“For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” -Galatians 2:18
When it comes to bad habits, it’s easy to play the victim. Like blaming it on our personality types or the fact it’s just the way we are. If you’ve ever struggled with an addiction, you know exactly what I mean. It’s the worst when you think you’ve overcome – especially when you believe God set you free or healed you from the habit. Until the night it all comes rushing back and the self loathing you feel doesn’t come close to the destruction of your faith…. because you thought this time it was for real. You feel powerless and some days you may even lose your will to fight and just give in.
On one of those nights God lead me to Romans 6:12: “Don’t let sin reign in your life.”
It sounds so simple. But even Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:19: the things we will to do, we don’t, but what we hate, that we do. The explanation is simple…its because we let sin live in us. We open the door, welcome it in and allow it to make itself quite at home in our hearts, schedules and minds.
I know you don’t want to hear it. Neither do I. Being a victim is easier in this case. But as Paul writes in Romans 6:19: the same way you presented yourself and your time to those bad habits, apply the same effort to live a holy life. Choose who you present yourself, your thoughts and your time to obey. You are not a victim. It’s not “just the way you are.”
So that when you choose to go back to the habits, thoughts, addictions or sins you thought you overcame, you deliberately walk contrary to God’s law. Because you vowed to live differently. You wrote that law into your life. And then you yourself broke it.
But that’s where grace steps in. If the law was all that there was to it, this would be the end of your story. The end of mine too. But because Christ gave Himself for us, we can choose to escort sin out of our hearts and invite Christ to live in us. It’s a choice. One that you might have to make every minute of every day. Keep choosing Christ. Let Him reign in your heart, in your daily schedule and in your mind. Because sin can’t coexist with Christ in one heart. It’s a brutal truth. But it’s also a promise: that just as as sin came into your life, it can leave. Each and every single time. Because God is greater.