I struggled on knowing what to write for this. Part of the problem is I have a bunch of different topics I want to tackle. I started by writing a post on pornography, but I realized that I wanted to hit something much bigger across the spectrum. I think some of these big sin issues need to be discussed, and people need help on knowing how to deal with them. However, there is a key aspect to our big sin addictions that need to be addressed. This encompasses anyone with any reoccurring sin they struggle with. It is the issue of over focusing on that sin.
This is not to say that these sins need to be ignored or not talked about. One of the saddest things in our world and specifically in the church today is that we do not discuss the awkward, but predominant issues like pornography. Silence on these issues are causing problems. The over focusing comes from the individual struggling with the sin.
Satan and his demons are crafty and skilled at deception. They know how to make us feel like we are on the right track while subtly leading us astray. Often times a Christians weakest point is when they are obsessively fighting off a specific sin. Why would this be? Why would fighting our sin be a ploy of the enemy? It can slightly be compared to this following analogy.
Let’s say I am training to be a basketball player. I practice constantly on my dribbling, defensive stance, my shooting, layups, etc. I pour all of my time and energy into basketball drills. Theoretically I should become a better basketball player right? Well I didn’t explain the details of my training. My practice in dribbling consists of me staring down at the floor the entire time. Now I practice this for our, but I am staring at the floor. My shooting and layup techniques are practiced completely wrong. I practice my defensive stance for hours, but it is done so poorly that anyone could get passed me.
Our obsessiveness over a sinful addiction can be the same way. I can pour all of my energy into fighting this sin, and learning “techniques”, but if I am doing the wrong thing it is actually going to hurt me in the long run. Let us take the example of pornography. I memorize some key verses to keep in mind when the urge to give into this sin occurs. I have an accountability group I can call when things are getting difficult. I keep my computer off when no one else is around. Have I really dealt with the sin?
I have dealt with the urges. I have stalled some of the consequences of my desires. I have not dealt with the root issue though. I have not dealt with what is going on in my heart. This is a problem, and is perhaps the main reason why people often relapse into their sin. We have strived to fight off the urges rather than dealing with the main issue.
How can we fix this problem? It starts by looking at the bigger picture. There is more going on in your spiritual walk than just that one specific sin. Christianity is a relationship with God in every aspect of our lives. Our focus then should be on honoring and glorifying him in all that we do. Satan can make us focus so much on fighting our sin that we can actually lose focus on God.
Think about it. Whenever the fight with sin is not going particularly well we feel too guilty to cultivate our relationship with God. Our devotionals start to become less frequent, and thus we lose the source of energy to resist temptation. It becomes a downward spiral. Even when we are “succeeding” in our fight with sin we remain so obsessed with it that we forget other aspects of our spiritual life that also require attention such as being a servant, sharing the gospel, ministering to our family, or even dealing with another sin that has become a habit in our life. Success in obsessively combating sin can often be the greatest window of opportunity for pride to settle into your life.
I propose a new tactic. Start drawing closer to God. Spend time with him even if you feel you do not deserve his time. Focus on glorifying him. A man with a sin rooted in his life is a man who has had a failure of focusing on Christ rather than a failure of focusing on defeating that sin. We cannot defeat our sin on our own. We can fight back the urges, but the real issue is a heart issue. Only God can deal with those. Soon we will discuss on some of these common sin issues, but today simply focus on Him.