No matter how uncomfortable this may be, we must address any sin that is in our life. We don’t talk much about sin in the life of a believer, but it is necessary if we want to grow spiritually. There are ten compartments in my structured prayer journal and one of those compartments is titled “The Corrections of Discipline” which is from Proverbs 6:23, and states, “For these commands (God’s Word) area a lamp, this teaching (God’s Word) is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life”. This scripture says that by the incorporation of God’s truth we can be changed continually. I like to think of this scripture as the counterpart to II Corinthians 3:18 that says, “We all with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit”. Whenever I would hear this scripture, the mental picture that would play out in my mind would be when the fairy God mother waved her magic wand to change housekeeper Cinderella into Ballroom dancing Cinderella. It would seem so magical and hocus-pocus.
I believe that I am not the only woman with this misconception of how the Holy Spirit works in the life of a believer; it sometimes seems hocus-pocus. But God actually works in very practical ways with us. That is what I like about the more practical verse in Proverbs 6:23. Even as Christians we are prone to sin. It is a daily task to overcome sin and self. Thank God we have His help through His Holy Spirit.
If we are saved why does sin matter??? The most obvious answer to this question is that sin weakens the witness of a Christian. John 10:10 says that the enemy came to “steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” If Satan could not kill you before you received Christ, then he wanted to steal salvation out from under you by convincing you that you have all the time in the world to make a salvation decision or that you can get to God in other ways. And if the devil was unsuccessful in those two strategies, then once you are a Christian this next best thing he can do is destroy your witness. That is what sin does in the life of a believer – it makes us less effective.
I Corinthians 5:6 says that, “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” This means that a little sin affects the entireperson. Sin interferes with our prayers and destroys our witness.
There was a lady in one of my classes who began using my prayer journal. She said she liked it, but was not crazy about the compartment that required her to write down her sins. She said, “This is not who I am” and she was right. As Christians, we are new creations in Jesus Christ, but sometimes we need to look at who we are when we do not allow Jesus to reign supreme in our hearts and lives. What do you do when you want to stop overeating or overspending? You write it down. You write down what you eat and what you spend your money on so you can get a sense of where your issues are.
Begin writing down your issues, by asking yourself the following questions each day:
- Can I recall any moment today where I clearly know that I sinned?
- Did I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit over any of my actions today?
- Did I fall short in my walk with the Lord at any point today?
- Did I know to do good, but did not?
In the following posts, I am going to share with you some practical ways to overcome sin and self through the correction of habits and disciplines.