I don’t know about you, but there are times when I find that I’m lying to myself about sinning in a particular area of my life. Have you ever had this happen? You are doing something in your life and maybe you’ve sort of felt convicted, but you’ve brushed it off. Until one day you take a step back and ask yourself, “what am I doing here?…I’m sinning!”. It’s like a lightbulb goes off.
I find that often there are warning signs that you’re sinning, even if you don’t want to admit it. And it’s good to know what those warning signs are, so that you can look at yourself and your life objectively.
Perhaps there’s more than five warning signs, but today I’d like to talk about five of them. These five I think are the most prominent warning signs you’ll notice in your life if you’re lying to yourself about sinning. You might not have all five warning signs in your life, but typically you will have at least one, if not two.
Sign #1: You feel sightly “off” about this thing, but won’t openly admit it.
So you find yourself reading this post and perhaps you have something in your life in mind here. Maybe it’s that you might be a little too addicted to shopping, or maybe you swear a little too much. Whatever the case may be. If you have a sin in your life that you don’t want to admit to, you will often feel a little “off” about this thing.
This slightly “off” feeling is frequently the conviction of the Holy Spirit and it’s important that you listen to it. Because God is trying to get your attention and like a little kid with his fingers in his ears when mommy is saying something he doesn’t to hear…that’s you. ð Don’t worry, I’ve been there too! We all have. Our heavenly daddy loves us and this is why He convicts us.
So if you have that slightly “off” feeling then take it to God in prayer and start searching His Word for confirmation.
Sign #2: You hide this thing from those closest to you.
Is there something you’re doing in your life that you are hiding from your husband…or your kids…or your best friend? Or all of them? Oftentimes when we are sinning we feel ashamed even if we won’t admit it. We do this thing but won’t admit to our friends and family that we have a problem.
This isn’t to say that your friends and family don’t know that you do this at all. But they may not know the extent of the problem. Take our addicted to shopping example. Your friends and family might know you like to go shopping. But you might have a credit card that no one knows about. Or you might hide a bulk of the things you buy in a secret closet. This is just one example, of course.
So if you find yourself hiding what you’re doing from those closest to you then take a step back, pray about it, and search the Bible for God’s answer.
Sign #3: This thing drives a wedge between you and those closest to you.
Usually sign #3 coincides with sign #2, but not always. For obvious reasons, if you’re hiding something from someone (typically your spouse) then there will start to be some tension and resentment brewing. But even if you’re not hiding this sin from your spouse, this sin might still be driving a wedge between you and him (or someone else in your life).
You find that you’re on edge and defensive about this sin in your life and if anyone even innocently asks about something related to it, you might attack them for being too nosy or controlling. This sin eats away at relationships and drives wedges that only get bigger and bigger when left un-repented.
So if you find that this thing in your life that might be a sin drives wedges between you and your husband, kids, or anyone else close to you, take it to God in prayer! Ask Him what you should do and He will answer you.
Sign #4: You aren’t REALLY willing to give it up, even though you say you are.
As with most sin, it can be really hard to let go. But in the case of sin that you’re lying to yourself about, you will often SAY you are willing to give it up, but you really aren’t. Deep down inside you know that you can’t so easily give this thing up. And thinking about doing so makes your skin crawl.
Sometimes it’s not even that you aren’t willing, but that you aren’t ABLE to. This is especially true of sins in our thought lives. Because our thoughts sometimes seem to have a mind of their own (no pun intended)! For example, thoughts of resentment might just seep into your mind. But that doesn’t mean you have to indulge in those thoughts. Bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
So think about really giving up this thing that might be sin. Meditate on that and how it makes you feel. Can you really do it? If not, then pray about it, repent, and ask for His strength to turn from it.
Sign #5: You can’t shake that nagging feeling that you’re sinning.
And finally, it comes down to this. You can’t shake the feeling that you’re sinning. The thought keeps coming back to you. Even when you try to ignore it, the thought keeps coming through. This, my friend, could very well be the Holy Spirit knocking on your door.
Even when you want to ignore that nagging feeling, you can’t. Because you are gifted with the Holy Spirit residing in you, and God is trying to get your attention. But, we often find ourselves like little children. Not wanting to hear what God has to tell us because we don’t want to. But the Bible says that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). And because He loves us so much, He will continue to try to help you turn from your sin.
Sin isn’t good for us, even when it feels good. Because it drives a wedge between us and God. And we don’t want that. So if you have a nagging feeling that you’re sinning, sit up! And listen to what God is trying to tell you. Pray and seek God’s answer in His Word.
What do I do if I’m sinning?
My friend, it is never too late to kick that nasty sin to the curb. The Bible says that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So once we realize we are sinning, we have only to repent. And repenting is more than just asking for forgiveness, but also TURNING from that sin to the best of your ability.
So first, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), then ask God for forgiveness, and then TURN from this sin with the strength of Christ (Philippians 4:13). If you backslide, then turn back as soon as you realize it. God forgives, but we must do our best to turn towards Him and way from sin.
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