You love Jesus. You are committed to following Christ. Every single day, you pray. Bible reading starts every morning. You think about Christ most of the day. You share your faith with others. Nothing thrills your soul like a good worship service. You would rather listen to Christian music or a sermon than anything else. For reading material, your go to is a good book about faith and discipleship. You got your faith on always.
Yep, you rock Christian discipleship except… except for that one little sin that just will not leave you alone. Oh, you try. You try hard to overcome it. You know you shouldn’t, but you do.
With that one little sin, your mantra has become that of the Apostle Paul: “I do what I don’t want to do, and I don’t do what I want to do.”
How can it be? How can you be so faithful to Jesus and yet struggle so much with that one nagging sin?
Maybe that isn’t your story. Maybe your story is different. Your story isn’t a habitual sin. Instead, you just find yourself doing what you don’t want to do and not doing what you want you do. Your story is one of sin coming from out of nowhere. Next thing you know, you did it. You didn’t mean to do it. You just did. Seconds after you did it, you’re asking yourself, “Why did I just do that?” If you could undo it, you would. Sometimes, if you could find the person you did it to, you would apologize. You would ask for forgiveness. Many times, you work things out with the other person.
Odd isn’t it. One little sin can ruin your day. It doesn’t matter how many minutes you prayed that day, how many chapters of the Bible you read, or how many people you shared the gospel with that day, that sin, habitual or blind-sided, can ruin your whole day.
A principle found in scripture is that a little leaven can ruin the whole batch. A friend once told me, “One mess-up can ruin twenty-one atta-boys.”
As Christians, though, we are not left to ourselves. The Bible teaches that if we do sin; we have an advocate in heaven who intercedes on our behalf. Christ doesn’t want us to sin. But if we do, we have the promise that we can turn to him for forgiveness.
While not justifying our actions, there is good news in this whole mess. The sin bothers you. You know you shouldn’t have done what you did, said what you said, acted the way you acted. That’s good news.
The Apostle Paul taught God disciplines those he loves. Worst-case scenario is that the sin wouldn’t bother you because God has just given you over to it.
If your sin is habitual, don’t give up the fight. But don’t fight it alone. Seek counsel. Seek help.
If you are one of those that the sin comes from out of nowhere, do the right thing as soon as you realize it. Don’t forget: Jesus teaches us to go to those we wrong and set things right. So, while you may pray to God for forgiveness, seek the forgiveness of others as well.
One little sin can ruin your day. It can make you miserable. Glory to God, one sacrificial act gives you forgiveness. Christ can make you rejoice.