An All Too Familiar Tale
Despair, that is where it always ends right? Feelings of hopelessness, anger, and even defeat over what you have just done, flood what seems like the whole of your existence. A moment of pleasure, at the cost being subjected to hours, days, and possibly years of mental bondage. While desperation is the end of one cycle, it is the beginning of another. You then proceed to ask yourself questions like “How could I have done this?”, “What is wrong with me?!”, “WHY CAN I NOT JUST STOP, JUST QUIT?!” “I AM A CHRISTIAN, HOW CAN I BE SUCH A HYPOCRITE?!” Questions, maybe not exactly these, but questions like these from the flesh that victimize, disable, and deter you in the aftermath of your sin. After beating yourself up and reaching a point in which you feel proper self punishment has been achieved, a new found sense of determination arrives. No matter what happens you will not give into that sin again. You will place barriers, make deterrents, find accountability partners, read your Bible pray every day, and whatever other means are necessary to overcome the sin you have committed. And it works….for a while, and then the cycle begins all over again.
Same Ole Story
Chances are you figured out where I was going pretty quickly, but in case you are still lost, I am talking about what we experience when we find ourselves in the midst of sin. If you are human, you have been faced with the scenario above at some point in your life. Whatever our brand of sin, each of us have our kryptonite, an Achilles heel, that plagues us on a regular basis. We all have our weaknesses, sins often given into, never learning that the price of pain we have to pa,y for a tiny bit of pleasure, is just not worth it. The flesh gets us into sin, then we depend on the flesh to get out of it, creating a cycle much like the one I described above. Somehow in our irrational minds, we rationalize that we can be both the cause of and cure for our sin. The truth is any sin that needs dealing with, any cycle that needs to be broken, can only be dealt with in Christ.
What We Do, Not Who We Are
We are stupid people, who instead of walking freely from the sin that Christ overcame, we tie ourselves down in bondage as if our sin still needs to be overcome. As we forget that our sin was overcame by Christ, we try to find ways to overcome it ourselves. Christians treat sin like Stockholm syndrome, we are free from its bondage, yet we choose to still be imprisoned by it.
I am not suggesting that we do not view sin as serious, or that we give up trying to avoid it, but what I am saying is the Christian life is not about running away from sin, it is about running in Christ. Messages, sermons, and books focus so much on telling us what not to do in sin, when what they should really should be telling us is what to do in Christ. As we walk in Christ and deepen our relationship with God, we will want to accept the things God accepts, loving what He loves, and reject the things God rejects, hating the things that He hates. So long as we are a live we are going to sin, and while at times sin may be what we do, we must never, ever, ever, ever, ever, forget that sin is not who we are! That is much too passive…SIN MAY BE WHAT WE DO, BUT IT IS NOT WHO WE ARE!!!! Much better! That is definitely a four exclamation mark statement!
When We Forget We’re Free
Living in Christ means we have to stop beating ourselves up for our sin, because He already took the beating for us. We do not have to beat sin in ourselves, because sin has already been beaten in Christ. Who we are in Christ reminds us when we are acting in a way that is inconsistent with our position, whereas our flesh wants to stop us in the midst of it. Those in Christ may be convicted of sin, but they are not condemned by it. Let us stop living as prisoners condemned, and start living as people who are free.We are not victims, we are victors.