The Prevention Method
By: Kristen L. McNulty
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So often in the Christian life we don't want to sin, but we also don't know how to stop. I have a technique called prevention that I have found helpful. Although it will not stop us from sinning until we die, it will stop a repetitive lifestyle of sin. Let me explain.
I am a rather clumsy person, and although I'm better than I used to be, I still do trip and fall (just ask any member of my family!). Now in order to "protect" myself, I take steps to avoid being clumsy. I walk very carefully on staircases, I don't wear slippery socks or slippers (I've had enough experience to know where that name came from), and I watch where I'm going. Now I usually only fall when I'm not paying attention like today when I was being chased up the stairs, I was so caught up in the chase that I ended up tripping, then sliding under my Mom's desk at the top of the staircase. Now why am I telling you this? So I can be further more embarrassed? No. I'm telling you this because it has a spiritual parallel.
Just like I take precautions in order to avoid tripping and falling, we as Christians should take precautions to avoid stumbling in the areas we are prone to sin in. Have trouble with what you're viewing on the internet? Cut your connection or install a family filter (see section on media). Having trouble with gossip? Ask you friends and the people you talk with to hold you accountable. Tempted to smoke? Don't hang around people who do. By taking these extra precautions, we are protecting ourselves from temptation and sin. It's important to remember though, to never lower our guard because just like when I'm not paying attention I end up flat on my face, we are bound to fall in sin when our Spiritual guard is lower. No one likes to take a tumble, especially when striving to be pure, so let's keep our guard up and our standards high. I'm sure you know what it's like when we get "caught up in the moment", I do and I've got the physical bruises, as well as the spiritual ones to prove it and it's not a pretty picture.
Proverbs 20:9 says, "Who can say, 'I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin'?" Unfortunately, none of us ever can. We will never be perfect. As much as I'd like to, I know that I will not be able to keep myself from sinning ever again. I can take preventive measures, as previously mentioned, to stop a lifestyle of sin, but sin is going to happen. Instead of beating yourself up after you mess up, and I guarantee it's going to happen, get back up on your feet and fight the good fight. No army surrenders after the defeat of one battle. They re-group and continue to fight. We as Christians are an army and Satan is our enemy. Instead of kneeling in surrender next time you lose a battle, remind yourself that the war has was won when Jesus cried, "It is finished." (John 19:30).
This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.