Overcoming sin is something that has been on my mind the last couple of days. My two kids are teenagers now, my daughter is 16, right at the age where she will begin to make decisions more and more on her own. The greatest thing I want to teach them is how to be strong in Christ and learn how to walk in His ways, not based on what anyone says or teaches, but based on biblical principles and hearing from the Holy Spirit for themselves. This desire has gotten me to thinking about how I can teach them about sin.
Learning to overcome sin in a world full of it is a difficult thing, but it can be achieved by walking with Christ and learning from scripture. There are 3 things in scripture that are essential to overcoming sin, these are things that I know have worked in my own life and are very basic. Jesus says in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1. Know your enemy and know yourself- The enemy has as strategy to destroy your life, so you must have a strategy as well. Stepping over into sin most often starts with something small, but once it has gotten a hold of your heart, it is very difficult to break away. Learn your own weaknesses, ask God for help through prayer. Stay away from those little things that may drag you into a place you don’t want to be. Drug addictions, alcohol, pornography, adultery, disobedience, etc…all of these things start with one, small introduction before they grow into addictions. There is always that moment at the beginning of a mistake where you have a choice to say no and walk away or to dive in. We have a way of minimizing sin or justifying it to ourselves because we don’t want to say no… SAY NO!
In 1 Samuel, David made a big mistake, he looked at Bathsheba a little longer than he should have. If he had just turned away and went about his business, things might have been a little differently. Although God forgave him of his mistakes, the sin had been committed and there were severe consequences that came with his actions. He caused a man’s death, lost a child, his son tried to take his kingdom and eventually his kingdom did split. (2 Samuel 12)
When we have a taste of God, a real touch, then we become addicted…we want to seek out that feeling or that touch that we have experienced before. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. ” (Matt 13:44) When that desire is focused in the wrong direction, it still works the same and we look to the things of the world to fill that void.
My kids always say, “Well, it’s just….” or “It’s only….” For example: “Mom, it’s just a movie” or Mom,”It’s just a video game” I always want to reply, “OK, well it’s just a machete’ that I want to use to hack my arm off!” That is not a good way to convince me that it is o.k. Are you going to say, “Lord, just let me sin for 3 hours, then I will never do it again?” If you are trying to justify something to yourself, especially in the company of peers, then you need to stop and evaluate where you are and what you are getting ready to step into. Although it may not seem that huge at the time, you could be staring into the eyes of the one decision that could alter your path forever.*
I want to leave you with one long thought…
(VS 1) Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear (repeat)
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you hear.
(VS 2) Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see, (repeat)
VS 3) Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, (repeat),
(VS 4) Oh, be careful little hands, what you do (repeat)
(VS 5) Oh, be careful little feet where you go (repeat)
(VS 6) Oh, be careful little mind what you think (repeat)
(VS 7) Oh, be careful little heart what you love (repeat)
*note: I just want to add that God is a God of forgiveness, He always takes you right where you are and can wash you as white as snow. The point I am trying to make in this post is that our actions always have consequences that can effect the lives of everyone around us as well as those we have not even met yet. We are in the hands of Christ, but we still hold a measure of our joy within our own hands by the decisions we make.