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.