Ask Your Preacher
I am the one from "A Chosen Lifestyle". First of all, I want to say I’m sorry for asking another question; I truly am, but I have nowhere else to turn. I went to church the other night for the first time in a long time, and I asked God to change my heart; I begged and asked for forgiveness. Here is the problem: I "fell" again and sinned against God. I’m taking your advice, and I refuse to give up; however, at this point, I’m not entirely sure what to do or think. I really want to change for God, and I honestly thought I had succeeded, but now I’m back to square one, but I know God doesn't work like that. I just need some advice from a good christian.
Turning The Tide
Dear Turning The Tide,
You don’t need to apologize for asking for help; Bible answers are exactly what we designed this website for. In the future, it will probably be useful if you gave us an e-mail address to respond to because anonymous questions are hard to give quick and consistent responses to – if you are concerned about keeping your anonymity, just create a free e-mail account dedicated for this type of correspondence.
It sounds like you are already giving yourself the right advice. Pr 24:16 is the key to long-term success over addictions – keep getting back up. You can learn something from every failure… something that can help you succeed next time. Look at the last time that you sinned in this area. Where did things go wrong? What would you do differently to prevent this from happening again? Would you have called a friend for help? Maybe you need to change something about your routine? Pr 4:23 says that all the issues of life come from our heart – so examine yourself… what needs to happen differently, so you can succeed next time? You know better than anyone else what triggers your behavior and where to start improving.
Hello, I am the friend in “A Chosen Lifestyle“, and I am writing this as an update/question. First, I want to say thank you for the advice, and this site is wonderful! I have made lots of progress thanks to God's grace, and I am trying hard to repent; however, I am still struggling to some extent. Although I am reading my Bible almost every day and asking God for His grace to give me a new mindset and a healthy christian life, I’m still having to deal with this terrible thing. I know I’m beating this slowly but surely, but it’s very hard and troubling. I was just wondering if you had any advice on beating the devil and his temptations. Thank you so much! God bless!!
Turning The Tide
Dear Turning The Tide,
Words cannot express how happy we are for you and how proud we are that you are fighting this addiction! Thank you so much for giving us an update. Aside from the verses that we already mentioned in “A Chosen Lifestyle Pt. 2”, here are some other verses to consider.
When a sin becomes so entrenched in your life that you are enslaved to it (Jhn 8:34), you are dealing with an addiction. Addictions are formed by habits, and habits are formed by repeatedly making the same choices. James describes this process in Jas 1:13-15. All sins begin with a mental decision. If you want to remove an addiction, isolate the choices that are putting you in the position to commit that sin. If you change the environment and circumstances that lead you to a sin, you change the future playing field.
We are also told that a powerful tool in defeating sin is confessing our sins to one another (Jas 5:16). Sin likes to be kept secret (Jhn 3:20), and bringing it to light by making it public goes a long way in defeating habitual sin. A very popular way of getting this sort of accountability is by using accountability software that forwards your browsing history to a friend or trusted individual. Companies like x3watch and CovenantEyes make accountability software, and many struggling pornography addicts have found it to make a huge difference. If you want to defeat sin, you must expose it. Confess your sin to others, and you will begin to see change.
Assemble with a faithful church (Heb 10:24-25). If you read our posts regularly, you have probably already seen that many churches aren’t biblically sound. Read “Down With Denominationalism” for some insight into the religious confusion of America. If you aren’t already a part of a congregation that follows the Bible pattern, we would be happy to help you find one. There is no greater help to our spiritual growth than to be stimulated and encouraged by people of like-precious faith. There is strength in numbers (Eccl 4:12).
And last, but not least - don’t give up. A righteous man falls, but he keeps getting back up (Pr 24:16). A failure doesn’t become permanent until you let it. Keep trying. Congratulations on your current successes, and we pray for many more victories on your behalf.
God forgives every sin, right? But what happens when you do that sin repeatedly?
Dear Do Over,
There are two pieces to the puzzle of repetitive sins:
- How many times can I ask for forgiveness for the same sin?
- How do I remove this sin from my life?
The answer to the first part is simple. You can ask for forgiveness an innumerable amount of times. Christ told Peter that we should forgive ‘seventy times seven’ (Matt 18:21-22). Paul was forgiven of his sins even after killing christians and actively persecuting the church (1 Tim 1:16). As often as we truly repent, God is ready to forgive (Lk 17:4). It is quite possible to truly repent of something and then find yourself doing that same thing not minutes later. It happens in arguments all the time! You say something mean, apologize, then find yourself upset again, and again use rash words. The repeating of the cycle is not necessarily an indication of false sorrow.
However, the second part of your question deals with stopping this cycle. God will forgive you for stumbling again into the same sin, but only if you are truly attempting to change your mind. Paul reminds us that we are to do everything we can to flee from the slavery to sin (Rom 6:1-2, Rom 6:12-13). Without knowing what sin you are caught up in, I can’t give specific advice, but I recommend getting help if it is as consuming as you say. Many sins can become addictions that are very hard to break. Here are some things to consider:
- Are you trying to change all on your own? God says two are stronger than one (Eccl 4:9-10). In the case of sin like pornography, many people try and struggle through it alone without seeking help because of the shame involved in it becoming known. This rarely, if ever, works. Telling someone, even just one trusted friend, and using things like Covenant Eyes accountability software can make all the difference in such circumstances.
- Are you putting yourself in compromising situations? People with drug and alcohol addictions are often tempted back into their old habits by drinking buddies or parties where drugs are made available. You may need to cut off certain people and habits from your life in order to escape that sort of sin. Remember, Christ said it would be better to remove even your own hand if it would free you from a sin (Matt 5:30).
Removing sin from our lives is a constant struggle. God is ready to forgive you ‘seventy times seven’ as you fight to defeat this sin, but you must look yourself in the mirror and make sure you are taking the steps necessary to change your life.
What are some Scriptures that show the depravity of man and our need for God’s salvation?
Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse
Dear Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse,
The term “depravity of man” is normally used by those who teach that people are born sinful – there are no Scriptures to show this teaching because it is false (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on this teaching, also known as Calvinism). However, there are lots of verses that show that mankind has chosen to sin and that we need God’s salvation. Many of them are found in Romans because the book of Romans spends a lot of time dealing with that particular subject. Here are a few:
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)
- “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.” (Rom 5:12)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
- “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God; they have all turned aside; they have all together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not, so much as one.’” (Rom. 3:9-12)
- “For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9)
- “And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’” (Acts 2:40)
I am the friend in the post "A Chosen Lifestyle". Will you give me some Bible verses to help beat homosexuality; please, I haven't done anything else, but for some reason, this is hard.
There is only one Bible answer for your struggle with homosexual pornography. God tells us to flee from fornication (1 Cor 6:18). A good example of fleeing fornication is Joseph when he was seduced by Potiphar’s wife. Joseph knew that it was wrong for him to lay with another man’s wife (Gen 39:7-9), and so when she caught him alone in the house – Joseph fled so fast that he left his garment behind (Gen 39:11-12). Don’t put yourself in situations that make it easy to look at pornography. Move your computer to a public room; install accountability software like Covenant Eyes that discloses your browsing history to a trusted friend. Make a plan to beat this sin... which brings us to another great verse. When Daniel was tempted to eat the unclean food (food that was sinful for a Jew to eat) of the Babylonians, Daniel “purposed within his heart” that he would not defile himself (Dan 1:8). That is exactly what you need to do. Purpose in your heart, plan ahead, and decide that this behavior will no longer defile you.