Welcome to Girls to Grow, whether it’s your first visit or you’ve been reading here for a long time. I appreciate your stopping by the blog!
We have a couple of exciting events here this week. Our high school senior performs in her school play Thursday and Friday nights, and our college sophomore is heading home from Florida on Friday. (Praying that they will be able to find gasoline along the way!)
From the title of today’s post, you know that we’re talking about sin. I’m thinking that’s not generally a popular topic! Sure, we’d all agree that we’re sinners [Romans 3:23], but we don’t always like to be confronted with our specific sins. And what I want to delve into are sins that we may have grown comfortable with. Or at least I know that’s what can happen in my case.
Some of them are things that perhaps, in and of themselves, aren’t sin. Yet when we value them more than surrendering to what God wants for us, they can become idols in our lives.
Because I get to go first here, I’m going to share some examples from my own life. These may or may not be issues that you struggle with.
- Wanting others to think that I’m a “good” mom. This is the one that got this whole post idea started. Too often my focus is on other people’s opinions. I can feel that people judge me based on what our daughters do or don’t do. So while I want our girls to act a certain way or make good choices because it’s right, I also want them to do it in order to reflect well on me. (And let’s face it, at 18 and 20, I have limited-to-no control over them at this point.)
- My schedule or routine. Having a schedule or a routine is a good thing. But sometimes I can put my to-do list or my plan ahead of meeting someone’s needs. I fail to heed the “divine interruptions” God brings into my day and miss ministry opportunities.
- Comparison. I’ve written about this one before. We can use comparison to make us feel better or worse about ourselves, though with me it’s usually the former. Wouldn’t it be preferable to live in contentment?
- Perfectionism. It’s not bad to want to do your best. But I can easily slide into, “It’s never good enough” or “It doesn’t count unless it’s perfect” or even “I’m always right.”
- Comfort. I just want to be comfortable. But maybe that means I avoid something I know God is calling me to do.
Do you relate to any of these? If not, what would be on your list? Is there a sin you’ve grown comfortable living with? Maybe it’s pride or fear or worry.
So how can we get victory in these areas? Here are five steps we can take.
1. Recognize areas where you’re weak.
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them. Read your Bible and listen to Godly preaching so that God’s Word can work in your heart.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” ~2 Timothy 3:16
2. Realize you can’t overcome sin on your own.
We couldn’t save ourselves eternally. Jesus had to die to pay the penalty for our sin. In so doing, He also provided us a way to no longer serve sin in our daily lives.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” ~Galatians 5:1
Never doubt that God has the power to help us overcome sin.
“…greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” ~1 John 4:4
3. Refuse to listen to yourself; instead, talk to yourself.
My husband shared that quote with me. If I listen to myself, I will spiral downward with my thoughts. Instead I need to tell myself truth. Here’s where having those Bible verses we’ve memorized come into play.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” ~Psalm 42:5
4. Retrain your mind by getting rid of old habits and building new ones.
If going on social media causes me to compare myself with others, maybe I need to cut back on the time I spend there. Instead of wondering what others think about me, I can make it a point to reach out and encourage someone else.
5. Rest in God’s grace.
When we find ourselves succumbing to a recurring sin again, go to God for forgiveness. Ask for His mercy and the strength to live for Him. God’s grace will always be there for us.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9
May we not allow ourselves to grow comfortable with the sin in our lives, but continue to grow in our pursuit of holiness.
- How to Make Our Words and Thoughts Pleasing to God
- Releasing Yourself from the Comparison Trap
- Lessons on Humility from a Person Who Battles Pride