Are you sick and tired of committing the same sin over and over again? Then this article is for you.
The Bible says that if we choose to make Jesus our Lord, then we are not slaves to sin anymore.
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living” (NLT, Romans 6.16).
If Jesus is our Lord, then we are not slaves to sin anymore.
I am not saying that we are going to be perfect in everything all the time. But we do not have to sin habitually. Now sin does not have to control our lifestyles. Now we are new creatures in Christ and we have a new Master. Sin is not our master anymore.
“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin” (NLT, Romans 6.6).
This does not mean that everything happens automatically. It is our responsibility to repent of our sins and it is our responsibility to make lifestyle changes if we want to be set free from that sin.
God is giving us the power to fight temptations. But we need to make the decision to go in the battle. Because if we surrender to temptations without fight, then God’s power is of no use to us.
Here are 3 practical steps to break free from habitual sin:
1. Eliminate temptations as much as you can
The best way to overcome any temptation is to eliminate the possibility of being tempted as much as you can.
When are you tempted?
Is there a particular time of the day in which you are tempted? Then do what you need to make sure that you are not tempted during this time.
Find an activity to do during that time that will keep you busy. Or meet up with a friend. Or if you are tempted late at night, then make sure that you work so hard during the day that you are not even able to think about that temptation because of your tiredness.
What tempts you?
Does media tempt you? Is watching some particular kinds of movies or programs tempt you? The things that you put into your mind (what you read, watch, think), do they cause you to be tempted?
Do not watch movies or read books that cause you to be tempted. And instead fill your mind with God’s Word. If you stay focused on Jesus with your whole mind then there will be no place for temptations. You will just not think about them.
Who tempts you?
Are there some people in your life who pressure you to do something that is wrong in God’s eyes?
But if they are your family, then talk to them and tell them how you feel.
2. Stay strong in your convictions of what is right and wrong
You need to really memorize all the reasons why you know that (your sin) is wrong.
Go to the Word and ask God to convict you. So that you know for sure that it is wrong.
If you have a strong conviction that that thing is a sin, then you will not even want to argue with anybody about it.
Satan has a way of persuading us by altering our emotions and letting them control what we believe is right or wrong.
Debating in your head about something being right or wrong while being tempted is already a guarantee of failure 99% of the time. Because when we are tempted we are not able to think clearly. And so getting yourself into discussion during that time is already a lost debate.
You don’t debate with Satan when he tempts you. You ignore him and cling on to Jesus instead.
What to do when you are tempted:
- Identify that that thought/idea was wrong (don’t even debate over it in your head)
- Quickly shift your attention from temptation to Jesus
- Talk to Jesus about something else. Thank Him for you family, life, work, church… (the idea is to shift your attention completely)
3. Keep yourself accountable to God, yourself, and other people
Life happens. And sometimes it might feel like you are so hurt that you deserve to reward yourself in that way (your sin). But it’s just another Satan’s trap.
Even the strongest convictions can be weakened by hurts.
But the thing is that the commitments you have made, you did not make them for the time when it is going to be easy to stay committed. You made commitments for the times when it is going to be hard to stay committed. And you have committed so that you stay committed even when it is hard to stay committed.
We make commitments not for the times when it is easy to stay committed but for the times when it is hard to stay committed.
Keep yourself accountable to God:
Write a promise to God. Tell Him that you commit to not sin in this way anymore. And then put that promise on a wall in the room when you are most often tempted.
So that when you are tempted you will see your promise to God right there on the wall.
Keep yourself accountable to yourself:
Create a calendar for yourself where you mark off days/weeks/months in which you stayed clear from your sin.
And you count those days/weeks/months. So that if you sin again, you will know that you will have to start from day 1 again.
In that way when you see how long you stayed clear, then you will be less likely to violate that commitment, considering all the time you have stayed committed already.
Keep yourself accountable to other people:
Tell to you friend or mentor about your commitment and ask them to keep you accountable. Whenever you see them update them about how you are doing. And give them the permission to ask you how you are doing in that area.
What are you doing to resist temptations? Share in the comment section below your tips for overcoming sin.