First of all, I would like to point out that we are all sinners. If anyone ever tries to tell you otherwise they are lying to you and themselves (1 John 1:8). Even though the spirit of God is doing a work within us to make us more like Christ, we still have to wrestle with this sin nature within us (Romans 7:14-16). However, it is one thing to struggle with sin and another to be mastered by it on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many of us become consumed by sin and the residual effects can be devastating. Many have simply just given up and accepted that they will always be a slave to a particular sin in their life. As a result marriages are crumbling, children are growing up in single parent homes, men in the church everywhere are addicted to pornography, and this is just scratching the surface. The truth is because of Christ, we do not have to be a slave to sin any longer and can have victory over it. How can we have victory over sin that consumes us? Scripture tells us to not just fight it, but put it to death (Colossians 3:5)! However, how are we to do that? Obviously a consistent prayer life and reading of God’s word is a start, but here are 3 practical ways we can seek to put our sin to death.
Recognize That Our Sin Ultimately Offends God
We must first acknowledge that our sin is offensive to a holy God and that it is ultimately against Him. Regardless of whether it is supposedly “not hurting anybody else” (which it always does) is besides the point. So often we try and justify our sin based on who it does and does not affect when the fact that it hurts God should be enough to deter us! Let’s pray and ask God to break our hearts from what breaks His and to give us the mind and heart of Christ so that what offends Him will offend us. This will set a precedent that will lead to us hating sin not only because it ALWAYS hurts us and others, but because it is against a holy God.
Recognize Sin For What It Is
We must recognize sin as sin and stop with the excuses. We as a human race are excuse ridden! We have an excuse for every shortcoming we face. In the past year or so I started getting up early so I could have that time with God and be more productive. For years I felt led to start doing this but my constant excuse was that I was not a morning person. I finally realized that I could allow this excuse to hinder me or I could grow up and do what I knew I needed to do to be successful. Now this is a part of my daily routine and I am so much more productive than before. I recognized my problem and instead of continuing to make excuses, I took action. It’s time that we stop dressing up sin and see it for what it is and take action against it. In Psalm 51, David called his sin what it was, confessed it to God, and blamed nobody for it but himself and that was when his healing began. Sin will ultimately ruin us and until that registers we will continue to be a slave to it.
Recognize We Can’t Do It Alone
This may be the hardest part for many of us. We are good at being fake while being around others especially in the church. Often the American mindset bleeds over into the church where we have a “do it on your own” kind of mentality. However, the truth is we all need each other in the body of Christ. For many of you reading, this may be the one thing that is hindering you in your walk with Jesus. Trying to fight sin on our own will leave us feeling frustrated and alone. Not only should we encourage each other in the body of Christ but we should even confess our sins to one another. Wait a minute Trey, where did you get that from? Well there is this little book called the bible. You should check it out, it’s a best seller!
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16
We should seek out certain people in our lives that are willing to hold us accountable. This should be someone we trust and is more spiritually mature in their walk. We need people like this in our lives who will ask us the tough questions and aren’t impressed with us but at the same time are willing to lovingly speak truth into our lives. This is hard because we are naturally prideful and do not want to admit weakness to others, however, this Biblical step is crucial if we desire to walk in holiness.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is my desire that we as believers all strive to walk closer to Jesus. Let’s stop being on the defensive when it comes to sin and go on the offensive. Not only is our families and the church at stake, but the glory of God is at stake!