Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Avoiding Sin

In Romans 7, Paul writes in a painfully honest voice about his own struggle with sin. He says, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." He accurately describes the struggle we all face-the sinful things we want to stop doing, but just can't seem to stay away from.

The question we have to ask is whether we actually want to avoid sin. It can't just be about regret for poor decisions because that doesn't bring lasting change. Sometimes we even use excuses to defend our choices and make ourselves feel better: 
  • It's not that bad. 
  • At least I'm not doing what they're doing.   
  • I deserve this. 
  • I can't help it, it's just the way I am. 
  • I'm not hurting anyone so it's fine. 
  • As long as no one else finds out it's okay. 
When we lean on these excuses we are revealing that we don't hate sin enough to try something different. Honestly, we can't make permanent change solely through personal willpower anyway. We have to have the burning desire to stop destructive habits and start life-giving ones and pair it with humility that allows God to be the fuel that carries us through. We have to want to eliminate the sin in our lives and not just the consequences to gain godly power over our choices. 

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