For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
Everyone is tempted to sin. When our lust begins to control and consume us something is born called sin. James chapter 1 speaks much to this process of temptation becoming sin. While temptation is not sin, it leads to sin. Could I suggest that allowing temptation to grow, or even actively nurturing it could also be sin?
John Eastwood made an insightful statement: “People do not decide to be drunkards, drug addicts, prostitutes, murderers, or thieves, but they pitch their tent toward Sodom, and the powers of evil overcome them.”
Each of us know people whose lives were changed overnight, because of sin. One temptation acted upon can alter an entire lifetime. I have met teenagers who are not able to finish high school because of sin. Many soldiers and sailors have made one bad choice and find themselves in legal trouble, or in the brig. Ever notice the genuinely homeless people asking for food along the road? Perhaps one bad choice, led to a whole string of bad choices and they end up with nothing.
If one sin can have such an impact, we should be looking to Jesus fervently and seeking His guidance and help to avoid sin! Here are 4 “plans” to help you avoid sin.
- Prayer Plan: Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
- Prevention Plan: Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
- Protection Plan: Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
- Escape Plan: 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
What happens if I falter and fail? What should I do when I commit sin? For sure we do not want to abuse the Grace of God – see Romans 6:1-2. But when we sin, we do have an advocate with the Father – His name is Jesus. We are instructed in 1 John 1:9 to confess our sin to God. When we confess, we acknowledge our wrong and God forgives us.
Don’t forget about repentance. Remember Romans 6:1-2? That verse tells us to not continue in that sin. That would be abusing the grace of God. In other words, a person who confesses his sin to God, also should repent of his sin and turn around from it. Repentance is a change of mind resulting in a change of direction.
So, can these 4 “plans” help you avoid sin? Yes they can. While we will never be perfect in our lifetimes on earth, we can choose to honor Jesus by living holy lives that are dedicated to Him.