Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Sin Challenge

I'm feeling led to try something scary and different here -- something interactive. You all know I've been meditating a lot on sin and our slavery/freedom from it. I truly believe that we have become much too complacent about the presence of sin in our lives, about how it disrupts our relationship with God and others, how it hurts our ministries, and how it keeps us from the abundant life Christ came to give us. Would my believing friends be willing to try an "experiment" with me? Not to test God, but to test ourselves.

Step one: pick a sin in your life. Just one. Don't say you can't think of one (1 John 1:8). Ask God to show you the one he's ready to get rid of in your life (Psalm 139:23). Again, just focus on one.

Step two: confess it to yourself and to God. Out loud. Some of my strongest sinful entanglements were only overcome when I vocally articulated exactly what it was I was doing in no uncertain terms -- only then did I realize the shame of it and feel appropriately sorrowful. And I think you do have to feel the sorrow for your sin to move on. (Take a moment here, by the way, to thank God for forgiving you -- 1 John 1:9 -- and for loving you and dying for you long before you ever got this cleaned up -- Romans 5:8. God is more merciful to us than we are to ourselves, often.)

Step three: find a compassionate Christian friend and confess the sin to them (James 5:16). Yep, you'll hate this step. But again, I've found in my own life that I don't get serious about eradicating sin if it's still hidden away in the closet, so to speak (1 John 1:6-7). Ask them to serve as an accountability partner to you for step four.

Step four: Repent. Meaning, turn completely away from that thing and walk in a different direction (Romans 6:1-2). Shut the door, throw out the supplies, fill the hole with something of God (Romans 6:19). Make a decision in your life that you are done with that sin, and that is simply that. And then trust that God is going to empower you to do it (Romans 6:6-7).

Will you try this with me? And will you do two more things? Hit the "share" button at the top of this blog and share this post with other believing friends -- not because I want the exposure, but because I want to give this "experiment" wider scope. And then, will you tell me what God does in your life, and your friends' lives, as a result? You don't have to give your name. I just want to hear the stories -- and I want to be able to share them. I think the Church is hungry for stories of real people walking in the light and living a victorious Christian life. I know I am.


Ona Marae said...

I do wish you had posted this challenge before I left my church job and, in the process of "leaving" disconnected from all the people who were just members of the same church or very marginal friends. (I had too many friends on FB and had to think of some way to thin the crop. Besides, in an ethical sense of leaving the church for my replacement, I need not to be active in their lives for a while.) But I have enough friends I can find someone to complete this challenge with...as a matter of fact I have an idea now! Thanks for all your thoughtful sharings...they certainly enrich my life. Now, are you going to ask for a report in 3 or 6 months to see how the experiment went?

GJK said...

I hope to hear from people before 3 months go by . . . but yes, I'll remind everyone to get back to me.