I’ve just submitted the following as a comment on Jeff Weddle’s Anti-itch Meditation blog after reading his latest article.
For a lot of my early Christian life I saw God as loving and forgiving, to the extent that sin didn’t really matter. Of course I knew sinning was wrong, but if I sinned God would forgive me anyway.
I tried to avoid sin (well, I tried a little bit, without much conviction) but occasionally I even reasoned with myself that I could just give in to temptation THIS time because God would forgive me afterwards.
Maybe that kind of thinking is common, because I’ve often heard Christians (even long term Christians) saying it’s impossible for us not to sin. They think such talk is “spiritual” and gives glory to God because we are nothing without His love and forgiveness.
In reality such talk is a cop-out, continually excusing ourselves of responsibility, not far from the claim that “the devil made me do it”, but amended slightly to “my sinful flesh, or my sin nature, made me do it”.
Some go to the other extreme and claim that genuine Christians won’t sin, or even more extreme CAN’T sin.
All kinds of strange ideas being preached and believed…
I have come to realise that yes I’m human and I sometimes sin – but I hope I’ve learned and grown enough in my faith that I sin a lot less than I did as a new Christian, and hopefully I’m not falling into the same old “basic” sins that may be understandable for someone new to the faith.
I don’t expect to sin. I don’t consider sin inevitable in my life. But I don’t consider myself immune.
God equips the believer to be free of sin. But IF we sin “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” and “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Seeing sin as inevitable in our lives sets us up for failure and gives us an excuse for that failure.
If I see freedom from sin as an achievable target, I might not actually hit the bullseye, but I’m more likely to get close than I would if I didn’t aim for it at all.