5 Lies Sin Tells Us
Part of growing into mature Christian is the constant confession of sin, with both God and with others. But in the individualistic society in which we live, people don't always confess their sin. In fact, if they fall away from having their daily quiet time with God, it can be months or even years since they've confessed sin and been forgiven by God.
When this happens, the habitual sins which they find they're constantly repeating become even bigger (or less) than they originally thought because they deceive themselves into thinking lies about the sin.
If you find yourself stuck in habitual sin that you can't get out of, is it possible you're believing lies about it that is causing a foothold to stay in your life? We believe the enemy’s lies, which can allow sin to remain, creating a hindrance between ourselves and our community with God. Here are five lies sin tells you:
1. It’s No Big Deal
When we first commit a sin, such as lying, our conscience informs us we've made the wrong decision. We feel guilt and shame, among other emotions. That is, until we lie again. If we continue to commit the act, we deceive ourselves by telling ourselves it's no big deal. We may even minimize those lies into what are called white lies, which society sees as less than otherwise.
But the reality is lying is just as bad as any other sin. It causes us to distort the truth about a situation, ourselves, or others. It also causes people not to trust us if we get caught. Soon there's always a big deal, and every growing Christian needs to have a mature accountability partner with whom they can talk to and confess their sin regularly to. This person can help them with the work of confession and repentance, to move past this particular sin.
2. No One Will Find Out
Secrets are not always a bad thing. Matthew 6:4 says, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” In the garden, God told Adam all about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, before he made Eve. But in a later chapter, we quickly realized Adam told Eve all about it too. Does that mean God kept a secret from Eve? Secrets are bad only if the nature of them is rooted in sin.
Keeping a sinful secret, however, can be detrimental to a healthy spiritual life. In chapter three of Genesis, God gives Adam and Eve the opportunity to confess their sin before him. Although they didn't take responsibility for their sin and instead blamed each other, God still wants us to openly speak to him about our sin. As we confess our sin to God or to others, it offers us the opportunity to be forgiven and to take responsibility for our actions.
It is necessary for every person to have someone they can talk to about their sin. By confessing it outwardly, the bondage with which Satan holds us and the shame that comes with it can be broken when we confess our sins openly.
3. God Can’t Forgive This
Some sins in our mind are so severe, we think God can't possibly forgive us. For example, if the sin is habitual, like some form of lust (pornography, for example) we realize that sin not only deals with lust but also with adultery, especially if the person looking at it is married. Matthew 5:28 says, “anyone who even looks lustfully in another woman has committed adultery in his heart.”
But there is no sin God can't forgive. By Jesus’ death on the cross, he covered over every sin we have committed or will commit in the future. We can be assured God forgives us when we confess our sin and repent of our behavior. But sometimes the person we can't forgive is ourselves. We struggle with the process of forgiving ourselves for the difficult sins we have committed. Don't believe the lie that you can't stop doing what you're doing. With God's help anything is possible.
4. It's Not as Big as Other People’s Sin
In Galatians 6:4-5, Paul encourages the church to restore someone gently, especially if they are in sin. He then continues, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”
It's easy to get into the trap of comparison and allow pride to enter your heart. One of the sneakiest sins we commit is pride because it's so easy to go unchecked. We then compare our sin to the person who needs to be restored, and believe we are better people because our sin is not as bad as theirs. But again, we deceive ourselves into thinking certain sins are worse than others.
All sin separates us from the love of God. All sin needs to be confessed and forgiven. All behaviors must be repented before freedom can be achieved. The next time you hear someone else’s sin, don't be quick to allow pride to enter your heart. Show gentleness and humility, helping that person and praying for them so that they can achieve the same freedom you've come to know.
5. I Can’t Stop
When we are entangled in sin, and repeat the same behavior again, it becomes more difficult to break free. This is especially true of sins that are still considered shameful in front of society. We can easily lie to ourselves and say we don't have the willpower to be able to stop this. But willpower is not the key to freedom; only Jesus is.
When we lie to ourselves and tell ourselves we cannot stop, we put God in a box. We underestimate his power and presence in our lives. If Jesus can raise people from the dead, then he can certainly stop a sin from dominating our lives. A good place to start is confess your sin to someone. Tell them you need help to stop. Through a renewed reading of the word, prayer and constant accountability, freedom is possible. It may be hard at first and you may stumble, but don't give up. All freedom is possible to those who believe.
We live in a society where people don't want to be judged for their sin. Therefore, it gets easier for us to conceal our sin and allow it to become a stronghold in our lives. But through open confession, prayer, reading the word and renewing our minds, reliance on Jesus is key. When we rely on Jesus and trust him to remove the sin, we can experience freedom in ways we never have before.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Bulat Silvia
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.