Why it is absolutely worthwhile to fight against sin

Why it is absolutely worthwhile to fight against sin

I’ve experienced that the battle against sin is very real, and victory is very attainable!

To fight against sin in daily life. I think that if I were to talk about this topic with people I meet, it probably wouldn’t be a very popular conversation.

“Sin” is not at all a fashionable term. Yet we all have to admit that sin, or evil – the opposite of good­ – wreaks havoc in our world and affects the lives of pretty much every human being. And pretty much every human being has a sense for what is good and what is evil. Who doesn’t agree with the fact that there should be less evil on earth and more good? Less evil in everyone’s lives and more good?

The fact is that all of us are born with “sin in the flesh,” often referred to as “sin nature.” This is the inclination to sin that we all find when we are tempted to act against God’s will, for example. The potential for sin to harm not only one’s own life but also the lives of others with one’s actions is present in every human being because we are born with the same flesh. But the ability to fight against sin and resist these tendencies is also possible for every human being!

A willing heart

Since I was a small child, I have had the opportunity to believe that it is possible to overcome sin in my own life, because I had grown up hearing the gospel in the Christian assembly I attended, and personally knew people who lived a life full of good fruits.

Even so, overcoming sin has not been something that has come automatically. When I was a child, I was often painfully aware of that fact whenever I did something that left a weight on my conscience. This weight was heavy for me, because I actually wanted to live a good life. Little by little, I began to fight against sin.

I started by simply being willing to stop doing the things that left a weight on my conscience. I remember very clearly that it seemed like an insurmountable mountain for me to stop lying. It was so difficult for me to admit my faults and to “lose face,” or to stop arguing with my family because it was so difficult for me to admit that I was not always right! I realized that this tendency lay deep in my nature, and a willingness to go against my natural tendency was a crucial first step in conquering it.

It is God who works in us both to will and to do, as it is written in Philippians 2:13. If He had put the desire in my heart to stop lying, He would also give me all the strength I needed to succeed. I could believe this!

Overcoming sin: A process

I fought again and again against lying. I didn’t manage to overcome on the first try, and fell countless number of times. There were failures, defeats that left me with a bitter taste. But after every fall, a more resolute desire grew in my heart. I also realized that I needed to be more interested in what God said in His Word, and in keeping what He told me at the forefront of my thoughts so that I could be more on guard at the next opportunity.

Little by little, step by step, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I succeeded! I managed to defeat the spirit of contention. Where I usually couldn’t avoid any dispute, I was able to stay quiet, imperturbable and happy. I don’t remember how old I was when I finally came to victory in this area, but I remember very well that it was a crucial step, one that gave me faith and assurance to go forward. I felt an indescribable joy, and I remember thinking that I now had a part of that “kingdom which cannot be shaken” as mentioned in Hebrews 12:28.

New depths

With such an experience in my youth, the desire for battling has only increased. I still discover today depths in this battle against sin. But it makes life exciting! If I have had victory over telling lies, I still discover that there is a whole world of hidden tendencies to lie present inside me. God shows me more of the sin in my flesh – for example, wanting others to think better of me than I actually am, or telling a story in a different way depending on whom I am with, so as to make a better impression. These are all part of the “family of lying,” and when I see these tendencies, I take up a new battle against lying.

A battle inevitably costs something, and it is usually not difficult for the enemy, Satan – the father of lies as the Bible calls him, to make us believe that it is impossible to overcome, when in reality it actually is totally possible! We have the example of Jesus who was tempted in all points, yet without sin, who knows what we are going through and helps us when we pray. (Hebrews 4:15-16) God has weapons to give us in the fight against sin, as we read in Ephesians 6:13-17. He gives us the Holy Spirit. We can fight and be totally assured that we will get victory! I have experienced that so many times. I’ve fought and overcome doubt, fought and overcome wickedness, the desire for revenge, resentment, and hypocrisy!

The results of the fight against sin

Looking back, I realize how these sins could have ruined my life. Being free from sin bit by bit gives me happiness and a solid peace that is not of this world. (John 14:27) I have a kingdom inside me which cannot be shaken. More and more, I am becoming someone who does good for the people around me, who can bring something from heaven.

Being in this fight against sin makes my life much easier to live. In my relationships with my family or with anyone else around me, I don’t see a lot of problems with the others, but I first see the tendency to sin that I have to overcome inside of me. I am tasting freedom more and more, freedom from sin. (John 8:34-36) The gospel makes life so much easier and more beautiful!

A life of battle against sin is not tiring with God on my side. It is a life that makes me rich, that makes me gain treasure of eternal value!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.