How to live a sin-free life
By Oluwatoyosi Adegunle
Edited by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun
Hey! I really hope this meets you well. Have you ever been stuck with addictions, bad habits, or wrongdoing, and you've tried to stop, but you never really understood how you got there so fast and deep, and how to stop it. Tell you what? Nothing is as frustrating as this experience! If you've ever been in this situation, you most likely spend much time wondering and thinking about how you started and how you to stop it.
Addictions, bad habits, and wrongdoings are those 'little foxes' we were warned against in Songs of Solomon 2:15. They don't come in their fullness, but are very subtle and creep in without your permission whenever you let down your guard and give room for a tiny bit of them in your heart. These things truly don't define your status as a child of God, but equally don't aid your spiritual growth or relationship with God and you need to watch it. These things that are now huge in your hands all started from somewhere. Maybe you used to give room for sexual content on your social media feeds, now you stream porn, you're scared and you can't seem to understand the situation. Do not fret, follow this through.
Here are some of the reasons you started doing what you do now:
1. Communication: There are three major features of communication - message, channel, and feedback. Channel can be social media, humans, movies, books, music, etc. Feedback is your engagement with the message which determines who you become. Also note that your personality is largely dependent on what you hear, what you see, who you roll with, and what you engage. Commune with wrong vibes, then, you attract it too. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says evil communication corrupts good manners. You need to watch what you commune with and meditate upon. Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinketh, so he is. What you see and hear determines what you think or brood upon, and what you think is who you become. Do you get the drill? You need to understand that you can't relate with everything or everyone. This understanding will help you filter the wrong from the right, the fruitful from the unfruitful habits you engage in.
2. Grace is not a licence to sin, you can read more about this here. The grace of God is what gives freedom from the shackles of sin and death truly. Deliberately committing sin and engaging in unfruitful habits, even when you know God's position on them is an absolute misunderstanding of grace which you have received. Like Apostle Paul said in Romans 6:1 (KJV) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? You can not deliberately engage with things that lead you to sin under the guise of 'the blood covers it all' or 'I am saved' or 'God loves me' or 'My sins have been forgiven', and many more. These things are absolutely true but don't misunderstand God's grace, don't be misled, and don't at any point in your life use the word of God for selfish purposes that will romance your pride, and the lust of your flesh, and eyes. You're now slaves of righteousness because you're dead to sin, let your conduct align with this truth.
3. Who's your light? The scripture says in John 1:4 that In him is life and the life is the light of men. Jesus alone is your Lord and saviour, God is your heavenly Father and Holy Spirit is the comforter that brings you into ALL truth. Now, think about this, whose life, actions and in-actions influence your attitudes or decisions? It is absolutely okay to look up to believers like you and be inspired by their life or activities, but never give in to any wrong doctrine perpetuated even by a fellow believer. Don't do a thing because someone is doing it. Sometimes, you're convinced by the help of the Holy Spirit and scriptures that something is not right, but you get the validation to do it because another person, especially a believer does it. You are you in Christ. Fellowship with the brethren is one of the sweetest experiences on earth, but you need to always refer back to the word of God and let the Holy Spirit be your go-to in times of confusion. Look up to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith always.
Having established these common reasons you usually do the things you do, here are some things you can do to stop addictions and bad habits:
● Don't be sin-conscious. Don't focus and rely on your strength to stop you from doing them. Read more on sin-consciousness here.
● Don't take away your contribution. As much as it is lying on you, do away with things that lead you to sin. If you have issues with fornication, then you need to set practical boundaries with the opposite sex while you pray and let God work on you. Be intentional, remember 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV) Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
● Always refer back to the scripture and commune with God. He listens to us all the time, so speak to him. Don't wait till you're deep in sin before you talk to God about it. God is interested in every part of our lives, feel free to share things with him.
● Pray, trust and obey God's instructions every time.
● Speak to a believer that you can be accountable to and would always check on you and your growth.
Remember that God loves you and will never let you go. He will never stop working on you till you look just like him. Obey God and watch YOU come into perfection in God.