Fear often determines peoples choices and direction in life. The Bible tells us that that fear of failure, of death, of embarrassment, of the dark, and all the other big, bad, and scary things in life is not from God. God gives us power and strength.
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7
Sin is one of those big, scary things to a Christian. As a Christian we seek to please God and perfect our ministry so we fear the downfall that sinning brings. (I’m not going to address the sins itself because we all know the Bible is interpreted in many different ways. Therefore debating what’s a sin or not, doesn’t fall into an area I care to participate.)
With this fear of sinning, we avoid anything related to the sin itself. The sin is not the place, the people, or the object we make into a vice, it’s the actual action we are committing. All of the things I just mentioned do not have life and are not capable of sinning. We are the sinners. Our fear is of our on actions. This is great news! We are in complete control of our sins. Why be fearful of what we have power over and have defeated through Jesus? Grace was a gift that cannot be earned or taken away. If you believe in Jesus then you have been given grace. This should give you courage to face your fear of sin.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, -Romans 3:23
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9
A lot of things tempt different people and we all struggle in different areas. It is extremely important in knowing your temptations in order to prevent them from getting the best of you. But once you discover them you must gather self-discipline and defeat the sin. In Christian lingo, this is repentance. Sometimes it means avoiding the situation all together. Some desires are just too strong to try to face for that individual. For others it’s a practiced discipline of self-control. We must remember my sin is not your sin. The variations of how we struggle mean we will all handle the sinning temptations differently. It’s important not to define someone as sinning because of their association with something that might cause you personally to sin. That is a judgement we are not called to make. No one act of repentance is above another.
Once you have a game plan of self-control then there is no reason to be consumed by the sin. The thoughts of doubt and oppression are not of God. We are not condemned due to what we have done or could do. When we live our life fearing that we could mess up we are never given the opportunity to succeed or help others with similar struggles. What ministry do you miss out on because you fear association with the people or places associated with your personal struggle? You then take the power from God and give it to the sin. If your sin prevents you from reaching out to someone in need or from living life among other sinners then the sin is winning. You cannot possibly display the glory of God and His grace when you are cowering in the safe haven of a Christian atmosphere. Our calling is not to defeat the sin in our life. God did that! Our calling is to show the glory of that defeat by holding our heads high and facing our own dirty, fault-filled human nature. And telling the world about it! Are your choices led by your fear of the opinions of others or your opinion of yourself? Or do you have great faith and trust in God’s grace and ability to be present at all times, in all places? Don’t hinder God’s work through you for appearance sake. You are accountable to God and God alone.
So get some self-control, establish a game plan, and rejoin the world so you can show others sin can be defeated!
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:8-9
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
On this side of Heaven, you won’t always get it right
Sometimes you rise above, sometimes you gotta fight
You never know the stories that lie beneath the skin
But judgin’ now won’t change the broken places they’ve been
Cause I know that Jesus ain’t worried ‘bout tattoos and cigarettes
Or if you wear a golden cross around your neck
What about loving your neighbor and giving to the poor
I just want to love like that and nothing more
Rhett Walker Band “The Mystery”