“Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” 6:12-14
“So you should also consider yourselves dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”
This is a great chapter, liberating us from the power of sin and joining us to the freedom of Jesus. But sometimes (every day at least six times), sin still feels like my master. When I give in to my selfish tendencies…when I lose my patience quickly….when I speak curtly without thinking. Not exactly the marks of someone who has conquered sin nature and is riding off on a white horse with Jesus. Paul grapples with this alongside us in the next chapter, so whew, we’re not alone.
For now, here are some tangible steps to take to loosen sin’s grip on your life:
- Know where sin shows up in your life. You need to know what you’re working against. What are your personal weaknesses?
- Practice self-restraint. Our culture tends to keep itself from very little and pride itself on having it all. “Lose weight without changing a thing!” But the Bible talks about discipline a lot and counts it as godly. Self-control is a muscle that needs to be exercised to get stronger.
- Ask for help. (Ugh.) This means letting people in on your mess, which does several things. It builds community, because you’re being vulnerable and authentic, it increases your chances of success and it diminishes the power Satan has on you. Instead of you crouching in the dark, scrambling to fix your own mistakes, you’re tearing open the blinds and letting the light pour in. Admit that something’s wrong. Ask for accountability. Ask for prayer. You’ll realize you aren’t alone in your struggles and you’re not alone in your fight.
Writing that last paragraph convicts me that when I am on the receiving end of that from another believer to steward it well. To quickly forgive, to humbly hold them accountable, to take my role seriously in their life and fight their battle alongside them.
We are dead to sin, and we have a choice of who we serve. Do you feel empowered by that? What’s stopping you?