“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:16-17 NIV).
If Adam and Eve were to go on the Dr Phil show today, they might say something like – We have been “struggling with” our inability to follow the rules of the Garden. And Dr Phil would likely say – How is that working out for you? For me, I’ve noticed that way too often the phrase “I’m struggling with…” seems to really mean “I don’t like the fact that I like doing this sin but I’m going to keep doing it because that is “who I am.” Instead of trying to rationalize our sins why don’t we follow the advice in James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” Notice the connection between honest confession and healing?
So, if we use the word “struggling,” we should actually be struggling. That should mean that we are seeking the way of the Spirit to escape from our sin, that we are removing every possible obstacle, and that we are relying on others in the Body of Christ to hold us accountable and to shepherd us. We should not be trying to reclassify sinful behavior to absolve ourselves of sin and shame.
Some people living a non-repented sinful life want the Body of Christ to categorize their sin as acceptable. The exact type of sin is not necessarily as important as its reclassification. The goal is to allow the sin to become acceptable and label those that do not approve as intolerant.
It is important to note that none of us are here to judge others (James 4:12). We all have our own logs in our eyes (Matthew 7:5). We have His word which is, “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:16-17). His Word details sins that are detestable, but our free will allows us to make our choices regarding repentance. Each of us are to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12) because, “ we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
I don’t know how Dr. Phil would respond to the struggles of Adam and Eve. I do know that God wants us to not only struggle with our sin, but to turn from it. Our life is for Him and in Him. Romans 6:12 teaches, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Let’s help each other struggle with our sins. Let’s continue to be molded in His image. Let’s focus on the eternal life in Christ Jesus. Let a revival begin, and let it begin with us!
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for the ability to repent and receive forgiveness of our sins and for the life everlasting that comes as a free gift through the blood of Jesus. Amen.
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the
United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs
at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.
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