Have you ever set goals or made good intentions, only to drop the ball and mess up practically the next day? Alas, that’s human nature. The key is what you do next. Do you give up, or do you pick back up where you left off?
I’ve been reminded of the importance of this crossroads recently. I’m always trying to find more effective and efficient ways of doing things. I want to make the best use of my time, so I can do what I want and know I have time to spend with family and friends. When my work is done, I don’t feel guilty by taking this time off.
This is also true in my walk with the Lord. It’s so easy to put “time with God” on your to-do list, only to have it fall off the bottom. Next thing you know, it’s been days, weeks, or months since you’ve read the Bible and prayed. Or is that just me?
Why put time with God first in your day?
Below is a video I posted a few years ago about putting time with God first. Then we’ll answer the question “Do Christians sin?” Finally, I want to talk a little bit about what to do when you miss a day while persuing this goal.
Do Christians sin?
You may have heard, but “miss the mark” is a more literal translation of the word “sin” in the Bible. When we miss the mark of being holy and perfect as God is holy and perfect, that is sin (Matthew 5:48).
Christians do that too. Our sins are forgiven, but we’re in the process of becoming like Christ (i.e., Matt. 6:11-12; Rom 6:12-13; 1 John 1:8). We won’t be perfect like Him until we join Him in heaven (Heb. 12:23).
Romans digs into this very subject. Chapter 6 asks pointed questions like, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom. 6:1-2 NASB). Paul goes on to discuss what it means to be a slave of righteousness (living for Christ) verses a slave of sin (letting old sinful habits and ways of life continue).
It’s not easy to live for Christ. Even the apostle Paul struggled with sin… and God used him to write most of the books in the New Testament!
14 We know that the law [what we’re supposed to do to honor God] is holy [perfect and good]. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin. 15 I don’t understand what I do. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. 16 I do what I don’t want to do. So I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them. 18 I know there is nothing good in my desires controlled by sin. I want to do what is good, but I can’t. 19 I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do. 20 I do what I don’t want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me that does it.
21 Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 Deep inside me I find joy in God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in me. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls me. 24 What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? 25 I give thanks to God who saves me. He saves me through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 7:14-25 NIRV [explanations added]
So what do we do when we mess up?
That’s the question we’ll discuss next week. Until then, read a bit in Romans 6 – 7.