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Published on March 22nd, 2016 | by Discussion Questions

How do I overcome habitual sin?





ANONYMOUS WRITES: In the past few months, I’ve been battling with regular sin in my life. It feels like Satan’s attacks and my own wrongful desires are on overdrive. I’m praying, reading the Bible, and have even told my father about it. I would love to start an accountability group, but it’s difficult because I can’t drive yet.

For some reason, even though I’m really trying to focus on Christ and depend on His strength, I still can’t seem to beat this. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice for me?


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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]



  • Woah! I actually posted the fist comment!! (This is a first for me:))
    I’m not exactly sure what you should do. Taking with your dad was definitely a very smart move! Do you have some other men in your life? Even if they aren’t your age, one of them may be willing to step up and diciple you. As far as an accountability group goes, you could do a group text, closed Facebook group… Technology has given us many outlets for this type of thing. One other thing. If you aren’t already there, head over to Revive. (revivingtheredeemed.org or com, I don’t remember exactly:/) I was over there for a long time. There are a lot of really awesome Christian guys over there.

  • I just realized that I wrote that comment as if you were a guy! (Which you may be:) if you are a girl, seek out wise women (not men:) and there are a lot of awesome girls on Revive too!

  • Olivia W.

    I actually thought the same thing as Delaney as far as an accountability group. All my friends are people online either from my online school or from here, and I use hangouts quite often for chatting with school friends.

    You definitely seem to be doing the right things. I’m trying to think of what the bible says about it, but the only passage the comes to mind is James 1:2-4, which isn’t super related. Yesterday I started reading the book “Holiness” by Nancy DeMoss and that combined with my own bible study convicted me of how I was being unkind to my sister. That is probably the biggest habitual sin that I have, and I don’t really know what to do about, nor do I have much advice for you. The best I can say is to keep praying that God will show you what sin is in your life and how you can overcome it, and surround yourself in the truth.

    Know that you’re not alone in this struggle; every Christian is in the same battle and it isn’t easy. Always remember that Christ knew that you would sin and he loved you anyway, and because he died for us, we will eventually have victory over sin. It’s a lifelong war, but when we reach heaven, we will have won. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ”- I think that’s how that verse goes.

    Oh, and coincidentally, the verse of the day on Biblegateway is Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

    Praying for you :)

  • Jenna Szubinski

    One thing to say here….maybe instead of just reading the bible, you could memorize scripture!! 😀 I find it helpful! 😀

  • Haylie

    Hey, anonymous. :)

    First, I want you to know i’m praying for you.

    It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of things right already (and that’s not easy to do, so good job for what you’ve already accomplished! Seriously.) Telling other people that you trust and that can keep you accountable is a really good thing. I also want to encourage you to keep seeking Jesus. I can’t say I know exactly what you’re going through or anything, but I do understand how exasperating it can be when we want to seek God, but can’t seem to bring Him into focus. Other things seem to be taking over and nothing seems to help us get back to where we were. But here’s the thing.

    God is always there for you and He’s bigger than your sin, no matter what.

    Philippians 4:13 says,
    I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (ESV)

    Philippians 3:12 has always encouraged me so much when it says,
    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own

    You are not alone in struggle. As believers in Christ, we all struggle. But like Paul, we can keep pressing towards our goal of bringing God glory. I hope this encourages you… even just a little bit :)

  • Haley

    First of all, confession is definitely the most important first step. You will never get there if you don’t confess consistently! In my battle with habitual sin, I fell into the trap for years of just confessing to God, and then lying to cover it up to everyone else. I never let anyone else into it, which gave the sin power over me because I was afraid of it. The fear is the first enormous battle to overcome. So, great job!!!!!

    The next thing that it sounds like you are already doing is consistent time spent with the Lord. The more time you spend falling in love with him, the more you will want to please him and obey him. This is a very important, because the habitual time spent with the Lord will eventually overcome the habitual sin as the Lord works in you.

    Remember, it is the Lord’s strength, not yours. Just think of the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are fruit of the SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is working in you, and your faithfulness in seeking God is your part, while the actual change is on God. He is the only one who can change your desire for sin! I know this is nice to say, and very difficult to apply to real life, but I try to remember this when I am feeling like the battle against myself is too great. And it is! I love in Romans 7 where Paul says that he “does what he does not want to do, and does not do what he wants to do.” I feel like that all of the time!!! I highly, highly encourage you to read Romans chapter 7 and 8.

    Ok, so you mentioned an accountability group. That is a really good idea! It doesn’t have to be a big group either. One, maybe two other people who have similar struggles is just fine. I highly recommend that you find a spiritually mature adult of the same gender to be apart of that. Don’t be afraid to ask someone else your age to join as well. The hardest thing is confessing to someone else. I actually confessed first to an older girl, and then confessed to my parents. It didn’t get easier to confess in-betweeen! The Lord has worked in me however, and each time is easier and easier. (Not because I become more comfortable with the sin, but because I am becoming more confident in who God is creating me to be. I will talk about this below.)

