- Genesis 39:9
JD Greer once wrote, "trying to tame sin rather than killing it is as silly as people making pets out of predatory animals."
I recently read an article with the headline, "Pennsylvania Woman Killed by Pet Bear."
This woman had raised a black bear named Teddy from cubhood, and for nine years, there were no incidents. But then, one day, as she was cleaning his cage, the bear mauled and killed her.
Some of the neighbors acted surprised. One said, "She was a good person; we just thought she had a strange hobby."
Perhaps she was a good woman, but it doesn't matter whether you're good or you've named your pet bear Teddy… she wasn't collecting coins, and sooner or later, bears do what bears do.
Just like sin will do what sin does.
As a Christian, you have to acknowledge the predatory nature of sin, which means you also have to be continually fighting back. It is like the puritan John Owen said, "you had best be killing sin or sin will be killing you."
How do you kill sin? I have found John Piper's ANTHEM very helpful:
Avoid as much as is possible and reasonable the sights and situations that arouse unfitting desire.
Know our weaknesses and what triggers them. "Avoiding" is a biblical strategy. "Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness" (2 Timothy 2:22). "Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (Romans 13:14).
Say "No" to every lustful thought within five seconds.
Cobra Kai was right, strike fast and strike hard.
Turn the mind forcefully toward Christ as a superior satisfaction.
Move from defense to offense. Fight fire with fire. Attack the promises of sin with the promises of Christ.
Hold the promise and the pleasure of Christ firmly in your mind until it pushes the other images out.
Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Here is where many fail. They give in too soon. They say, "I tried to push it out, and it didn't work." How long did you try? How hard did you exert your mind? The mind is a muscle—flex it.
Enjoy a superior satisfaction.
One reason sin reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal. If you want to fight sin, awake your affection for Jesus.
Move into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable behaviors.
Lust grows fast in the garden of leisure. Find a good work to do, and do it with all your might. Displace deceitful desires with a passion for good deeds.
Paper Sunday is blessed to collaborate with Chris Harper on today's devotional!
Chris Harper is a speaker, writer, and disciple-maker. Chris is President of 252Edu, a consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. Chris serves schools, churches, and non-profits by helping them "grow in wisdom, favor and stature with God and man.”
When not taking ground for King Jesus, you can find Chris on the basketball court playing a pick-up game. Chris is a sneakerhead, an avid reader, and loves a good cheeseburger. You can follow him @252consulting on Instagram.