…that you may not sin… 1 John 2:1
Don’t sin. Can you think of any simpler directive for how to enjoy the relationship you have with God?
But how do I not sin? What would motivate me not to?
As we confess our sins, we grow to hate sin as God hates it—because we understand why He hates it. We see the evil for what it is, the pain it brings to us and to those around us.
One of the birthmarks of a believer is that we take our sin seriously. We don’t ignore it, defend it, justify it, rationalize it, or enjoy it. The Christian is the first to take responsibility for sin, and confess it. We have become “children of God” (Romans 8:14-16), and nothing can separate us from that relationship (8:38-39); but we can forfeit the joy of it by our acts of sin. We can stop our spiritual growth. That’s what 1 John 1:9 is all about: maintaining our spiritual growth as we get more and more serious about our sin, because we grow to love more and more the joy of our relationship with God. The joy of my walk with God is too important to me to blow it with any sin.
To not sin, where do you begin? Deal with it one sin at a time. Shorten the length of time it takes you to take responsibility for it. Take time to examine the evilness of it so you’ll’ see better why God calls it sin.
And each morning, take ten minutes to reflect on Psalm 139:23-24—“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”