    You mentioned your frustration about not being able to drive. I have three answers for that. First, I feel ya. I can drive now, but not being able to drive stinks. :( Second, the good news is, we have this awesome thing called internet! If you want to do a weekly accountability group, which is what I would recommend, then use google hangout, Skype, or FaceTime. It is beautiful! Third, if I were you, I would try to meet in person the first time and maybe ever few weeks after that. If your Dad is really supportive, than he probably won’t mind driving you. Also, older mentors rock at that kind of thing as well. :)

    Something that is SUPER important to remember, is that an accountability group won’t fix you. The job of accountability is not to block you from sin, but to allow you to be honest and transparent in your battle against sin. A good accountability group won’t condemn you for failing, but will forgive you, encourage you, and be just as honest with you as you were with them. It is YOUR responsibility to be honest. Don’t get discouraged because you have to confess, rejoice in the fact that fear doesn’t have a hold on you! The absolutely WORST thing you could do with an accountability partner is lie. That is putting the sin back into darkness, and you don’t want that to happen. If possible, be available for each other to email/text/call back and forth during the week. Some days are just harder than others.

    Accountability should: forgive, encourage, be transparent, be consistent, help spot patterns in sin, pray for specific things, and challenge you.

    Ok, my final piece of advice: Look for the ways that the Spirit is working in you. As I have slowly worked on overcoming my habitual sin, I found other areas that I was sinning in that were hidden by the one “big” sin. It can be discouraging to see that, but don’t forget that if we are truly seeking to obey the Lord, he will reveal to us the places that we are disobedient so that he can begin to work in us. Don’t be afraid to do something drastic in response to sin. Sin is a big deal, and Jesus said in Matthew 5 that if one part of you is causing you to sin, it is better to get rid of it than to continue in sin. The other way that I have seen the Spirit working in me is my courage to share my story. It isn’t pretty. It is very hard to tell others who have known me for a long time. But there is beauty in brokenness. Where I am weak, he is strong. The more I have shared my story openly, the more I have seen God use it to reach others in a very genuine way. And you know the funny thing? God reached me through someones else’s story of brokenness. (see: “It’s a Jesus Story” on the Reb) That’s how powerful it can be.

    This is a super-long comment, but I also think that this is an extremely important topic. It is really, really hard to combat habitual sin in a very serious manner. But it is possible. Don’t be discouraged that you haven’t overcome it! The Lord is working in you and through you. God will create something beautiful out of your brokenness, so don’t think that it is wasted. God uses the good things and the bad things to heal you and heal others.

  • Stephan Carter

    Everyone has already made very good points. Now the way I think of it is sin is an action, and actions require you to work for it. I remember my mom telling me once that it takes less muscles to smile than to frown (which I don’t know if that is true or not but it does make a very good point). Now frowning (like sin) is normal and seems easy to do while smiling you have to be pushed to do it either by a funny joke or just loving life. It physically takes less effort to sin than to not sin, but it seems so much easier to sin. That is why we are supposed to make ourselves weak (against sin) so that God can make us strong (against Satan). I don’t know if this is making as much sense here as it is in my head but just keeping following God and notice any patterns that trigger you to sin. Once you find out a pattern (whether watching a tv show, boyfriend/girlfriend, or the friends you hang out with) cut it off from your life and if you keep yourself going the right path then, hey, pretty soon you won’t think about doing it (I’m not saying you are not gonna be tempted cause, hey, Satan still has power until after the thousand year reign). That does not mean you are subject to him though. Hope this helps. In Christ alone.

  • tmselden

    It sounds as if you are doing the right things. Only the scriptures can combat what you are going through. A two word statement in the following scripture is “stand firm.” That is what you need to do with the full armor of God. Will pray. You will make it through and be much better off for it.

    Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

    Sincerely in Him,
    Mrs. Jean

  • First of all, that’s great that you’re already praying about it, and seeking wisdom in God’s word!

    Second, here are a few more ideas for you that have helped me.

    Only the grace of God will enable you to overcome, but God works in ways that are not always mysterious.

    Have you taken a step necessary for repentance?

    Maybe you haven’t made the right steps yet. It’s one thing to pray about something, but it’s another to do something about it, and what you need to do about it may not be what you think.

    Just trying to do better has always been a sure road to disaster for me. I have to make a move that shows myself and others that I’m serious about this. It might be very simple, or very complicated, but it shouldn’t be too easy. When I’m trying to change something, I have to take a step that requires a bit of self-sacrifice on my part, usually by taking me outside my comfort zone, (maybe trying something new) or by forcing me to give something up that I like.

    It’s hard to say exactly since I don’t know the details, but I would encourage you to examine your situation and see if there is anything you can cut from your life or change that may push you forward in this.

    You mentioned accountability. Accountability from your family, and brothers and sisters in Christ is a must. So what if you can’t drive? Email, text, snail mail, whatever means of communication is available to you, use it:) The Lord wants us to help one another.

    Since you’re still searching for it, the solution probably isn’t going to be easy, but I know it will be worth it. The “crown of life” promised to us who overcome sounds just fantastic! :)

  • Louis Gervais

    It may help to pray more/harder, or with someone (like father) daily if possible. And make sure you surrendered every last single part of your life to God and are still living so.

  • McKaylee M.

    It’s hard. I’ve been in that spot before. You have to take control. Tell yourself no. Be firm. Pray for Gods strength! Psalm 30:15
    “You will find peace when you turn away from your sins and depend on me. You will receive the strength you need when you stay calm and trust in me.” That verse helped me when I was struggling. That’s just about the only way I can think about. Sometimes the way out isn’t the easy way out. Hope this helps! Prayin’ for ya! And just know that you’re not alone. We’re all here for you, and a lot of us have already been there. And He still loves you and always will. Don’t ever forget that.

  • Jesse

    I have this struggle too, and I need help.

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