A professional baseball player was suspended from the team when the coach learned that he was addicted to cocaine. He told reporters that his drug abuse wasn’t his fault; he had the disease of chemical dependency.

This approach is understandable— even if it is inaccurate. Some people may indeed have a genetic predisposition to addiction, but we aren’t facing our problem if we won’t accept responsibility for the choices we’ve made. It’s easier to say, “I’m sick,” than it is to say, “I’m wrong.”

That’s the trouble. What may appear at first to be the easiest way out may eventually leave us in a worse condition. Unless we acknowledge that a problem may also be rooted in a sinful choice we’ve made, we will never enjoy the healing we can receive by being forgiven. On the other hand, if we are willing to admit that we did wrong—that we sinned—we can be forgiven by God and by others. By admitting that we have failed, we qualify for the spiritual deliverance that only God can give, and this is a vital part of our healing.

Let’s not hinder the healing process by seeing only the physical side of sin. We must also see the spiritual side. We shouldn’t be too easy on ourselves. If we don’t call sin “sin,” we’ll never experience God’s healing touch.