Nobody wants to talk about it, unless it’s someone else’s sin. But that would be gossip, right? And gossip is a sin. I’m not saying we don’t address sin and there is a way to do that, but that’s not what this blog post is about.
I want to encourage you (and myself) to avoid sin, to take the steps necessary to not go to where you will stumble. We’re all weak and we all sin and we all need help.
Christ didn’t die for us to continue in our sins or to pick up new ones. Also, the excuse, “I was made this way”, isn’t an excuse if you are a NEW creation, a born-again believing Christian. So, how do you avoid it?
Jesus says while speaking to His disciples in Mark 13:37, “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’” And in Luke 21:34a we read, “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation…”
We need to think about when your sin has taken advantage to exert itself in the past, and watch carefully at these times.
We need to watch and be prepared for every time sin rears its ugly head (sin always corrupts). David says in Psalm 18 that he kept himself from guilt (v. 23). That means he watched ALL the ways and working of his sin and then watched and worked to prevent and to rise up against his sin. In Haggai, we are told, “Consider your ways” (1:5).
What causes you to sin? The company you keep? Music? Books? TV? Movies? Internet? Donuts? Expensive coffee? Gossip, that need to know? The list could go on and on.
You may not be aware of what trips you up to sin. Start watching and start listening to the Holy Spirit. When you sin, what happened? What led up to it? What were you doing, watching, or listening to? Where were you? Who was around?
We’re quick to avoid certain foods if we’re on a diet. We start to take better care of our physical needs if we’re sick or want to lose weight or look better. Isn’t our soul equally important? Shouldn’t it be more important?
Avoid temptation. Plain and simple. If we should dare to entertain sin, to even think of it, we will desire that very sin.
Psalm 1 is one of my favorites of all Psalms. It’s probably one of my favorite ones to teach too. It is the gateway Psalm to the Book of Psalms. You can choose the way of the righteous or the way of the wicked. The Book of Psalms is filled with Psalm after Psalm of failing, of sinning, and of repentance and forgiveness, and of righteousness.
The wicked don’t just jump in with both feet and say, “give me what you got, I’m ready to live in my filth and debauchery.” No, Psalm 1:1 shows us that sin eats away at us, at our souls, little by little. It grabs our attention, it entices us and shows how “good” it can be. Look at what Psalm 1, verse 1 has to say:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!”
Look at the progression – You are walking where you shouldn’t be, then you stop to listen, then before you know it, you’re sitting taking in everything sin has to say. And if you’re sitting in the midst of it, you’re a part of it, participating in it.
How do we avoid it? How do we have the victory that Christ wants us to have? Look at Psalm 1, verse 2-3:
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
This is work. It’s not a quick little devotional and out the door you go. It’s spending time in prayer and time in the Word. Meditation is not quick, it takes effort. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them [the Words of God] diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
The effort is so worth it. You’re spending time with our precious Savior. You walk with Jesus, not in the counsel of the wicked. The world wants to see you and I fail. Jesus says He’s already gone before us and won.
Again, Deuteronomy 6:7 reminds us that this is constant and it’s also satisfying. You’ll flourish and grow and become stronger. You’ll be stronger in your resolve, you’ll be stronger in AVOIDING the very temptation that entangles you.
This is more than just a morning or evening time in the word. It’s hour by hour or minute by minute. You have to be willing to do the work to crucify the sin raging war with you. We are in a battle!
True happiness comes from a Christ centered life. Sin leaves you empty and wanting more. Sin leaves you with regrets and misery. Jesus keeps every one of His promises. Sin lies and never keeps a single promise.
Pray. Seek God. Ask Him to show you where and how and what to avoid. Don’t even allow the temptation into your life. The price of sin is not worth it, but He is worth everything!
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation”