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Struggling With sin

Q. I struggle with a particular sin that seems to have a stronghold on me. I commit this particular sin because I like it. I know it is wrong but I do it anyway… because I like it.  After I commit this sin I feel guilty and remorseful. I repent and ask God to forgive me only to go right back and do it again. It’s as if there are two of me warring against each other. It has become a vicious cycle.  Sometimes it seems like I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m so frustrated!

A. First of all, stop beating yourself up. We all sin, and we all commit the same sins over and over. Even the mighty Paul had this problem. “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19)

The only hypocrites among us are those who deny they have problems similar to yours. For some it’s over eating, or drinking too much. Others can’t control their tempers, or their lusts, or their envy, or their pride. Still others have idols they can’t lay down, like their possessions, their bank accounts, or their leisure activities. If sin wasn’t pleasurable we’d have no trouble denying it.

The most important thing for all of us to remember is that this life isn’t about pleasing ourselves.  It’s about thanking God for saving us. We do it by adopting behavior that pleases Him.  One way to stop liking our sins so much is learning to like pleasing God more than we like pleasing ourselves.  That requires knowing more about what He saved us from as well as what He saved us into.  He saved us from having to pay the penalty for all the sins of our life.  And He saved us into a life of eternal happiness and joy with him. The more you know about what these two things really mean, the more motive you will have to please him.

But nobody on Earth is perfect, so when you sin, confess and receive your forgiveness (1 John 1:9).   For God, that’s the end of it and He forgets it ever happened. You should make it the same for you.   Focus on these things and pretty soon you’ll find you’re not sinning as much and you’ll be on your way to achieving the victory you desire.

 

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