Have you found yourself struggling with sin and at times feeling helpless? I remember back in my early days in faith how I used to struggle living a Christian life. I tried by my own effort to live up to God’s standard as outlined in the scripture. This only brought much struggle in my mind and I could feel myself helpless and tired of fighting by myself. No matter how much I tried, I always found myself falling short and guilt was my portion throughout. I remember at home we could fight with my siblings and was also found guilty at the end. Remarks such as, “and if you see him carrying a Bible going to church you might think he is too good.” Such statements had everything it takes to stop me from going to church and become a better sinner so that they don’t use church against me. I can honestly say I loved God since I did not stop going to church. In fact, I felt more guilt if I did not attend church.
I was taught from early stage that a Christian cannot sin and therefore any “small” sin led to much guilt. Having been in Christian leadership at a very early age (that is in grade 7) raised the expectations of people towards me and my personal expectations about myself. I used to preach every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at school. Maybe the school should have considered paying me a monthly salary since I was basically the chaplain. Whenever I would sin as a leader I felt like I was letting not only God down, but the whole school. Whenever I preached at school, I never preached scriptures that confronted my sinfulness since I wanted to paint a good picture of myself. I did not like feeling any sort of guilt.
I understand my story is the story of most Christians. We don’t want to feel guilty and we feel that to be a Christian or be born again means we must be perfect. We are ashamed of talking about our weaknesses since we must put our best foot forward to guard our reputation and status. I am here to let you know that, it is normal to have such struggles and I hope to give you an antidote to such struggles.
THE ANTIDOTE TO STRUGGLING IN SIN
I can say I accepted Christ by grace and through faith but thereafter went back to live by works and ignored the grace of God in my journey with God. I didn’t rely on him for my spiritual journey. We must rely on the grace that saved us in order to live the Christian life as Christ would have us to. Consider it this way, if you become wealthy through corruption, you have to continue in it to sustain your appetite for wealth. If you were saved by God’s grace then it will take the grace of God to sustain you in your Christian walk. Stop living a works based life, trying to please God. Live a grace based life working on His strength to move you along in Christianity.
How do you live a grace based life? Lean on the Word of God through faith. The Bible says “So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing the word of Christ.” Next, be humble. The Bible says “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So to put these two together (Faith & Humility), it would look something like this. Humility says, “I cannot live the Christian life on my own.” Faith says, “I can trust that Jesus Christ lives in me and sustains me in my Christian walk.” Humility says, “I am not strong enough to overcome this temptation.” Faith says, “No temptation has overcome us, but God is faithful in that he always gives us a way of escape.” Humility says, “I am not good left to my own devices.” Faith says, “Jesus became my sin and took on its punishment, so that I can be righteous in the sight of God. Jesus made me righteous and gave me the Holy Spirit to empower me, therefore I can be good in this world and in the sight of God.”
In conclusion, humility admits weakness, but faith trust that God will supply grace to you as you move forward in this Christian life. So humility and faith are the secrets to living a grace filled life. These truths helped me overcome my sin & guilt and lean more on the grace of God as opposed to my own strength. What’s your story?