Breaking the Sin Habit By Frank King
These days, sin is such an old-fashioned word. Some of those of this current generation might even be pressed to ask the question what is sin. That’s because nowadays, almost anything goes and is acceptable. So to make sure we are all talking about the same thing, let’s first start out with the definition. “Sin is the transgression of the law,” the Bible says (1 John 3:4, KJV). In other words, sin occurs whenever we disobey what God commands us to do or forbids us.
As a minister of the gospel, here is something I have found to be true too often: Even for a person who has accepted Christ as his Savior, has been forgiven of his sins, and has received the Holy Spirit to help him live a holy life, it is possible to find himself bound by a sin habit that he finds hard to break. The reason this can happen is because we don’t stop being human when we become Christians. We still have desires, and not all of those desires are good. In fact, the Bible says that “each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14, NIV). The clear message in this verse is that Christians are not perfect; like everyone else, they can have evil desires that can lead them astray.
An important thing to understand about sin habits is that they don’t just happen. Rather, there is a process involved. A basic understanding of this truth is necessary, if we are to break a sin habit. In a nutshell, this is the process: “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (James 1:15).
Let’s summarize this. First, we have desires that draw us away and entice us. But these desires in and of themselves do not constitute sin. The verse quoted above says that it is after those desires conceive that sin results. That means that in order for sin to occur, there must be an accommodating activity or environment to minister to our desires, and when these two are allowed to sufficiently interact, sin results.
Here is an example. Consider a person who has become a Christian but afterward, he still gets the urge to view pornography like he used to. Again, the mere desire to do so is not sin. But if he allows the wrong influences to effectively minister to that desire, conception will occur, of which the result will be that he will engage in pornography. The key to breaking the sin habit is to not allow the wrong things to minister to our wrong desires. We know when this process is happening, and we must be proactive in interrupting it, if we want to break a habit.
What we have talked about heretofore is not an ends but a means. You see, we can condition ourselves to become godly in any area of our life. That is the end goal. We get there by replacing those activities that minister to our wrong desires with biblically acceptable alternatives. With consistent repetition we can condition ourselves to respond to our temptation with these acceptable alternatives until this practice becomes the new norm. Maybe at first you won’t get it right every time, but with personal resolve, prayer, and the help of the Holy Spirit you can succeed in breaking your sin habit(s).
Copyright 2011 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
Frank King is a former church pastor. He is currently an evangelist and an author. Frank holds a Master of Theology degree. Through the grace of God, Frank has been blessed to cross cultural lines in his preaching. Website: http://www.efrankking.comBlog: http://wwwefrankking.blogspot.com/
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