Thanks for the title inspiration, Shakespeare! 🙂
While he may have inspired the title, the topic of today’s post actually stems from an impressively-large book I’m reading on 1 John. It’s titled Life in Christ (Amazon affiliate link) and was written by Martin Lloyd-Jones.
1 John chapter 2 begins with this verse.
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Sin is not a particularly popular topic, though we know a lot about it. We know that sin is anything that goes against the truth God reveals to us in His Word. It’s disobeying God’s commands. We’re to watch out for sin and avoid it.
All of that is true. Yet I got a different take on sinning when I read this in Martin Lloyd-Jones’ commentary on 1 John. He wrote that “the best way of not sinning is to positively be living the godly life.“
He goes on to say, “The way to avoid sinning is to start out with this main objective, that I am here to live to the glory of God, that my supreme purpose should be to honor him, and to live in accordance with His holy will.“
Let’s think about that for a minute. Wouldn’t we be less likely to sin if we’re intent on living for God’s glory? If honoring Him is our focus, sin becomes a distraction, an irritation that we want to avoid because it leads us away from our purpose.
If we’re seeking to live in His will, there will be no room in our hearts for sin. God is holy and in seeking to please Him, we also want to grow in our personal holiness.
Please don’t get me wrong. As long as we’re here on this earth with our fleshly human nature, we will sin. We’re reminded earlier in 1 John that if we say that we don’t sin, we deceive ourselves. But what a beautiful thing if sin didn’t have an attraction for us because we were so bent on honoring God.
Let’s take this over into our parenting. Should we protect our kids from temptation and evil as much as possible? 100 percent yes! But what about teaching our children to see how blessed and peaceful and fulfilling it is to live a life that lines up with God’s standards.
There’ve certainly been times that I’ve parented from a place of fear. Again, we must be wary of the devil and his tactics. But how exciting to parent from a place of peace and confidence by showing our children Jesus and his love and helping them consider all that He has planned for them.
And beyond that, we can live as an example before them. As we ourselves seek to please God by our choices and decisions, they can see in real-time what it looks like to honor God. Teaching our children to recognize and love what is good will help them to see sin for what it is and be less likely to want to give in to it.
So, my friends, let’s continue to flee from sin. And let’s also ask the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us into living in a way that honors God.
- 5 Truths to Help You Get Victory Over Sin
- How to Overcome the Sins We’ve Learned to Tolerate
- 3 Important Characteristics of a Growing Christian