Failure can lead us down a dangerous road. Failure against temptation can be the most devastating of all. There is always so much discussion about how to keep from sinning. Books are written about resisting temptation. Sermons are preached on how to live a Godly life. There is that nagging issue though. No matter how hard we try we still sin sometimes. What then? What do we do when we have sinned? I’m not sure why it is not talked about very often. Perhaps people fear it gives off the idea that we expect to sin therefore we will go ahead and give into sin. Perhaps we think it endorses sinning. We try and avoid the old “sin now and ask for forgiveness later”.
We do sin though. That is a problem. What is an even bigger problem is there are so many who do not know what to do once they have sinned. They become lost and go astray like a sheep who wanders from its shepherd. We make a bad situation even worse. We become overrun with guilt and hide our face from God. We cannot bear to face him because we feel dirty.
There are some things I want you to remember when you sin.
1. God will still forgive you. Believers will sin against God. Is it wrong? Yes. Should we be ashamed of sin? Yes. Should we hate it? Yes. However, we must remember that God will still forgive us of our sin. We are not defined by our mistakes. We no longer need to go on living in that sin. We are not enslaved to it any longer. Satan hates that we have been freed from his captivity, and will try anything he can to trick us into feeling as though we are in chains again. One way is by convincing us that God loves us less when we sin, and will not forgive us for it.
2. You need to repent of your sin. It is more than just acknowledging your sin. You need to confess it, and turn away from it. Too often we live in the guilt of the past rather than with a confessed tongue of the future. We must confess our sins to God, and I even encourage confessing to a brother or sister in Christ.
3. Don’t hide from God. It is a natural instinct. We want to avoid Him when we fail. We do not want to face the guilt and shame of answering to Him when we have sinned. This is one way how sin divides us from God. Sin encourages us to run from God in fear. We are afraid of the consequences. We are afraid to face our guilt. However, without facing God we can never receive healing. Healing form sin requires the need to be purified by fire.
4. Don’t withdraw from loved ones. When we struggle with a sin we often feel naked. We feel as though anyone could see right through us. Don’t withdraw from those who care about you when you sin. Satan is an accuser and wants to get us alone when we have sinned. He wants us to feel as though we are stuck in darkness.
5. Go forth and sin no more. Don’t keep returning to that sin. Don’t live in it. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t live in its past. Don’t make it part of your future. Ignoring these other points will lead you on a path to living in that sin. Hiding from God will require you to fill the void with sin. Failing to repent will keep you from having a broken heart towards the sin. Hiding form loved ones takes away all your accountability on avoiding that sin. Failure to acknowledge God’s forgiveness makes you lose all hope to fight against temptation. If you believe you are damaged goods then you will act like damaged goods.
6. Most importantly remember that you are still loved. I was loved in the midst of my sin, and that realization made all the difference in the world. I want you to know today that you are still loved no matter your past.