Get it out!
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7: 18-20
This is not an excuse to sin, but have you ever struggled like the apostle Paul talks about in this passage? He says that he doesn’t do what he wants to do and he does what he doesn’t want to do. This sounds like it should have a simple solution and really it does, however, it is not easy. The passage says that the reason for doing what you don’t want to do and not doing what you want to do is because sin is living in you. This is actually good news and the reason is because you can locate where sin is in your life easily and then get rid of it. It is a little like when you get a virus in your computer. You want your computer to do one thing, but it keeps doing something you don’t want it to do. The reason is because you have a virus that is interfering with your desired outcome.
A simple life example is if you have trouble when you are around certain people controlling your language. Whether it is bad words or bad talk (gossip, complaining or criticizing), the root of this issue is what you are allowing to enter into your heart. I recognize that there are some times that you cannot control what you hear and what gets into your head. The times when you are around ungodly people like at work, shopping or restaurants. However, there are times that you can control it, but choose to let it in anyway. These times include but are not limited to movies, music and social media. So even though you don’t agree or don’t want to take part in these types of activities, because you tolerate them into your life they are being reinforced in your heart and sometimes they slip out your mouth. You didn’t want to and in fact your will was not to, but you did anyway. This does not mean that you are not a Christian anymore, it just means that you have a sin root in you that grew as you watered it with repeatedly hearing or seeing sin.
The good news is, that once you recognize that you continue to do something that you don’t want to do, you can begin to identify where it is coming from. If it is using foul language, cut out all the areas that you have control over hearing foul/crude language. If it is gossip and complaining, eliminate the influencers that are full of gossip and complaining and etc.. See what I mean? It is a simple solution, but not easy to do.
Today I want to encourage you to start watching for the things you would do that you don’t want to do. Once you identify one, turn it over to God and ask Him to help you to eliminate this habit. He will help you, but you have a part to play. The most effective way to eliminate sin is to replace its root with the Word of God. Any area that you recognize as a negative influence, replace it with God’s Word. Through reading, listening to or watching podcast or videos, you can easily fill that space with good and eliminate the sin working in you. In the same way, the actions that you do want to do, begin to strengthen them in your life by practicing them where ever you are. You can eliminate continual sin in your life, but you have to make changes to do it.
Today’s scripture reading: Romans 7:7-25