Recurring Sin

Posted on May 14, 2007 by

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I wrote this down on a different blog site, but i wrote it so i’m safe on the copyrightists right ish. 🙂

We all have at least one sin that seems to be the great struggle in our lives. As we grow as Christians it’s usually easy to identify because it stands in our way of getting closer to God. These sins can be a source of great discouragement, and even despair. How can I possibly be a strong Christian if I can’t even get past this one thing that I’ve been battling for so long?

There are a few reasons that are possibly the cause for such a long and drawn out battle. I can only draw from my own experience with my “great struggle” which I have been battling for years.

1. Relationship with God – One of my favorite questions is “How are you and God?” It has been a constant in my life that when I am not walking close to God the things that I struggle with are Bigger and I face them much more often. If you are struggling with a familiar sin ask yourself, “How is my relationship with God?”

2. Natural Tendencies – For some reason these recurring sins seem to come naturally. Something in us is completely comfortable walking right into these compromising situations and revel in going there often. Because these things are where our sinful nature naturally leads us we have to be wary of the small steps that make sin an easy act. Here is an illustration that is actually the inspiration for addressing the issue of recurring sin.

In my parents home we have two dogs, P.J. and Sophie. Sophie is older and a bit larger. Frankly, Sophie likes to eat, and if P.J. doesn’t eat his food right away Sophie will waltz right in and gladly relieve him of it. Because they both need to eat we have made it quite clear to Sophie that she is only to eat out of her own dish. But when P.J. doesn’t feel like eating right away Sophie still feels like she can step in and eat for him. Today I could see her struggling with whether or not to eat his food. She started by looking longingly at his dish, then she started sniffing things that would lead her right to an extra meal. She went from a heating register to a wall to another register and ended up standing right next his food. I called her away before she gulped down something that wasn’t hers.

The point of this illustration is that even when we know that where we will end up is wrong we, consciously or unconsciously, do little things that lead us right to what our sinful heart wants. A difficult task but one worth doing is to think long and hard and identify the “little” things that make sinning such an appealing event. This same illustration leads me to my last point.

3. Accountability – Sophie didn’t eat P.J.’s food because I saw her struggling and called her away. One of the best ways to fight a winning battle is to have someone there to back you up. This being said there are a few things that I have experienced in my life that might be helpful. In my struggles I have, at times, looked and actively searched out accountability partners. But time and again that part of the relationship has slipped away and I found myself once again on my own. When finding an accountability partner make sure it is someone you can depend on, and someone who won’t pull any punches. In my experience it is best to find someone that you interact with personally, face to face, on a regular basis. Long distance relationships of any kind are hard and require a lot of work, and if the relationship you are maintaining is one that will convict of the sin in your life it is very easy to neglect it without even realizing it. Also consider finding someone who is stronger in the area you struggle with, because if you both struggle in the same area it can become a

“I fell this week. “

“So did I”

“So we’re even”

“Right, ok, you want some coffee?”

Since we all struggle with something and since we all want a flourishing relationship with God we need to address these issues. One final thing, because these sins are engrained in who we are as fallen people we need God’s help in fighting these sins. We are prone to try and fight alone, sometimes under the pretence that we will do this alone for God. But if you think about the fact that we can’t even take a breath without God giving it to us, why should we try to fight a sin that is keeping us from God when his desire for us is to be in an intimate relationship with him and for us to bring glory to His name.

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Posted in: Theology