I’m Trying Not To Sin, Honest!

If I could tell you how many times in my past I made my goal to “try not to sin.” I know I’m not alone. Let me give you an example. I’d read passages like Colossians 3:5-9 and almost make myself sick with sorrowful sorries.

“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds.” *

Yuk. I’d sit and recount all the things on the list above that I hadn’t adhered to and tearfully promise God I’d do better. It was as if the Lord were sitting there with a huge scowl on His face, disappointed in the beautiful daughter He had loved so perfectly, only to let Him down.

It’s taken me years to realize that living Christ’s way isn’t about “trying not to sin.” It’s about knowing and loving Jesus more. Because the more I concentrate on Him, the less I want to entertain thoughts and actions that He hates. The more I love Him, the more I realize how much He loves me, and He’ll be faithful to give me everything I need for life and godliness. **

I wonder why I would start on verse 5 of Colossians 3 when the verses preceding it would give me the proper perspective:

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.”

And why would I stop reading at verse 9 when I could read in the verses following that in place of the “evil nature and all its wicked deeds,” I have clothed myself with “a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed” as I “learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature”?

Maybe you are where I used to be, suffering with guilt from failure upon failure to keep all the rules of the Bible. The wild thing is that God wants us to be free from self-effort so badly that He will continue to let us fail until we get it. That’s not a cruel thing, it’s a loving thing. Yes, He’s holy and He absolutely hates sin. But HE is the One who died for our sins. HE is the One who conquered death when He rose to Heaven.

So doesn’t it make sense that, as we focus on knowing Him, we’ll worship Him and love Him? And as we grow to love Him more, we’ll want to surrender our lives fully to Him. How couldn’t we? He’s ALIVE in us through the Holy Spirit, and our lives are now hidden in Him!

I couldn’t help but pass this on…these thoughts hit my mind this morning and wouldn’t let go, so I’m letting you know. “The One who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it.” (1 Thess. 5:24, NIV). Will you let Him?

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*NLT translation unless otherwise noted

** As you seek the Lord, He may lead you to others for counsel regarding a habitual sin, stronghold or addiction. Sometimes He chooses to use others to help us in the process of healing.

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15 Responses to I’m Trying Not To Sin, Honest!

  1. Joanne Sher says:

    Because the more I concentrate on Him, the less I want to entertain thoughts and actions that He hates. – SOOO true. Working to not sin is natural – but loving Him is SUPERnatural. What an awesome reminder, my friend!
    Joanne Sher recently posted..Stressed Out Cmon Over

  2. Excellent post, LauraLee! It’s not about perfection but progress. It’s not about staring at our own shortcomings, but gazing into His face. The more we look at Him, the more we become like Him. Thanks for this uplifting reminder.

  3. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Well said, Jo. And BTW, your family post at the Internet Cafe was wonderful!

  4. LauraLeeShaw says:

    And thank YOU for that uplifting reminder. What a beautiful paraphrase. Will see you soon, Julie!

  5. Margie Roach says:

    These words are healing balm to the soul. God is trying so hard to get this message through my thick skull and down into my heart. Thank you, once again, for being a tool in His hands, Laura. Love you…

  6. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Love you too, Margie. God is so faithful to show us what we need right when we need it. When I look at you, I see Him, so He’s shining brightly through you, my friend.

  7. Beth says:

    God is soooo patient with us… Your message blesses!

  8. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Thank goodness for that!!! 😀 Thanks for taking the time to stop by and encourage, Beth.

  9. Lisa Shaw says:

    Hi precious friend,

    This said it all for me: “It’s taken me years to realize that living Christ’s way isn’t about “trying not to sin.” It’s about knowing and loving Jesus more. Because the more I concentrate on Him, the less I want to entertain thoughts and actions that He hates. The more I love Him, the more I realize how much He loves me, and He’ll be faithful to give me everything I need for life and godliness. ”

    Thanks for sharing a powerful message of truth and I love you!

  10. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Your comments always mean so much to me, Lisa. Thank you for taking time out of your crazy professional schedule to encourage me. Love you, sister!

  11. Great post–it reminds me of C.S. Lewis when he said that he didn’t know what a sinner he was until he tried in earnest NOT to sin.

  12. LauraLeeShaw says:

    So true, Lisa. Thanks for that!

  13. Sheri says:

    WOW! That’s about all I can say. You really made me stop and think. I am in love with I Thess. 5:24 right now. Thanks for posting it!

  14. LauraLeeShaw says:

    It’s my life verse, and the Lord puts legs on it in my life constantly. Love to hear we are in the same place. Thanks for your comments!

  15. Always good when we read the rest of the story…

    How often have I gotten bogged down and isolated in the grief and pain without taking on the corresponding grace and love that comes with being a daughter of the King! I’ve done it in recent days, but you’re right… God is faithful. He will do it. He is doing it! Thanks be to God.

    Sorry I’ve been absent from your world. I’m barely breathing in mine, but it’s getting better.

    peace~elaine

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