Three Reasons We Hold Tight to Sin

This Sunday, Pastor Joe shared about the importance of going to war with our sin.

In his message he equipped us with meaningful strategies for battle and brought it all home with a powerful analogy none will soon forget. 

This message got me thinking this week; if we know what God wants and what we need to do, why is it still so hard? Why do we hold tight to our sin, unable or unwilling to call it what it is?

Three ideas came to mind:

Sometimes sin seems to work.

There was a time when everyone smoked everywhere, all the time. Smoking looked cool and the nicotine high felt great. But then we realized it was actually killing us in a thousand different ways. 

Some sins are like cigarettes... they feel great and even look great at first. Maybe our manipulative attitude is getting us the control we want in our family, maybe our over-investment in a political party is helping us feel safer in uncertain times, maybe our gossip habit is keeping life interesting, maybe obsessive attention to our physical appearance is getting us accolades, maybe our preoccupation with material possessions is getting us the status we’re desperate to maintain. 

Sometimes “cigarette sins” are a sign that we have a greater problem with the sin of idolatry (believing something else is ultimate other than God). Search your heart, do you believe the lie that something other than God is more satisfying?

Sometimes sin becomes a trophy.

We treasure ourselves and our “unique personalities” like no other generation in history. Many of us pride ourselves on labels like “the loud one,” “the chill one,” “the one who always speaks their mind,” “the peacekeeper,” “the neat freak,” or “the funny one.” 

We may joke about these various identities but many of us really treasure parts of our personality because we really value the identity it gives us. The truth is, if you’re a Christian your personality is good for one thing… kindling. It’s something to offer up to God as a burning sacrifice because he has already given us our truest identity in Himself. 

Through his spirit, those once impatient can be patient, the overly-frugal are now generous, the chronic worriers are now peaceful. Remember, your sin isn’t making you look as good as you think it is. You may be proud of it, but God isn’t impressed.

Sometimes sin feels safer than trust.

There are some sins that are so well practiced and finely tuned they actually feel normal to us.  But when we take a moment to be still, we know we need to let them go in order to embrace God’s glory and our greatest good. 

A voice inside might protest, “If I let go of this sin… well, then what?” Much like leaving an addiction, sometimes it is an act of courage to step away from sin we’ve indulged for so long and reach for the arms of our Savior. It can feel like a trust fall of sorts. A better question to ask is, “If I keep living against God’s design for me, then what?”

I once heard that humanity’s biggest problem is that we don’t hate our own sin as much as it hates us. If demise, destruction, and separation from God are words you can find on sin’s “to do” list for your life, it’s time to get honest, and go to war. Turn away from habits, attitudes and actions that have kept you ensnared for too long and turn to God, trusting him to meet your every need along the way.

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