Monday, May 3, 2010

Stage 2: Fighting Sin by Faith

I have said a lot about the importance of reading your Bible because I want to emphasize that equipping your mind with God's promises and instructions is a crucial tool you need to find joy and satisfaction. I am going to move now to talking about how I dealt with the sins and attitudes that were keeping me from joy. I listed this second in the outline I gave of the most significant things that were part of my transformation from being disappointed and unfulfilled to becoming free, joyful, and satisfied in my daily relationship with Christ. Simply put, I had reached a point in my life where I knew I wasn't measuring up to what I wanted to be and what my family needed me to be, and I was also giving in to sin over and over again in ways that left me feeling totally defeated.

We all know that sin is bad. We've heard the message over and over that sin is wrong and that it will lead to punishment in hell. We need to get that straight in our heads, because if we are going to find joy in God, we have to care about obeying God. You can't love the Lord and be close to Him and kick sand in His face at the same time. But I think a large part of the reason we don't obey God in this area is that we don't trust Him enough when He promises that we will be fulfilled by following His instruction. Sin comes along and tempts us with some immediate pleasure, and we give in because we don't think we'll be as fulfilled by resisting. So one thing I needed to realize before I hated sin enough to want to change is that sin makes you miserable. Sin may give some pleasure, but it always takes more in exchange.

Every sin makes you sacrifice something you need for a healthy, complete, fulfilled life in order to pursue it. Adultery comes at the expense of your marriage, your family, your friendships, and the peace of your home. Gluttony comes at the expense of health. Pride comes at the expense of hurting and pushing down others. Greed comes at the expense of peace of mind and contentment (you can never be satisfied when your happiness is wrapped up in getting - there's always more you don't have). Sin isn't just wrong - it's self-defeating. It is a traitor and a liar. Sin never makes a straight bargain, but always cheats you in the end.

In my life, I finally reached a point where I had screwed up enough to realize I was always going to be miserable unless I beat the sins I was giving in to. In the next posts I will lay out how I went about it.


Northland Stories said...

I really like your blog and your thoughts & insights! Keep up the good work Anthony!

Anthony Bushnell said...

Thanks, Aaron! I'm pleased that you're enjoying it. Thanks for the encouragement today. I hope your week is blessed.