Still Sinning, After All These Years
It's natural to be frustrated with the feeling that you’re still staring down the same habits of sin, or maybe even new ones. You might say to yourself: Wow, I didn’t think I was going to get addicted to shoes or to Netflix in my mid-forties. I thought I was done with silly things like that.
Sin has this way of reinventing itself and reentering the room just when we think we’ve gotten the door shut. That’s common to human existence. The difference for the believer is that we have a hope when that happens. The unbeliever really has no hope of ever being free from those patterns, but we do.
Sin has this way of reinventing itself and reentering the room just when when we think we’ve gotten the door shut.
We want to have a neatly resolved plotline where we say I had this problem, and I asked the Lord, and he removed my desire for that, and I didn’t do it anymore. But, we all know that’s not how we typically see holiness playing out in our lives.
Hatred of Sin Grows
Like Israel and like most of the people that we hear mentioned in the Scriptures, it takes a repeated process for us to learn to hate our sin the way that we should. Our hatred for a particular sin or a particular sin pattern grows, often over the course of a lifetime.
Sometimes people will say Well, that’s not really freedom from sin, but it is freedom from the nature of sin that we enjoy during the time that we live on this earth as believers—we are being increasingly freed from sin’s power. The kind of freedom that we typically hope for is a freedom from sin’s presence, but we don’t get that until later when we go to be with the Lord. Until that time, we’re called to live out all of the active verbs in Scripture—wrestle, struggle, run hard, strive. All of those verbs are telling us that it is hard work, but it’s the best work to live a life that’s spent overcoming sin to please the Lord.
- An Open Letter to Those Frustrated by Their Progress in Sanctification (David Powlison)
- Sanctification Is a Direction (David Powlison)
- Sanctification: An Often Painfully Slow Process (Jen Wilkin)