otherwise known as you and me. It would seem the choice between the two should be immensely easy. So why do we overcomplicate it?

The Devil Is Good At What He Does

I am loathe to give Satan any credit at all. He has done too many things to harm me and the people I love. He almost destroyed me, and the swath of his destruction in this world is wide, but there is one thing I must say about Him. Satan is good at what he does. He has this uncanny knack to find the area where we are each weakest and exploit it to our detriment. He loves to put the things that will trip us up before us and dangle them there until we fall. Don’t kid yourself into believing you are immune. Pride goeth before a fall (Proverbs 16:18)  and it’s called temptation because it’s tempting, so be self-controlled and alert.  

Nothing Will Overcomplicate Your Life Quite Like Sin

Let’s look at a simple example of this. Let’s consider a lie. So long as you remain confined to always speaking truth, your life remains somewhat uncomplicated. Oh, there are still trials and temptations, but if you only speak the truth, you never have to worry about being caught in a lie. Introduce a lie into the mix, though, and it all falls apart. Now all of a sudden you have to remember everything you said to everyone, and who you told what. Maintaining the lie usually requires more lies. “Oh what a tangled web we weave…” That’s just one elementary example, but I think it proves my point. Sin complicates life, so why do we keep falling for it? The answer is obvious. The devil is good as what he does.

Maybe We Need a Visual

Consider the image above. This is how I present it. I place two paintings at opposite ends of the room—one of Jesus, the other of Satan. Yes, I went for the traditional expression of Satan, red face, horns, etc. and oh, how I wish he really looked like that. If every time I faced temptation, if I saw the red guy with the horns, I might have the good sense to walk away, Unfortunately, the Word says he masquerades as an angel of light, (2 Corinthians 11:14) meaning his temptations end up looking good, and good for you, until it’s too late. It’s not really that complicated. Your life is a line with Jesus at one end and Satan at the other, and you and I are standing on that line, somewhere between the poles.

Dangling Temptations

As we stand on that line, the enemy, Satan, does his work. He ferrets out your weaknesses and does his best to exploit them. Money, power, fame, sex, whatever it takes, he will do his best (worst?) to get to you. It’s really not all that surprising. Everything he does is counterfeit. Jesus told His disciples, which includes us, that he would make us fishers of men and Satan is fishing, too. He dangles the most tempting “bait” he can and we take notice, right there as we stand on the line. Now is where the line illustration really comes into play. With Jesus and Satan on the poles, it becomes really easy to see. In order to turn toward Satan’s temptations, I need to turn my back on Jesus. Friends that’s exactly what sin is. 

Caught On the Line

Satan’s bait finds it’s mark, and I turn toward it. When I make that turn, I turn my back on the Lord and I run headlong to my own destruction. I took the bait and it’s only a matter of time. I’m nearly hooked when I hear a still small voice. “David, what are you doing? You know this isn’t going to end well. This is going to hurt you, This is going to destroy you. Don’t fall for it, Don’t take the bait. The temptation was cast by one who hates you and wants to destroy you. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have something better. I came that you might have life and have it to the full. (John 10:10) He hates you, but I love you. Don’t go that way, come back to me.” 

The Great Turn Around

I hear Him. Maybe at the last minute, but I hear Him. I feel the love in His voice, I slam on the brakes and turn around. I turn from the temptation, and I turn to Jesus. In order to do that, the rule of the line applies. To turn from temptation is to turn my back on the devil and turn back to Jesus. That turnaround is the very meaning of repentance. It’s not harsh or judgmental, it is the response to the love of God in Christ. It’s pretty simple. I was headed to destruction. Jesus helped me to see it and so I, with His help, turned around. 

God Is Good and Faithful

We can’t afford to overcomplicate this. I think we overcomplicate the idea of sin because we want to sin with abandon, but to sin with abandon is to find ourselves abandoned, not by God, but by the evil one that we, in our free will, turned toward. God is the Creator of all things. He knows what works in His world and what doesn’t. The things He calls sin are the things that will be detrimental to His beloved, to you and me. So the call to repentance is the call to turn around from destruction and to turn back to the One who knows us best and loves us most. It’s really not that complicated. God is good and faithful. 

Put It All On the Line

I know this article might seem simplistic, but it is really this simple. If our lives are a line, between the poles of Jesus and Satan, then repentance is our lifeline. If you find yourself headed in the wrong direction, and especially if you think things are falling apart, maybe it’s time to turn around, and turn back to Jesus. 

About Dave Weiss
Dave Weiss is a pastor and a traveling speaker. He has written and/or illustrated many self-published books and has his MDIV and DMIN, both with a concentration in Creative Arts Ministry. He is married to his wife Dawn and has two adult sons and a grandson named David. You can see more about his ministry at You can read more about the author here.

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