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Pastor Garrett Kell, writing at DesiringGod.org, offered an interesting take on how we tend to approach sin in our lives.
He compared it to reading a news story about someone who purchased a pet anaconda snake. Everything is fine until the snake escapes, slithers into the owner’s or his children’s room, and consumes a sleeping victim.
“Some of us treat sin the same way. We know it can be dangerous, but assume we can domesticate and control it,” he added. “Maybe our sin plays along for a little while, appearing subdued, but it will always seek an opportunity to strike.”
Sin, like evil in general, is always lurking around us waiting for us to step in its trap and devour us.
Trying to battle a sin problem, especially a stubborn or stronghold sin that we can’t seem to overcome, is very frustrating. Apostle Peter described the predicament like waging war against your soul in 1 Peter 2:11.
In Romans 7:15-20, Apostle Paul describes the condition as being a slave to sin:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
To me, that is the most relatable verse in the entire Bible.
Even though we know what sin can do to us personally, Kell explains why we don’t really want to kill our sin, but rather simply try to tame it. He outlines three reasons why that is the case:
- Because we love sin
- Because killing sin hurts
- Because we forget sin’s cost
When battling sin, we seem to seek forgiveness rather than freedom. We see sin as a momentary lapse, not a relentless curse that can only be overcome by Jesus, who paid our penalty for that sin so that we are no longer held captive to its power.
“When our desires are transformed, our resolve will be strengthened to kill any sin that might hinder us from delighting in God,” Kell writes. “Nothing is more precious than God’s presence, so kill your sin before it robs you of him.”