Even the most faith-filled followers of God can mess up habitually. It’s nothing to be super ashamed of. One of my favourite sayings is a line I coined a few years back.
Today is NOT Judgement Day…
What I mean when I say that is that it’s okay to make a mistake, even the same mistake, over and over again. The key is to try and learn from it and move on.
In my experience sins fall into five main categories. Fear, judgement, lying, blame and manipulation. And there are eight keys to fighting your habitual sins with love.
1 – Say Your Sins.
Confess them, through prayer and in community with each other. Get it out in the open. You can’t get help if you don’t admit you have a problem.
Admit your weaknesses, like before. Stay away from temptation and practice radical separation. When Jesus told his disciples to pluck out their eyes and cut off their hands (Matthew 5:29-30) he wasn’t advocating self mutilation, he was deliberately using a form of hyperbole to drive the point home. Just get as far away from the temptation as you can.
3 – Think About Your Sins Effect on Others.
It’s not about you. Love is not self-seeking and neither should we live in a selfish manner. If we keep our minds focused on other-centeredness we are less likely to sin.
4 – Don’t Confuse Acceptance and Agreement, Grace and Approval
Grace is not a license to sin. Messing up is not a path to blessing. God wants to be kind to us but that is not to be abused.
We are ambassadors of the Kingdom. We have a higher calling. When you fall into a sinful pattern try to remember that you are better than this.
6 – Drive Out Fear With Love
Do Not Worry. Let nature and history be your guide. There are literally thousands of people who have experienced the same kinds of temptations you are faced with. Look to them, read their stories and take comfort on how they overcame.
7 – Get it TOGETHER
Go to the community of believers. Spend time with others that are on the same path, facing the same struggles and living life in a similar context. Build honest relationships and ask people for feed back. When you’re ready, and can take a bit of constructive criticism ask the question “what do you see in my life that I need to work on?” and take the advise you receive back seriously.
He was called the friend of sinners. Let him be your friend too. Read his teaching and work out what it means for you in community.
We all have that one thing that slows us down. Look to Jesus and his community to help remove it.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)