Category Archives: Struggling With Sin

How To Overcome Temptations Bigger Than Take-Aways

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Temptation is the Achilles heel for most Christians because it usually throws people off of that ‘oh so holy‘ wave they were riding on. Once you succumb to sin you have to start the ball rolling on the ‘darn I’m not perfect, let me repent and ask for forgiveness, now I need to pick up where I left off with Christ’ ritual. We’ve seen the terrible consequences that not overcoming temptation can have (Adam and Eve: eternal damnation for all, Lot’s wife: turning into a pillar of salt) and we get scared at the very thought of what our failure could bring.

There isn’t any temptation that you have experienced which is unusual for humans. God, who faithfully keeps his promises, will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to resist. But when you are tempted, he will also give you the ability to endure the temptation as your way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The mere thought of being in a tempting environment can give us heart palpitations, but this scripture gives us some home truths that should help us exhale.

1) We aren’t alone in the temptation we face.

If other people have gone through what we’re going through, the chances are, other people have managed to overcome, which shows us that us being able to join them in #Team-Overcomers is possible. This also means that  there’s a wealth of advice, from our fellow followers of Christ, for not disappointing God and ourselves. Often we don’t want to share what we’re going through because we have to acknowledge our vulnerability, but being able to admit your weakness could be just the thing that saves you. I was giving my testimony on abstinence this week and can honestly say that being surrounded by like-minded individuals trying to achieve the same goal has been a massive help in my moments of weakness.

2) There’s no temptation that we’re facing that we can’t bear.

This brings us the ‘hard-to face, no excuses‘ kind of truth that we don’t really want to hear. If we are able to avoid sin then we are responsible for our own mistakes. If we can choose to sin, we can choose not to.

So, people who think they are standing firmly should be careful that they don’t fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

Make no mistake, the fact that we have a choice, doesn’t mean we should put ourselves voluntarily into situations that are going to make serving Christ difficult for us, what  1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us is that even when we think we can’t stop ourselves from sinning,  we can.

So, what can we do?

Flee from sin: 2 Timothy 2:22-24

Pray against temptation: Luke 22:40

Remember that you can hold out. Philippians 4:13

We can’t really do anything in our own strength, but we can do all things through Christ. We mess up on so many occasions because we refused to acknowledge that we needed God to get through. We all find Christ and want to run with our new found faith but we have to make sure every step is taken in line with God’s stride. We need God in every single aspect of our lives, overcoming temptation included.

Love Dani xxxxx

The Day I Got Convicted of Aiding And Abetting A Crime

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I was on holiday when  I realised I should probably stop being a faithful cheerleader of Team Sin. I say a LOT of things that I wish I hadn’t but whilst on holiday (went to the lovely land of Portugal) what came out of my mouth caused me more guilt than I’ve felt in a  long while.

I was having dinner and had just met my all-time fave waitress. She was being so friendly and we really hit it off, having a good ole chit chat about love, and life, and all things in-between. Everything was going smoothly until she told me her philosophy, which started off make a whole lot of sense, (basically treat people how they treat you) but then went on to include sleeping with other guys if your partner chose to sleep with other girls.

I never really know what to do when strangers randomly bring up sex into conversation, so I panicked. We’d really hit the ground running with our blossoming ‘friendship,’ I didn’t want to be an awkward prune and show how uncomfortable I felt. The cogs in my brain started working overtime, only for me to come out with the most ill-thought out response. There we were, a stranger laying bare what she would do in the hypothetical situation of being cheated on , and I nodded approvingly and said ‘yeah you’ve got to play them at their own game.’

What does that even mean?

Why am I condoning things I know are sinful?

For the rest of the evening I couldn’t quite believe my actions. All I could imagine was Jesus wincing, as I chose to ditch my beliefs in favour of normalcy. Here’s what I learnt from my moment of madness…

1.When Jesus say no, nobody can say yes

Disclaimer: Yes I know the song goes, ‘When Jesus say yes nobody can say no’, but I think my remix holds true. We’re so used to not imposing our beliefs on others that every so often we shift  from standing on the moral fence and end up justifying actions that we know are wrong. Wrong is wrong, it’s better to give no comment than to start leading people astray. Wanting to find common ground with someone doesn’t warrant encouraging them to sin.

