Besetting sin or habitual sin.
As Christians we deal with them every day of our lives. It is the one sin that easily entangles us without much effort. It is like an anchor on our soul adding weight to pull us down where we are and keeping us from moving forward in our love and pursuit of God.
But the biggest pull of our besetting sin isn’t the weight it puts on us, but our acceptance of it as “who we are!”
We identify with it instead of resisting it. We call it “a weakness” rather than naming it “as sin”. Jesus didn’t die for our “weaknesses” He died for our sin. As a result we can have victory over them.
Think about it. If someone were to ask you what your besetting sin is, most likely you wouldn’t know what to say at first. Unless, of course, you’ve considered this topic before.
We tend to protect our besetting sin because in a strange sort of way it’s provided us with a false sense of comfort…
- The glutton loves food and the temporary comfort it provides.
- The angry person finds a rush of adrenaline in the unleashing of the fireball within.
- The gossip feels better about themselves by hearing and sharing the dirty laundry of others.
- The lustful finds great pleasure in arousal that is forbidden.
- The prideful enjoy making much of themselves at all costs, even putting others down like the Pharisees.
- The lazy or slothful enjoy relaxing and pleasure so much that they are willing to neglect those things that should be most precious to them.
Saying NO to these besetting sins is no easy task. In fact, it can’t be done in our own strength. We won’t even desire saying no to it unless one thing is present–the grace of God.
For it’s the grace of God that “teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” – Titus 2:12 NIV
What does this have to do with marriage?
The marriage relationship provides an accountability that no other relationship has. Your spouse knows you better than any one else because they see you at your worst. Besetting sin that isn’t dealt with is a large part of many marital break-ups. If you want your marriage to grow and mature, be willing to honestly confront and confess the sin that so easily entangles you. When we do, the temptation to sin may not go away, but the burden of it will no longer weigh you down.
In our next post I’m going to share with you Eight Principals I’ve read by a respected author that will help you learn how to do this more effectively each and every day. Stay tuned…
Love this. Mine is anxiety – I know it all too well. But, I am getting rid of it because our Lord came to give us peace. Not fear. And it is a sin. Especially when I allow it to control my thoughts, my life, my reactions, the quality of my marriage. God calls us to be self-controlled and filled with peace. How can I do that if I keep giving into anxiety? Thank you for a thought provoking article – looking forward to the next one.
Anxiety is a big one that I have faced often. Mine is Pride.😞 It laces every thought and deed. It is a continual battle to resist it’s pull, but then I must remind myself that God hasn’t brought me this far to leave me here. Progress is being made and I thank God I’m not who I use to be, but I’m not where I want to be either. Thanks for humbly sharing your besetting sin. I hope you’ve spent time talking to your husband about it too. Such a gift our spouse is to us in fighting this!
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Anxiety isn’t necessarily a besetting sin. Sometimes it is a mental disorder. I suffer from anxiety, but it is something I cannot control and has no spiritual links. It has to do with hormones and brain chemistry, and frankly, I am sick of people quoting scripture at me, telling me it is a sin, and telling me I need to confess something, or stop repressing stuff.
You’re right, anxiety can be a physical/mental problem. I am so sorry for what you are facing, and it was never my intent to use Scripture to weigh you down or cause you further pain.
My blog posts are based on my experience and how God and Scripture has set me free from my own besetting sins. I want to share that hope with others, but it’s up to the reader to decide if my experience is helpful or not.
I pray you find help, hope and freedom from anxiety.
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Excellent post! It’s so easy to accept something as “just how I am” when we should be fighting it. May we all see ourselves clearly!
It’s only by God’s grace that we can, Paul. Left to myself I wouldn’t pursue such transparency. Thanks for sharing!
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