Why exactly do we sin? I once heard a pastor say we were born sinners and that although we come out as cute little babies, at the time of our birth we were cute little sinners. This is a pretty harsh assessment of our birth but if this is the case there must be something we could to avoid the habit of sinning.
Recently I have been doing some self examination. I have been wondering what makes me/us repeat the same sins over and over again. During this reflection period it dawned on that I may have become a slave to my sin. How could this be? I pray for the forgiveness of my sins but why was I committing the same one(s) over again. It dawned on me that I needed to get the the root cause of the issue. We tend to stay on the surface level with our sins. For instance (as an example) if we are dishonest we ask God to forgive us for lying but if we are honest with ourselves, we never ask ourselves any questions as it relates to the cause of our sins. Why are we lying? What is the underlying issue? Are our insecurities causing us to choose sin? Are we fearful or faithless? Has society made sin an acceptable choice? Take a look at any reality show or movie and sinful/shameful acts are glorified for the sake of ratings and we buy into it by watching faithfully. Now of course avoiding the media may be nearly impossible. If we are really serious about sinning less, we must seriously reflect on the above questions and we must know the triggers that lead us to choose sin.
Below are a list of things I have been doing as a part of my self examination. I know these steps will help us to break the chains that have us enslaved to sin.
Step 1 Be honest. Name Your Sins.
We must stop being general with our sins. If you are lying, cheating, stealing or whatever name it when you pray to God. Naming our sins enables us to familiarize ourselves with our patterns of misbehavior. If you are radical keep a journal of your actions.
Step 2 Go deep. Starting with one sin, ask yourself, “Why am I committing this sin?”
This step will be the most grueling and will take the longest. Although it may be tough we, really need to get to the root of our behavior. Is it our fears that drive us to choose sin? Maybe we have some insecurities. Or maybe we are participating in a learned behavior. Once we have pinpointed the root of our behavior it is a key to remember the results and work on what has been revealed to us. If needed we may need to seek help from a professional outside source whether pastor, counselor or social worker. Working on the root causes will give us the opportunity to realize we do have a choice in the matter and we are not slaves to our sins. Our choice will no longer be an uncontrollable impulse but more a thought out decision where we ponder our actions and even the consequences.
Step 3 Pray for the strength to change your pattern of behavior.
Finally Pray. Through prayer all things are possible, even sinning less and changing our patterns of behavior.
How do you go about changing your patterns of behavior as it relates to sin? Share your thoughts below.