Overcoming a Struggle
By Chuck Bartlett
Struggles come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very addictive, which makes it even harder to stop. But for those who want to go to heaven, one of the best ways to cease doing that which is wrong is to admit what it really is – sin! Calling sin “a struggle” can lessen the severity to some degree. Moreover, it also conveys the idea that quitting is not controlled by the individual.
The sooner people see what sin really is, the sooner they can understand how to properly deal with it. Every person I know who drank alcohol, smoked or used hard drugs and now does not had to decide to quit! Unless one makes up their mind, they will continue to give in to “that struggle.”
In writing to the Ephesian brethren, Paul stated that we should not give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27). By that, he specifically mentioned, “put away lying…be angry and sin not….let him who stole steal no more…let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth….” (verses 25-29). One does not overcome anything if they do not repent, which means to turn away from (Luke 13:3). By turning away, measures are put in place to help one not do it again. In the Ephesians text, Paul said instructed the reader to not steal and instead begin labor with hands. For those who spoke corrupt words, Paul admonished them to begin speaking words that edify. In essence, the audience was to told to replace their bad, sinful habits with good ones.
I realize that people who become addicted to something will genuinely struggle to overcome it. However, all sin can become addictive. Some people cannot seem to stop being jealous or envious. Other cannot seem to stop lying to themselves and making excuses for not serving the Lord as they should. Every sin is serious and causes people to be separated from God (Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 6:23).
Everyone struggles with sin, but everyone has also been commanded to STOP sinning (I John 2:1). May we grow in the desire to never sin as the first step in turning away from those sins we personally struggle with.
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