Sin can be a touchy subject. Confronting sin is inconvenient because it’s much easier to make excuses or ignore it. Calling out sin makes us uncomfortable, but if we don’t confront it, we accept it.
I was in the grocery store the other day when the holiday candy had just been marked down to 50% off! I grabbed several bags because who can pass up half price chocolate? The packages were so colorful, and the candy looked tasty in my shopping cart. As much as I love candy, I didn’t need it. And honestly, I experienced buyer’s remorse later that day because I’ve been trying to take better care of my temple. It’s hard to have willpower when it comes to chocolate.
Sin can be like that too. Sin’s packaging is often colorful and attractive. Sin beckons us to taste and enjoy. Just like the discount candy, sin says, “I won’t cost much.” Unfortunately, the cost of sin can be high, and it’s payment will come due whether we’re able to pay or not.
If sin was hideous, we wouldn’t struggle to avoid it. We would easily turn and walk away from temptation. However, Satan knows exactly how to draw us in to his trap. We must stay on guard and avoid areas of weakness. We can’t fight sin with our own power. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit on our side.
Matthew 26:41 warns us to be cautious. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
So what can we do to fight sin’s temptation? Here are three steps to arm you in the battle.
1) Pray for Strength and Change
Christ already defeated sin through his resurrection. As Christians, we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to fight the temptation of sin. Sin’s power over us can be strong, but God is so much stronger! Pray for victories over sin in your life and be encouraged as you grow in the Holy Spirit.
2) Pour Truth Over Your Life
The Bible is like a shield to reflect the lies of the world, but only if you read it. If you aren’t familiar with Truth, how will you know when you encounter lies? Look up verses that deal directly with your specific sin struggles. Try posting the verses on your bathroom mirror, your dashboard, or some other prominent place. Memorize verses in order to combat temptation’s attacks. Recall the verses when you are feeling tempted.
3) Set Up Strict Boundaries or Avoid the Sin Altogether
It’s no secret to me that I shouldn’t overindulge in candy. I should have recognized my trigger and turned my shopping cart around. When temptation arises, we must already have a plan in place. It sounds so obvious, but do whatever it takes to avoid the area of sin altogether. Delete apps, stop going to those places, end relationships…make the hard choices! If it’s impossible to avoid completely (i.e. a co-worker who entices you to gossip), have boundaries set up, so it doesn’t catch you off guard.
Keep in mind avoiding sin is not about being good enough for God to accept you and love you. He loves you no matter what, and nothing we do will ever be good enough to save ourselves. That’s why Jesus paid our debt on the cross.
Avoiding sin is about following God’s best plan for your life and being a witness to the power of Christ. When we avoid sin, others see the difference Christ has made in our lives and the power of the Holy Spirit at work.