When fighting sin is bacon (Or sin knows you)

Sin knows you.

tweet thisSin knows which flavor you like. It’s like a devilish Baskin Robbins.

It knows the time of day you are receptive to its call. Should it come first thing in the morning or during that work lull or immediately before bed? It knows.

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It knows the strategy for when you’re with people. Are you more easily agitated by co-workers or family members? Christians or non-Christians? Spouse or kids? Loud and abrasive personalities or quiet and passive-aggressive? Sin knows.

It knows your weaknesses. Will you sin boldly as a result of anxious worryharsh criticism, sensual flirtation, or diseased memories? It knows.

It knows the strategy for when you’re alone. How would you attack you? You probably already know the answer. So does sin.

It knows your idols. It knows what tempts you to walk away from God. To abandon God is apostasy, which is why sin never calls it by that name. Sin will call your idols by a million different names. But sin’s goal for you is idolatry and apostasy.

It knows what words work. “It’s not that big a deal.” “Just give in, get it over with, and then you can get back to life.” “How about do it today and then stop tomorrow?” “God will forgive it.” “Are you going to be able to resist this for the rest of the day? Tomorrow too? Really?!”

And what words make it worse afterwards. “See. You’ll never beat this.” “How could you!” “And you call yourself a ‘Christian.’” “You better not tell anyone.”

tweet thisSin knows when to tempt with subtlety. A thousand bee stings to kill.

And it knows when to mount a vicious attack. Picture the wounded or isolated or weak zebra amidst a pack of lions.

lion_zebra_huntIt knows how to strategize. Imagine two sports teams. Would a team run the same play over and over again? Only if it works. Right? But if it doesn’t work, the team changes its attack. So does sin.

Sin will wait out today if it can inflict greater harm tomorrow. It’ll wait out the retreat or service in order to attack in the car ride home. It’ll wait until the tiredness of a long day’s work sets in and defenses are lowered.

Sin knows stuff. Stuff about you. So we must be prepared for when and how and where sin chooses to attack.

Quite frankly, though, sometimes fighting sin is not an isolated attack. It’s not “step 1 – temptation comes, step 2 – it’s resisted, step 3 – go about your day.” Instead it is a consuming battle. For a day. For several days.

improvKitchen_howToCookBacon_00Sometimes fighting sin is bacon*. It’s tempting regardless of the time of the day – morning, noon, or night. It’s tempting regardless of how it is presented – hot, cold, dark and crispy, fat and undercooked, with eggs or on burgers. It’s tempting with or without people present. It’s tempting whether you’ve already had some that day or haven’t had it for months or years. One strip becomes two, becomes six, and then the count is lost. Bacon is an area of weakness, period. It sounds good all the time.

So you must know sin’s tricks. Because sin knows you.

QUESTION: What is one thing you’ve learned about fighting sin that you could share to help someone else out?

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*If bacon ain’t your thing, choose something that you perpetually have a desire for.

Posted on by Cor in FAITH

3 Responses to When fighting sin is bacon (Or sin knows you)

  1. Nate

    It has helped me to realize that not all sin starts out as “bad desires.” Sometimes they are very good, God given desires. But then those desires if left unchecked, can turn into demands, which turn into expectations, and those expectations turn into disappointments when they are not met. Unfortunately, we then begin to judge those that are in our way from getting what our idol wants and we then punish them for it. After all, all idols demand sacrifice right?

    Praise God that a sacrifice has already been made for us! Instead of worshiping temporary comforts we get to worship our God who has paid for us and loves us. The idolatry of our heart wants to destroy us. The end game is death and destruction; including our relationship with God and others. Understanding the nature of sin and the “slippery slope of idolatry” has helped me.

    Reliance on Holy Spirit and remembering God’s promises is key to our fight against sin. Intimacy with our heavenly Father is well worth the fight. Do we believe this?

  2. Valerie

    The biggest one for me is accountability. The hardest part of that it to find someone you trust and then actually opening up to them and being brutally honest about your struggles. But once you do, it is freeing! Setting up ways to check in with them frequently and on a regular basis to talk about how those areas are going is important as well. Then you know that what you do will be expressly talked about later and that has been a gold leash to reality for me.

  3. Peter Brandt

    Fighting sin – as you point out is tough. For me, as or most of us reading this, it’s a continual struggle. If it’s not a struggle with something that never seems to go away, it’s something new that God points out. It seems never ending.

    But, in this fight two things help me:
    1. It not JUST fighting sin. It has to be more.

    And, for me, it has to start with loving God.

    We are children, heirs of our Lord. How am I loving God? Am I working on getting to know him better? Am I working on our intimacy – knowing each other at the deepest levels (yes, it is somewhat unfair, as God is already totally intimate with us – he knows everything, yet, still loves us).

    Then, am I loving others, especially those who I am closest to. And, yes, this is often where I get entangled in my sin and my relationship – especially with my spouse. Is it my sin coming out – or, my love coming out, and it’s her that is making it difficult. Tough to figure out. So, I try not to – and just make it simple, am I doing my best to do my part – love her, adore her. Hold up a mirror, and look at “am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?” No matter what. This applies to other people, too, am I “serving” them, versus wanting to be served? Again, it’s tough, because I need to stand up for myself, right? But, God calls us to be different – and, not think that way.

    So, for me, it helps to have these in mind – love God, love others, and fight sin. Seems for me, this puts things in the right order – and gets me out of just fighting sin.

    The second thing that helps me is to walk through “being saved every day.” What does that mean?

    When I became a Christian, a while ago now, I went through a process. The process for me looked something like this:
    – get so low, that I knew that I needed something more, something bigger than myself. Was that God?
    – seek to understand – in my case through a Christian counselor/advisor/teacher – who is this God, that others seem to be finding some solace by believing in.
    – realizing who God is – He is the our creator, and more than that He is the ultimate good, and the embodiment of unconditional love, and He loves us. He loves me.
    – because, He sent His son to be a living sacrifice, for us, so we can have that ultimate bond of love – that intimate relationship as His child, as His heir. Wow, He did that for me?
    – realizing that God would have us live a certain way – in a way that is best, best for us, is ultimately right, that sustains us as his creation.
    – And, realizing I don’t live that way – I sin.
    – So, because I do that, I need to say “I’m sorry.” And then turn away form whatever it is – and back to Him (repent).
    – And, through this process, every day, or as often as possible – I stay His, I stay “in relationship” with Him.
    – He saves me, again, every day!

    Martin Luther wrote that “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “Repent,” he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”

    That sounds like something a German in medieval times might say – sounds a bit harsh – so, I prefer to think of it as “Be saved every day”. And, yes, repentance is part of this – but, a part not the whole.

    Hope this is helpful.

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