Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Breaking the "grace abuser" mold

A young man emailed me this question:

"Every time I get on a good streak, I break it within a week and keep on living my life. I sin, confess it, pray, and repeat. I realize that I'm a human and a sinner, and I always will be. Nobody's perfect but God. I think that's why I still have a lack of motivation, I think that's why I'm complacent. I think to myself, "If I'm always going to be a sinner, what's the point of really trying hard?" Even hearing good advice and stories of success from my youth group leaders, who struggled through the same stuff when they were younger, doesn't make a huge dent. Even that phrase "If I die today, where would I spend eternity?" doesn't work for more than a couple days. I'm not into drugs or sex or robbery or anything super bad like that, but I've done some pretty bad things. I guess it's not that bad when you compare my case to others, but still if I'm not living how God wants me to be living 100%, then I think again: "What's the point in trying hard?" Romans 10:9 and God's infinate mercy don't really help this situation either. As long as I'm truly sorry and confess my sins, God will forgive me, right? I'm just scared my bad habits will become my character, who I am. I'm scared that someday I might not be truly sorry for my sins. What then?"

First of all, you are right to be concerned about becoming hardened to the sin in your life. If we continue to sin our conscious will eventually be drowned out and the pleasure/addiction to sin will become a drug of sorts. The only way I know for a man to change his character is by immersing himself in the things of God. IE: listening to Christian music, bible study, accountability, youth group, DAILY quiet times, daily prayer for strength. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The thoughts circulating through your mind will eventually become the beliefs in your heart and the beliefs in your heart become your character.

You are right, you will always struggle with sin. However, God has given us the strength to break the chains of sin through his Son. 1 John 5:3 says this “For this is the love of God, that you obey His commandments and His commandments cease to be burdensome.” The more time you spend with God the more you will fall in love with Him and the more you love Him the more obedience becomes a joy.

Here are some scriptures that speak directly to this situation:
Romans 6
1 Corinthians 10:13
Ephesians 4:1

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