Have you been confronted with sin lately? If so, what was your response?
Recently I was approached about an area of my life that needed refining. I like to think of myself as a gracious, humble person with a teachable heart… but the moment I was confronted I immediately started to think through all the reasons why this particular sin was justifiable.
You see, because I ask the Lord to reveal sin in my life and take it seriously for myself, my first thought was that the friend who pointed it out in my life was being judgmental.
The godly reaction to sin is to recognize it from Scripture. How do we know what is right and wrong or that feelings are not a solid basis for determining right and wrong? Many Christians pray and feel peace about things that the Bible strongly forbids.
But they often act on feelings,
rather than on God’s Word.
When we shift the blame on other people or situations, we forget a few things:
We are in control of ourselves.
No one ever forces me to do the wrong thing. We are always given the choice of how to respond and act in every situation. When I’m holding a grudge or judging someone, I’m choosing to. Jesus encountered plenty of situations in which He could have sinned, yet never did. The fruit of the Spirit includes self-control. If you have room for growth in this area, spend time with the Lord and work through it!
Jesus died so we can be free – not just from the consequences of sin, but from the power of sin in our lives as well.
We are new creations.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that after we trust in Jesus, we are “…a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” Read that again. A new creation! We are no longer enslaved to the patterns of our families or culture. Given the fact that we were all raised by imperfect people, it’s safe to say we’ve probably picked up some bad habits along the way. But through prayer, and the Holy Spirit, we can become aware of those areas and fight against them.
We do not have to be victims of our circumstances.
We have been given everything we need for godliness.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us… | 2 Peter 1:3
Simply by knowing Christ personally, we are given everything we need for godliness. I find myself often praying for the Lord to give me patience and then I just wait around to feel the patience. In reality, I already have access to it! We won’t always feel like obeying or doing what we know we ought to do, but through Christ, we have the ability to always obey.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. | 2 Corinthians 9:8
Seeing our sin and flesh can be discouraging until the Lord reminds us that His love for us is not contingent on our obedience and that Jesus’ power is made perfect in our weakness.
When we are weak in an area, we have an opportunity to lean on Christ’s power!
Do not be discouraged. The Lord’s love is unconditional, Christ’s power is made perfect in our weakness, and the Lord will never give up on our sanctification. He promises to work on us until Christ comes and we are complete.