I was asked to post on defeating repetitive sin.
Which is sort of like asking Lindsey Lohan to give a talk on the virtues of strict abstinence. I am the worst repetitive sinner ever, and I say that with some confidence.The amount of times I’ve pledged never to do x, y or z again is ridiculous. I’m the Protestant that somehow manages to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at every Sunday altar call.
To give you an example of what I’m talking about. A few weeks ago I went to confession for watching pornography. (There I said it, geez). That night, where was I? Watching por- But it was a legitimate movie! It had a plot and a famous actor! It was about love and betrayal and there just happened to be sex scenes that…I….kept skipping to.
We have to believe that we can be better men. Reconciliation is fine and dandy, but what takes the courage and humility I spoke of in previous posts is going back to reconciliation the next day, the next hour. Same priest, same room, same sins. We have to believe that we can change. We have to believe that after the thousandth time of confessing the same sin, this time we’ll be different. With the grace of God I will try this time. With the grace of God I will, today, because it’s sunny and I am forgiven, break the habit I’ve practiced for 20 years. 50 years. This is the virtue of hope. The greater sin to any habitual sin is despair, the thought that our sin is just too big, and God too small. This is a lie I told myself for a few years. But in the end, God’s grace is more than sufficient.
I see a battle. An epic siege that’s been going on for years, hideous creatures eating away at the city keep, the king and his men hopelessly outnumbered. OK, screw that, I’ll be honest. I see the Battle at Helm’s Deep, the end of Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. The orcs pouring in. King Theoden is all but sunk; they cannot hold, for ”what can man do against such reckless hate?”. And here Aragorn assumes his proper role as the ultimate badass. “Ride out with me.” Can you hear Christ calling you to the same? “Ride out with me!”
When we are surrounded by our sin we cannot take a tactful approach. When sin has been eating at our souls for years, we cannot gently lessen it until it’s gone. We have to destroy it, no matter how hopeless it seems, because it is all man can do against such reckless evil. We have to go to confession again, again, again. We have to discipline ourselves, throw away our laptops, flush away our drugs, smash anything and everything holding us back from God. And when we do that, when we ride out and confront our fear and our sin, when we dare to hope…look what happens.
I’m such a nerd, tears literally flowing onto my keyboard as I watch this. What our Lord does for us!