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Pointers along the way #647

Sensitivity to sin

- Jacob Ninan

One discovery we make in life is that we keep recognising now and then that we didn't know we were doing something wrong till later, after we have done wrong. Maybe we came to know it because those acts caused problems to us or others, someone told us, or our own conscience pricked us. In other words, when we were about to do those wrong things, we didn't even realise they were wrong. This can happen all our life.

Several responses can take place. We can justify ourselves or blame others and suppress our conscience. Then we harden ourselves little by little and it may happen that we become callous about sin. Some people take shelter under false grace and refuse to receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit, imagining that it is an accusation of the Devil. A few people may feel condemned, thinking that they are never going to be pleasing to the Lord. A few may seek forgiveness from God and people, try to learn how to avoid those mistakes in the future, and get back to life. Sometimes we remain blind to some faults in our life!

A mark of growing in maturity is becoming more and more aware of sin in our life, learning to overcome in more and more areas in life, and developing the habit of responding quickly to the awareness of sin. If we are in the habit of languishing in our sin for a long period till we run out of steam (!), it shows we have not learnt to respond in the right way. For example, think of what happens when we become angry, bitter or lustful in our mind, to take some typical situations. Do we let the imaginations run in our mind, chew over the memories again and again, and find new angles to interpret events? Then we are actually allowing sin to rule over us, instead of us ruling over sin.

Imagine, instead, if we become aware more or less immediately that we have become angry, bitter or lustful, and then we start our battle to get over these thoughts and feelings! We cry out to God for help because we realise that we have fallen in the past and that we don't have the ability in ourselves to deal with such temptations. We remember what God's word tells us about situations like ours, and we start taking action in different ways to think according to God's ways rather than in human or fleshly ways. Then we find that we are better prepared for the same temptations the next time, and we are slowly becoming more like Jesus in real life!

This spiritual battle is going on in our mind (2Co.11:3), and it is in our mind -- in the way we think and react -- that we fail, or overcome and get transformed to the image of Christ (Ro.12:2). It is not going to happen merely by 'believing', 'confessing', 'praising','praying', etc. These are all bypass roads that the Devil has put up, trying to deprive believers from the victory that Jesus has purchased for us. Yes, we do believe, etc. But then 'by faith' we need to take action, starting in our mind, like we see in many examples from the heroes of faith in Heb.11.


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