An Action Plan for Sin
I’m pondering the response to being confronted with sin. What is the proper response? I know we need to turn away, rejoice in God’s forgiveness, thank him for grace, but what are we supposed to DO? I’m a type-A person. I need an action plan. Give me a 5 step program.
When I get confronted by my sin, I immediately say to myself, "ok great. I will never do that again." Of course, this is delusional, but what else are you supposed to do? When you are a child and you get in trouble, you promise to your parents that you will try harder and will never hit your sister with a metal baseball bat again (totally hypothetical…). That’s what you are supposed to say. So when your husband says you complain too much (also, totally hypothetical), shouldn’t my response be that I will try harder and not do it anymore?
But the Bible says we can’t do it of our own will. I will fail. Guaranteed. And then I will hate myself for failing. (And then I will complain about it….ugh!) Luckily, my husband has almost as much grace to give as Jesus does, so I will be fine. Is prayer really the only answer (again!)? I suppose so.
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
(Romans 7:15-25 ESV)