What Do I Do If There’s a Sin I Can’t Shake?

In this episode, Pastor J.D. answers the question, “What do I do if there’s a sin I can’t shake?” and gives some practical ways to fight sin.

Show Notes:

  • If we’re honest, we all ask this question at some point because we all have seasons of suffering with sin.
  • Now, let me say: for some people, the sins they can’t shake would fall into the addiction category, in which case you’d need additional resources to help fight that. We’ll talk more about that later. But even when dealing with addictions, some of the core things I’m saying would still apply.
  • The Bible tells us that we’ll be locked in a struggle between our spirit when it’s been renewed in Christ and our flesh for our entire lives.
  • Even the Apostle Paul was very honest about his struggles with sin—and that’s after doing so many amazing things for Christ!
  • My advice would probably be three things:
  • First, just never, ever give up the fight.
    • The worst thing to do is to say, “I’ll never overcome this, so I’ll stop fighting it.” Tim Keller talks about how the Christian life feels like a battle we can never win, when in reality, it’s a battle we can never lose. When you re-believe the gospel and you preach it to yourself, that actually infuses the power of new life into you.
  • Second, it’s important to realize that fighting sin is about learning grace.
    • C.S. Lewis talked about this: God sometimes lets us struggle with lesser sins to keep us from the greatest one: PRIDE.
      • So, God may let you struggle with certain sins so that you will stay closely tethered to his grace. That doesn’t mean you ever stop praying for victory, just that God is up to something good even in delaying the answer.In my library I have this book of letters by John Newton, the writer of the famous hymn Amazing Grace, and one of my favorites is one he wrote in his 80’s to a friend where he confessed that by this point in his life he had always assumed that after walking with God for 50 to 60 years he’d have gotten complete victory over his temptations. He said that some of those temptations, however, felt stronger than ever. And at first that made him depressed, wondering if something was fundamentally wrong with him spiritually–maybe not saved. But in this letter he told his friend that now he realized that God let him struggle with some of these sinful temptations and probably would until the day he died to keep him from the worst sin: pride. “True growth in grace, he said, this side of the resurrection, (listen to this) doesn’t mean getting to a place where you no longer feel like you need God’s grace, but growing in your awareness of just how desperate for God’s grace that you really are.” John Newton
      • You learn to lean on God in failure, not in success. It’s like John Stott says, “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
  • Finally, a great way to fight sin is to institute new spiritual disciplines. 

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