A Christian’s Guide to Dealing with Sin
We live in a harsh world, a world that is full of temptation and heartache. God changed my life, but I don’t always live it. It’d be great to say that I have been able to put away the things of the world completely, but the truth is that none of us will be able to say this until the final amen resounds from this earth. We will continue to be tempted until we are delivered from this world. We may not be able to avoid all sin, but we can fortify ourselves against it.
First, confess your sin and give it to God.
Often times when we are struggling with sin, we want to hold onto our sins (either consciously or subconsciously). We sometimes don’t even want to admit what our sin is. Sometimes it takes some soul searching and some confession in order to get to the root of our problems. Confession isn’t a simple prayer. Confession is naming your sin in prayer to God and being specific. It is saying “God forgive me because I did X, Y, and Z which is against Your will for my life.” Confession is digging deep and telling Him all of the things that no one else knows about your sin. This helps you to nail down the problem and it tells God your specific sin. It shows Him that you are willing to open up and be vulnerable before Him. It’s hard to be vulnerable with people; however, we should be able to show ourselves to God. After all, He already knows. Confessing your sins before God helps you to come to grips with your sin. It is cleansing. It definitely hurts, but you feel better afterwards. In fact, confession is the beginning of healing. Remember that I John 1:9 says,
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Confession is the first step in dealing with sin, and God will reward it.
When you are tempted, always seek wise counsel.
When Jesus was praying in the garden He told His disciples to “watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Prayer is simply seeking the counsel of God. But, we don’t always know what God is telling us. It is at these times that we need to seek the counsel of others. Remember, God can speak to us through others. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that,
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Notice that we have to seek those like ourselves (other Christians) to stay sharp. Aluminum won’t sharpen iron. Copper won’t sharpen iron. Only iron sharpens iron. There is nothing wrong with talking to non-Christian friends, but they won’t always hold the same values that you do. Because of this, seek the counsel of another Christian when dealing with sin.
Another way to deal with sin is meditation.
There are two parts of meditation. The first is to meditate on the Bible. The second way is to simply relax and listen while thinking about the problem. Both are beneficial. Psalm 1 tells us that a person who meditates on the law of the Lord is blessed. It also tells us that it can lead us to the way of righteousness. Meditating isn’t an outdated way of thought. Meditation is calming the body and focusing our minds. The world pulls us in so many directions that we rarely give anything 100% of our minds. Meditation seeks to put all of our focus on God and His Word. Sometimes this is what we need to help us solve the problem.
One of the best ways to deal with temptation is to simply avoid it.
The story of Joseph shows us that Joseph ran from temptation when Potiphar’s wife called to him. In modern times we see that one of the most successful programs for addiction, Alcoholic’s Anonymous, is centered around avoiding the temptation. Sometimes we have to choose to avoid situations that will tempt us. This might mean avoiding certain activities or specific locations. It might mean giving up a hobby. It is worth giving these things up to live a holy life. Christ gave up His life for us. I don’t think He’s asking too much for us to give up something in return.
Keep in mind that we can’t avoid all temptation, all the time. This is simply one of the options that we have to deal with our sins. For example, I can’t avoid food if my sin is gluttony. I can’t avoid going to the store to buy groceries if my sin is overindulgence and materialism. I can, however, move my computer into the living room if my sin is pornography. I can avoid going to the clubs if my sin is brawling or lusting after the men there. So there are things that we can do to help avoid temptation.
Finally, consider a fast.
Fasting does two things for you. Firstly, fasting helps us focus on God. A fast removes the distraction of food. Think about how many times a day we eat. Think about how much time it takes to prepare a meal/snack, eat it, then clean up. We don’t realize it, but it takes so much time out of our day. Fasting gives us time to focus on God. It also helps us to rely on God. It’s not easy to not eat. A fast requires dedication and prayer. It requires relying on God in order to avoid eating for the day. It also shows our dedication to God. Fasting is a great way to experience God in a different way. It is amazing to spend the day in prayer rather than at meals. Additionally, fasting will reveal how we can really can give up things that we think that we need. It will help us realize that we can let go of whatever sin you are holding onto.
When you are struggling to cope with sin, no matter what, don’t give up. Even if you do not defeat your sin this time around, don’t give up. God won’t give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself. You won’t be perfect until you reach Glory, but you will be a new creation. You will be redeemed. You will be forgiven. You will be a child of God.
What are some effective ways you’ve found to deal with sin? Share them below!
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