Overcoming Habitual Sins

Just how do we overcome the sin that so easily besets us as Christians? To a certain degree just knowing how sin works is a preventive step in defending yourself against it. When you know you’re getting that tingle or sensation of temptation, don’t entertain the thought. This is really the mind justifying it and giving it room to grow as so to play it out into the sin it wants to become. It is not enough to just resist but to also look to Christ. Psalm 119:11 states that David has hidden God’s work in his heart that he might not sin against God. It’s not that Scripture memorization magically cancels out temptations, but when we are tempted, having something of God to turn our minds to is extremely helpful. Reflect on the doctrines of God or read the word of God to recall that He is right there in the room with you looking to help you. Repent (turn away) from the temptations that creep into our hearts and minds and think upon things above which Philippians 4:8 tells us, “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” We cannot trust that we will simply not commit the sin again if we just give it time. “We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or the guilt of sin” – C.S. Lewis. It also does nothing to prevent us from committing it again.

One step that many Christians do not consider is to pray or fast over the sins that plague us. Not just for our own sins, but maybe as they are shared with others (within a safe context) praying and fasting with and for others about certain sins can help tremendously. Prayer seems to be a thing of last resort or more likely the thing we do after having committed the sin usually pleading that we will not do it again, and to please cover it from anyone we might know, especially someone from church. Prayer should always be the first thing on the mind of Christians when facing temptation. We turn to God with others issues of life and problems; we look to God in prayer for the conversion of lost loved ones, why would we not look to Him to request His aid in overcoming those things that are against His character and offensive to Him in the first place? I would think we would recognize that one, who gave His only Son as the atonement for our sins, would be very willing to aid us in overcoming our personal sins that remain.

One final point in trying to look at practical ways to fight the good fight against sin and temptation is to flee it when possible. Now it’s not always possible to up and leave from a situation in which a temptation presents itself. You cannot always up and leave a board meeting just because you have a tempting thought about a person in there. But if sexual temptation is an issue for some they should avoid staring, or allowing the thoughts to go unchecked and so forth. These all sound like simple and somewhat easy things to do, but really most never even consider doing any of them on a regular basis. All who know the battle also know that this is not a fool proof methodology to prevent all sin. The struggle is real and very strong as Romans 7 indicates. It will only end at the return of Christ or upon pain of death, but even still we welcome the coming of that day when we will not know sin in the way we know it in thought, word and deed now.

Overcoming Habitual Sins.

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One response to “Overcoming Habitual Sins

  1. Amen! The Lord Jesus successfully resisted the temptation I face, and suffered the consequence for my lack of resistance. As I meditate on how he endured, I am strengthened to endure myself. Would that I always took the time to so keep my mind on things above!

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