 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of God. 1 Corinthians 11:32

It’s as though we categorise sin and our attitude towards it based on what religious preferences people have. This results in us voicing our disapproval amongst like-minded Christ followers and yet sometimes  encouraging sin amongst those who don’t believe. Sin is offensive to God, period. It doesn’t matter who is committing the sin,  God would rather they weren’t. This prohibits us, as people working for God, from promoting sin as a worthwhile activity. (just thought I’d add: working for God can’t really be opted out of, you get recruited to the team when you give your life to Christ and you don’t get fired even when you’re bad at your job)

2.It doesn’t have to be dog eat dog

Most of us know that we are each judged by our own sin.

Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16.

Knowledge of this and scriptures like these has lead us to the point where its every man for himself in the struggle to; sin not, only believe. But that’s not the way it should be. I’ve spoken about our duty to help one another as brothers and sisters in Christ before, but whether people are Christian or not,  our interest in wanting to see them live right isn’t diminished. I firmly believe that soapbox evangelism might not be  a 24/7 activity, however our duty to evangelise, in general, is constant.

I remember when I first developed a passion to serve Christ. I was so consumed with the love of God and wanting others to experience that love, that I used to set myself targets of seeing people get saved that month. As I’ve matured I’ve learnt that being a fisher of men doesn’t actually come down to hard numbers, but you can see that my heart was in the right place. You are not saved so you can live a comfortable life in isolation, and everyone around you can perish. If you really believed in the Good News you claim, you’d want others to hear about it also. I don’t think it’s about finding a megaphone, God doesn’t operate on ‘who shouts the loudest must love him the most’, but it’s about finding opportunities to share what you believe.

3. Sin = death

Hold your horses before you start hyperventilating. There’s sin, and there’s sin. No there isn’t a hierarchy of sin; lying to your parents, murder, robbery, is the same in God’s eyes. However there’s sin: the things you do that are displeasing to God, and there’s sin: not accepting Christ as saviour. So you can breathe a little, we live under grace, there isn’t a gun being aimed at you every time you make a mistake: with repentance comes forgiveness etc, but that doesn’t mean we have nothing to be concerned about. I’m probably going to sound really radical in what I’m about to say so maybe you should sit down for this next bit if you aren’t already sitting.

Accepting Christ is the only ticket to heaven. It’s probably not going to spark the most friendliest of conversations at a dinner party, and it may not be the line to open with when meeting new people, but it is the truth.  The majority of you reading will live in religious pluralist societies in which, thankfully, we’ve all learnt to live together despite our differing faiths. However, being able to accommodate for someone else’s beliefs doesn’t take away the truth of the statement above. The reason that we can’t just chillax because we’ve been fortunate enough to find Christ is that a large number (billions of people in the world) haven’t yet. That doesn’t just mean they don’t get to enjoy how beautiful a life with Christ at the centre can be, it means that life after death, isn’t so rosy either. We often forget that deciding to turn from sin to Christ is a matter of life and death,  but I hope this will be the gentle reminder we all need to start taking sin seriously.

Don’t be like me, wanting to appear as ‘normal’ as possible that you encourage people in their sinful actions. Sin might be packaged in a juicy love affair or seemingly justified revenge, but it doesn’t change the facts. Sin’s may not always be criminal offences in the lands in which we all live, but they are as good as to God.

Loving ya longtime,

Dani xxxx

Why Lie?

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James 1:22

But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.

I look around me at the, what seems like, sudden influx of people defining themselves as Christians and my heart is genuinely warmed. Heaven rejoices each time just one gives their life to Christ, and all of you that are bold in your faith and following of Jesus Christ really do encourage me to pursue my own walk with our saviour.

What we all must remember is that church attendance, re-tweeting a bible verse and liking a scriptural meme is not the be all and end all our faith. There are several things that come with a pursuit of Jesus Christ, and merely proclaiming Jesus from time to time, will not suffice. We have received a God who IS love into our lives to be our Lord and saviour. Being a Christian is about being an extension of that love in the world.

Christ tells the story of what will happen when he returns to the Earth in Mathew 25:31-46. I don’t know about you but I intend on being in the group of the righteous. Imagine thinking you’ve lived a Christian life, retweeting at every opportunity and not letting a Sunday go past where the congregation don’t see your face and Christ comes and makes v41-43 your reality. God forbid. Christianity is more than doing a good deed for the day, not breaking the law, and only mumbling the insults you think under your breath instead of saying them at an audible decibel.

God wants you to treat all those in need (that includes strangers) with the same love he showed you when he died on the cross for your sins. Love is about action. Don’t let the words of Sunday become so ineffectual that they merely become catchy phrases or beautiful literature.

Live out the message. The devil is the biggest deceiver, no need to deceive yourself.

Love,

Dani xx