A Habit of Sin

  • March 21, 2012
  • #7798

Joni reminds us that choosing a path of sin can lead to a hardened heart.

Most people enjoy what I write in my books, but some sure don't.

Hi, this is Joni and I'm not kidding. There are a lot of people who just don’t like what I have to say. Like Sheila who wrote me after reading last week’s entry in my daily devotional book. I was writing on the verse in Isaiah 5 which says, "Seek the Lord while he may be found." My point was, if you keep sweeping your sins under the carpet of your conscience; if you keep choosing what you know is a sinful path, thinking that God will always be there to forgive you sooner or later, then stop and think twice. Because one day your heart may be too hard to feel God's touch and your ears may be too dull to hear his voice. God says in Proverbs chapter 1, "They will call to me but I will not answer... since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord." Sheila had a problem with that.

She told me she was in her 40s but back when she was in her 20s, she had developed a habit of sleeping with others. She confessed that she struggled with a lot of guilt and depression, but she assumed these were good indications that the Lord was still speaking to her, that she was still saved.

Well, when I wrote Sheila back, I told her I could understand why she should feel so troubled after reading the Bible verses in my devotional book. It's terrible to feel tormented by feelings of condemnation and guilt. I told her that I noticed her struggles with depression began after she had developed a lifestyle of sexual sin. I told her there was a definite connection.

So I asked, "Sheila, why then continue to make a habit of sinning?" Surely any question she might have had about her salvation could be put to rest if she would but put behind her the continuing practice of sleeping with someone else. Because when you choose to go to bed with someone, you are basically saying to the Lord Jesus, "you know, God, I find this much more pleasurable than obeying you. You don't satisfy me... but this experience does." Well, that’s scary, because when we habitually choose worldly pleasure over Christ, our actions are speaking louder than our words because we are making the powerful and awful statement that we don't believe Him. We don't believe He's worth following. And please understand I'm talking about habitual sinning here; a lifestyle of sin... not the sorts of occasional-itinerant sins which we all do during the course of the day.

Friend, if you are struggling with the kind of sin that Sheila is wrestling with, may I counsel you with the same advice I gave her? I don't know what you'd have to do to remove yourself from temptation, but whatever it is, please do it… even if it means changing jobs or changing locations or changing churches. And after you remove yourself from that temptation, enlist the help of an accountability partner to watch your every move. Jesus even warns in Matthew 5, "... if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." That's scary. And it should be scary. That's how seriously God takes our sin. So Sheila, please, if you are listening today, find an accountability partner who will hold you responsible to a new commitment to say "No" to your old habits and "Yes" to a fresh approach to living and live one day at a time. And, friend, I would like to hear from you today if you need a prayer for a particular habit you’d like to break. Just visit me online at joniandfriends.org and tell me how we can pray for you. Because God has provided a way out through His grace and with the grace and help of God, you can do it!  

Previously aired as program #7094 on 7/9/09.

© Joni and Friends

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