MY BESETTING SIN IS HINDERING ME,
WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT?
"...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us."
All of us are weaker in one area than another. In some, it is their temper. In others, it is depression. In some, it is a sinful habit. Whatever it is, the devil makes it his business to know it better than we do. We even try to hide it from ourselves. We give it pretty names. We look for reasons to excuse it. We find therefore, that this is the sin that "easily" trips us up.
WHAT IS YOUR BESETTING SIN?
Your besetting sin is the one for which you don't want reproved.
It is the sin that you are most ready to defend.
It is the sin that causes you to doubt your acceptance by God.
It is the sin you are most unwilling to admit that you possess.
It is the sin that you are most unwilling to give up.
It is the sin that you are trying to persuade yourself is an infirmity.
It is the sin that you must put aside in order to enjoy your salvation.
WHAT IS THE DANGER OF BESETTING SINS?
Besetting sins are a great danger for the Christian.
They will keep you from moving forward in your walk with Jesus.
They will take the place of God in your life.
They will keep your walk inconsistent, and keep you from spiritual victories.
Besetting sins will keep your prayers from being answered.
They will bring you trouble and sorrow.
They will be a stumbling block to others.
The besetting sins will grieve the Holy Spirit's work in your life.
These sins will make you lose much of your reward.
Hebrews 12 tells us to "lay aside" these sins. Besides the besetting sins, we are to also "lay aside" the "weight". This is the word "agkos" in the Greek. It means "bulk, mass", and refers to things that are not in themselves "sin" but that drag us down to be less resistant to sin.
The Bible talks about "lasciviousness". Lasciviousness is something that is not sin in itself, but when allowed will bring us to a place that makes it easy for us to yield to sin. Lasciviousness is therefore different for different people. For a former alcoholic, it may be just walking past the bar. To a former drug addict, it may be coffee with caffeine. To others, these things are not sinful.
There is often a need for Christians to therefore "fence" around the sin that easily besets them. By building a fence around that sin, and shutting out the possibility to yield to it, the Christian will be less likely to fall again in that temptation.
This is taught in principle by Jesus in Matthew 5:29-30.
"If your hand offend you, cut it off... eye... pluck it out..."
Identify the things that lead you to times of failure in your besetting sins. Stay as far away from that sin as you can. If you are tempted to acts of violence and temper, why listen to people who are angry, or why watch movies that condone violence and anger? If one is tempted to stray from faithfulness to a mate, why frequent places where others will encourage such unfaithfulness? Why would such a person want to read magazines with suggestive pictures? Why would that person want to watch soap operas that encourage unfaithfulness? If skipping church is easy for you to do, why do you go to bed early before a day of work, but can stay up till 3 a.m. on Saturday night? Learn to fence around the sin that easily besets you. Learn to avoid what makes it easy for you to sin.
The second part of advice in Hebrews 12 is to keep "looking unto Jesus..." He is the "Author" of our faith, and He is the One who will be the "Finisher" of our faith. As we look to Him for help in the midst of our daily lives, we can realize that He was also tempted. He did not sin. He endured much in life. He prepared for His temptation with fasting and prayer. We have paid too little attention to temptation and besetting sins in Christianity. Unfortunately, it shows! It is a warfare against a wicked tempter. Get serious about this battle.
"...ye have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin..."
KEEPING A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
IS VITAL TO OVERCOMING BESETTING SINS
The real test in Christian living is to maintain a relationship with Jesus throughout all the other events. Surely, you may join a church, aid its ministry, and worship in its services. However, be sure to maintain your relationship with Jesus. If you lose that relationship with Jesus, all else is worthless. You can lose your soul to a devil's hell, and still be a preacher, board member, choir director, or Sunday School teacher. Relationship with Jesus is vital to maintain your faith. The rest, as being a church member, teaching Sunday School, etc., is good; but these do not save your soul.
What we need to find in the Christian life is victorious living.
"Restore unto me the joy of my salvation."
Besetting sins rob our joy by hindering our relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is grieved, the Lord is somewhat estranged. Those relationships need restoration.
Many Christians have lost their joy. David sinned, and found a miserable life till he repented. Peter denied his Lord, and was forlorn. Through carelessness in prayer and Bible study, many Christians lose the relationship of Christianity. The miracle of Christianity and its joy, is the relationship.
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
The key is to "receive Him." That simply means to accept Him. He has knocked on the door, all we must do is open it and commune with Him. Many receive soap operas, receive trashy magazines, receive questionable T.V. programs, receive gossip of a friend, receive criticism against another... etc. We all do much receiving. Just simply keep receiving Jesus on a daily basis. Learn to greet Him "good morning" in the morning when you wake. Talk with Him as you toil through the day. Say "good night" to Him at bedtime. This Christianity is a relationship.
Joy will continue to one who receives Jesus, and His Word, and His truth. It is not difficult. It is so easy. Most church people will even think you strange, but you will be a very "happy" strange. Many in churches who have lost this relationship are the miserable, the hypocrites, the abusers. Those who have a relationship with Jesus, are the ones who can truly smile, and can love others, and can radiate the real Christ-life.
Besetting sins need to be ‘set aside’ so that relationship, and looking unto Jesus can be restored.