Review from the web
Nick Page, writer, speaker and self-confessed sinner is the author of more than eighty books. In his latest book, “The Badly Behave Bible,” Page proposes seven ways we can seek to address sin. In my experience, sin isn’t preached about or even talked about much in the church now. We are told we can be friends with Jesus, not that Jesus’ death and resurrection was needed because of sin! A healthy community of grace requires members in the community to be intentional about being healthy, part of which is to address our sin.
1. We control the remote control
Sin might set up home in us, but that doesn’t mean we have to serve it meals. We don’t have the power to get rid of it. Only Jesus can do that. We do have the ability to control our thoughts or to use a metaphor, change the mental channel just as we do the TV. Use the remote control.
2. Develop our will power
Practice makes…not perfect, but “significantly less imperfect.” We can practice will power. It’s like a muscle and like a physical muscle gets tired thus making it hard to resist sin. Equally, however, will strengthen the muscle of will power will increase its strength. The ancients used fasting as a means of developing will power. Maybe it’s time to think about fasting as a spiritual discipline.The self-discipline because you are submitting to the Holy Spirit and obeying God is likely to produce results.
3. Understanding our sin
John Updike once observed that there are “surprisingly few clues…as to what kind of people we are.” Sin does exactly this. It shows what we crave, what we worship, what drives us. We cannot formulate ways of addressing sin if we don’t understand our sin. The early Methodists had a method (thus the name) to help people be honest about sin. Each time a small group met they asked four questions of each other.
- What known sins have you committed since our last meeting?
- What temptations have you met with?
- How were you delivered (resisted temptation)?
- What have you thought, said or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?
Do you have people where you could eventually ask these four questions?
(Note: In my accountability group we switch questions 1 and 2.)
4. Start with one sin
Page recognises that this may be a little controversial. All sin needs to be dealt with, but focusing on one sin provides a focus. As humans we need a focus rather than procrastinating and doing nothing because it’s overwhelming. Asking God to highlight our focus is a great way to start. Page suggests that starting small is a good thing as success (finding freedom from sin or the ability to overcome temtation) builds hope.
5. Be specific
In 1992 an experiment was run that proved people with specific goals did better at achieving what they wanted, so be specific. Set a realistic goal to address the specific issue. The Holy Spirit is the One who helps us to change our behaviours once we have repented, confessed our sin, and been forgiven. There’s not a lot of chance of successful behaviour change before that however many realistic goals you set.
6. Recognise the triggers
All alcoholics know if they are going to
This is about changing behaviour. None of it is possible if there isn’t first a change of attitude – a conviction of sin, repentance, and then a desire to change the behaviour.
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