Does your sin bother you?

Does your sin bother you?

Does your sin bother you? I think it is very easy to get into sinful habits and not be all that concerned about it. After all, we might reason, Jesus has forgiven all of my sins. I don’t need to worry that my sin will separate me from God if I trust in Jesus! Yes, I am a sinner, but in the big scheme of things my sins are not all that bad.

Or perhaps we compare our sins to those of other people. It is easy to spot people whose blatantly sinful lifestyle seems so much worse that our shortcomings. And many of our sins are very common ones, such as lying, greed, or watching inappropriate things that feed our lust and idolatry. Everyone does these things. So that means what I am doing is not so bad. Right?

Well, no. It’s wrong. Sin is always terrible. We see this in Jesus’ tears over the consequences of sin coming on Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-42. We see this in where our sin led: the death of the Son of God on our behalf. Sin leads to death. Offences against a perfect God lead, rightly, to an infinite penalty.

This means that we should never get used to our sin or explain it away. In fact, Jesus told his disciples to pray to resist temptation and be delivered from evil. Dealing with sin should be a major component of our prayers and a major concern in our lives. The Puritans called this mortification: putting sin to death. We need to confess our sins, pray for help, and do whatever is required to deal with our sin and work on our purity.

Where can we start, if this is something we haven’t been working on? Think of one thing in your life that you know doesn’t honour God. Maybe it is something you are doing that you shouldn’t be, like gossiping or straying to watch pornography. Maybe it is something you should be doing that you are not, like failing to pray regularly or failing to love your neighbour. With that one thing, pray about it. Regularly. Confess specifically when you fall down and ask for help. And take some practical steps to fix it. Talk to a friend about it and ask them to keep you accountable and ask you how you’re going. Change your habits that lead to sin and replace them with something better. Stick with working on the one thing for a few months, then assess how you’re going. If you feel you are on top of that one thing, work on something else. Don’t try too much at once, but slowly work on things the Spirit convicts you of.

We should always be working on our sin and pursuing holiness. Yes, we are forgiven, so our sin need not overwhelm us. Maybe thinking of this like a child growing up will help. As a child in a loving family grows up, they will be growing in maturity and not just physically. The longer they live, the more they will be expected to grow in maturity. Once they were satisfied with sucking their thumb; now, they work hard to break that habit. Once they had their parents prepare all their food and wash their dishes; now they work to build new skills for themselves. As we progress through the Christian life, we should be working to put our sins to death. We should be growing in maturity over time, not remaining in the same sins but moving forward in purity.

Don’t live like those who are not forgiven. As forgiven people, let’s strive to live lives in line with the one who forgave us.