For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. | Romans 6:14
Have you ever felt defeated in your struggle with sin? How often has a certain sin in your life brought you to a point of defeat and anger? The other day I was talking to a friend who was struggling with a sin that I often struggle with myself. As we were talking, I caught myself thinking, “Oh man, I definitely don’t have it as bad as she does!!” The Holy Spirit convicted me of this foolish thought! I was more focused on my “victory” over that specific sin, than the actual sin itself. The struggle against sin will always be there, but it’s how we choose to handle that struggle that is important. Are we willing to walk in obedience to God, or do we feel like we can handle it on our own and hope to get victory over the sin?
I was reading a book on living a holy life, and it occurred to me that I do not hate sin! My attitude towards sin was not God-centered – it was me-centered. I had not been concerned about how the sin I committed (no matter what it was) grieved my Father in heaven. Instead, I was more concerned in my own “victory” over the sin. As Christians we should hate sin just as God does!
For starters, we should hate sin because it grieves the Holy Spirit and separates us from God. When Adam and Eve first sinned, they feared God and tried to hide from Him. Their sin separated them from God. We must see sin as a horrible act against God. I noticed a change in how I approached certain struggles in my life once I viewed sin as a horrible offense towards the living God. In David’s acknowledgement of his sin, he said,
Against You, You only, have I sinned, and have done evil in Your sight… | Psalms 51:4a
When David sinned, he recognized that his offense was an offense against God. His sin against our Holy God not only hurt him, but it also hurt other people.
We must realize that our attitude towards sin is imperative in our walk with the Lord. If we are passive towards it and don’t consider it as an offensive act towards the One, True, Holy God, then we run the risk of falling into sinful temptations regularly. God wants obedience from His children as He calls us to live a holy life (1 Peter 1:16). As believers, we have a personal responsibility to walk in obedience and live lives that are pleasing to God. When we choose to sin, we are choosing to grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us (Ephesians 4:30).
Sin is more than just a personal defeat. It is a horrible offense against our Holy God. Having this change in attitude helped me realize that I must take responsibility for my own sin and walk in obedience to God’s Word. Struggling with sin can be difficult but we can be confident, as His children, that He will help us in our struggle (1 Corinthians 1:8).