Sunday, April 29, 2007

How to Avoid the Same Sin

Someone asked me a question the other day, "how do I avoid repeated sin?" I want to answer this in an addiction context. Most repeated sin is addition of one sort or another. It could just be a thinking disorder (I feel bad, therefore I need this sin), but more than likely it is a compulsion to perform an act that we think we cannot help.

So how do we avoid our addictions?

1. Recognize that giving in to this sin displays a sense that our needs are not being met.
This sense could be true, or might not be. But sin never fulfills our need-- it only covers it up and then we have a worse problem to deal with. But this doesn't mean that the need isn't real. We probably have a lack that we are not dealing with, but our bodies are re-directing us to another source that doesn't really meet the need. Our bodies are stupid, we should be smarter than them. So we should analyze ourselves-- what is wrong, what is lacking, how can we fulfill these needs in a godly way?

2. Recognize that giving in to this sin, we are allowing our sense of need be more important than God or others
To give in to repeated sin is simply one thing-- selfishness. Even though we are told how much our sin hurts others and our relationship with God, we do it anyway. This is the ultimate selfish act-- we are only focusing on ourselves instead of what we should be focusing on-- the God who loves us and gives us our very life and the people around us we are supposed to be serving.

3. Giving into the sin is a result of a thought disorder
Thinking that the sin will fulfill our needs is a disorder in our thinking that ultimately destroys us. How do we reform our mind? How can we transform our thinking, which we seem to have so little control over? There are many ways, but here's a few:
a. Read the word daily, especially the gospels and the psalms.
b. BEFORE you read the word, do some exercise. This "stirs up" your brain neurons, and allows new thinking to take place.
c. Meditate on your life and what God wants of you. Don't allow yourself to complain or have any selfish thoughts! Focus on God's plan and God's will. Journal it, if you can, so you can read it later.
d. Pray for God's deliverance and Spirit daily, without exception.
e. Throw yourself so much into God's plan for your life that you don't have room to think about your misery.

4. Remember at all times-- God didn't make us Christians in this age to have our needs met, but to suffer!
Jesus told us to rejoice in the suffering and persecution we experience for Him, because it is an indication of our salvation. We've got to stop the pity parties we allow ourselves to have and recognize that if our needs aren't being met by doing God's will, then we must be doing something RIGHT! The more we allow ourselves to sacrifice for the sake of others and our own humility, the more God will reward us in the end. So let's not look for the "quick out" of our troubles. Let's be glad we have the troubles we experience.

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