“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16
I have yet to meet a person who genuinely loves Jesus and does not also despise and seek to mortify his or her sin. No Christian does this sin-killing thing perfectly. We all stumble in many ways (James 3:2). But though temptations do evil deeds still abound in our not-yet-perfected hearts, we desire and aim daily to “put on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14).
However, though we long to crush our sins, how many of us today are seriously struggling or even failing to do so? Probably a decent number of us.
I received an email a few weeks ago from a Christian who for years has been attempting to cease from his habitual use of pornography. To his immense disappointment and frustration, these attempts have been largely unsuccessful. He might have a good week here and there, but he always finds himself returning to this filth he both craves and hates.
When I asked him what he was doing to kill his sin, he said, “I have accountability and filtering software on my computer, and I had a friend set up restrictions on my smart phone. But I keep finding ways to get around the blocks!”
I inquired further, “Okay, so you have some preventative measures in place. This is good—even though they obviously aren’t bulletproof. What other steps are you taking?”
He responded, “I mean, that’s basically it. I just try to avoid it. I set blocks up on my devices, try not to watch TV shows that will trigger the temptation, and hope for the best.”
This man is attempting to overcome his sin just as an unregenerate alcoholic would attempt sobriety or an unbelieving gambler would attempt to break his addiction: by mere prevention and avoidance.
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Matt Moore is a Christian blogger who was formerly engaged in a gay lifestyle. You can read more about him at www.moorematt.org.