Just about the time that I think I have this whole sanctification process progressing…..I drop the ball, and sin again!
Oh!.. It doesn’t stop there, it just so happens that it is the same ole stupid stuff, just clothed in a different day. My old man sin nature rears his ugly head and slaps my sanctimonious self square in the face! (Romans 6:6)
Wait…It gets even better! I try to justify my actions with the rationalizations of; “I can handle ignorance because ignorance can be cured with education.” But, “Stupid is as Stupid does. Stupid has no excuse because it cannot hide behind ignorance,” et cetera, et cetera.
I have even tried to memorize (Proverbs 8:5). O you simple ones, understand prudence, And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
You would think; if I was so smart, I could then recall this verse for guidance and understanding to keep me from running off at the mouth, and doing even worse sins in my mind’s eye when confronted with STUPID’S STUPIDITY!
Some of you are way ahead of me, and you would be right in assuming that my mind runs headlong in the other direction. Showing my own STUPIDITY by recalling a misappropriated bible verse. A verse I abuse to aid me in wallowing around in my sinfulness.
For an empty-headed man will be wise, When a wild donkey’s colt is born a man. (Job 11:12)
Yep! As you may have justifiably guessed my paramount recurring sins stem from acts of stupidity that send me off in ‘six ways from Sunday’. Even if I’m the one being STUPID.
Satan loves it when we have recurring sins. This is his opportunity to lather us in guilt that becomes a snare of shame. (2 Timothy 2:26)
What I mean by this is that; Satan takes guilt, which is a realization of the sins we’ve committed. Then turns this into a perspective viewpoint of shame, as seeing ourselves as failures because of those same sins.
This is a half truth from Satan. Guilt is healthy because it allows us to know we have done wrong. Guilt is looking at the sin while shame is looking at yourself. Satan takes your unresolved guilt and turns it into a stronghold called shame.
The guilt we feel is Satan trying to steal our joy (John 10:10). It may sound backwards, but the best way to get rid of a recurring sin is to stop giving it so much power of importance. (Philippians 3:13)
Satan exploits the gravity of our sins by lathering on extra guilt for our having committed them. This has a boomerang effect of making a repeat offense even more likely.
Satan wants us to feel so bad that we’re hiding from God, just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:8)
Satan wants us to fixate on our past failures which wears us down spiritually; eventually mutating into a distorted picture of our sanctification through unforgiveness and shame. Condemning our sanctification to hypocrisy and failure.
Satan is wrong! There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
I’m not alone
From the Old Testament to the New Testament. The bible bears witness to great men of God falling victim to recurring sins on their road to sanctification.
We can look at the Old Testament accounts of Abraham and Sarah scheming to avoid trouble by telling others that Sarah is his sister instead of his wife.
The first time was in (Genesis 12:10-20) when they went to sojourn in Egypt because of a great famine in the land. Abraham was afraid for his life because of Sarah’s beauty. So they told the Egyptians and the Pharaoh of Egypt that she was his sister.
Abraham’s second recurring sin was in (Genesis 20:1-18) when they went to sojourn in Gerar between Kadesh and Shur. Once again Abraham was afraid for his life, and once again Abraham said Sarah was his sister. This time Abimelech the king of Gerar sent and took Sarah his sister/wife.
I have not done these two instances justice with such a short summary. They are worthy of deeper reading and study. Abraham’s recurring sin was not a lie because Sarah was indeed his half-sister. His sin was a half truth by deception.
But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. (Genesis 20:12)
In the New Testament we have the Apostle Paul who tells us in his own words that He is the chief of all sinners. Paul confesses that he suffers from recurring sins by doing the very things that he knows to be wrong.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. (Romans 7:15-19)
At the End of the Day
At the end of the day sin is still sin. It is our job as Believers to resist the temptations of sin. We are to strive to do better and grow in our walk with the Lord on our road called sanctification.
There truly is no excuse for our sin. God always gives us a choice by which we can escape sinning. Not only does He provide an escape, He also sets limits to the temptations allowed by evil influences. These temptations cannot be more than you can bear, and they have to be common in nature to man.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Jesus while in mortal flesh was the only man tempted beyond what is common to man. Jesus was burdened with such extreme temptations from Satan and Sinful men, that it caused a physical manifestation which resulted in Him sweating blood.
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44)
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:3-4)
I don’t know about you, but I have yet to encounter a temptation so beguiling that I could not resist it; If I really wanted to. I certainly have not encountered any situation in which I did anything more than blush; nowhere near enough anxiety to warrant the agony of sweating blood.
I am guilty. Guilty of forgetting and failing to strive to do the right thing and bring my thoughts captive into the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
The Recurring Truth
The truth is that all people suffer from recurring sins. It is our job as Believers to strive against sinning. We must continue to fight so we can continue to grow. We must continue to confess and repent so God can continue to convict and forgive.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
God does not hold a grudge against you or your sins. He wipes them from memory. This was accomplished through His blood and finished work on the cross that provided propitiation for your sins. (John 19:30)
He knows of all our blatant and hidden sins, even the ones we repeat, Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy time seven. We know this to mean that we are to forgive those who are truly repentant without limits. This is exactly what He does for us if we confess and ask for forgiveness.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
God has already forgotten your past sins; So don’t let Yourself or Satan hold them against you.