In the Christian world, we are taught to hate sin because God hates sin. Our faith demands that we turn away from it and toward Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. But how does all that work from a spiritual standpoint?
I know that there are sins that I hate. I do not practice them and I abhor them in others, but what about those other sins; the ones I commit fairly often? Do I really hate them as I am supposed to? Do I really regret the things in my life that I have done that were contrary to God's will? Am I truly sorry?
My thought is that, far from hating sin, we all love it, even those of us that try to live by faith. There are things I have done in my life that were sinful, but they were also enjoyable. Nothing negative happened to me because I did them. I never received consequences. In the end they were harmless to me and in some respects, even good experience for life in the real world.
So how do we counterbalance our love of sin with what we believers see in the Bible? What has to happen to overpower our love of things that are contrary to God's will?
Some will say that we just have to 'man up' and stop doing whatever it is. God will give us the power to overcome our desires. We simply have to resist our desires and the will of the evil one; be strong. Stand firm.
Let me suggest that this will not work. You will not be able to overcome your own sin habits with will power, spirit power or intense prayer and self deprivation. Let me further suggest that these things may actually make everything worse because eventually you will fail at whatever it is you are trying so hard to prevent, you will fall into despair and depression and you may even lose your faith for a time.
Instead, let me ask you this. How much do you love Jesus?
What I find is that I am able to avoid sin because I love Him. If we can get to the point where we love Him more than we love our own desires, it becomes easier to say no. Sometimes it does not even come to mind because His love is so satisfying.
Even so, sin is like that old boyfriend that comes around once in awhile. There is still some love there. You remember the fun, but not what a jerk he could be and it goes on from there.
In those times, remember how much better loving Jesus is. If you still fail, then go to Him. He is faithful to forgive. He knows you better than you know yourself.
It all just becomes easier when you finally love Jesus more than yourself.