Romans 3:23 is one of the first Bible verses that many people hear and learn on their way to accepting Christ as their savior. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That verse sets a standard. None of us has gone through life to this point without having sinned. We see it in others, and even if we don’t recognize it in our own lives, others see it in us. Some are comfortable continuing in a life of sin, but most people want to remove it from their lives. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a guide anywhere for how to remove sin from your life.
I was struck by something as I read from Colossians this morning. We want to know how to remove sin, but maybe we should be learning to remove ourselves from sin. Joseph did that in Potiphar’s house to avoid sin. He got himself out of the situation. Cyclical sins are harder to get away from though; those sins that we find ourselves repeating over and over again. Generational sins that have plagued our families are difficult to run away from.
Colossians 3 is about living a Christian life. It gives a guide for how to remove sin by removing yourself from sin, and it starts with where you put your focus and attention.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)
The first step to removing ourselves from sin is to focus on Jesus and the things of God. Have you ever noticed that your attitude tends to reflect the people you are surrounded by? Our focus is drawn towards a bad attitude, and although we try to stay positive, our attitude hits a down swing. A bad attitude is not necessarily a sin, but focus has the same affect on what we do or do not do.
Is your focus on social media or how God created you? Is your focus on popular movies and TV shows, or on the very Word of God? Are you listening to sports talk and pop radio or K-Love? There is nothing inherently sinful about social media, movies, and music, but when our focus is not on God, we can easily find ourselves in places of sin. Focus is a good start to removing ourselves from sin, but Colossians 3 goes beyond that.
Remove Sin by Renewing Through Replacing
Colossians 3 gives a list of things that we should do to help remove ourselves from sin. Replace sinful nature with better things so that there no room for sin to reenter.
- Cover yourself with compassion
- Be kind
- Have an attitude of humility
- Be gentle and patient
- Forgive others
- Be filled with love
- Let the peace of Christ take charge
- Be thankful
- Let Scripture penetrate you deeply
- Worship God by singing to Him with gratitude
I have found in my own life that when the last two on that list are lacking in my life, the rest of them are soon to follow, and I find myself in places of sin again. If you have found yourself stuck in some sort of cyclical sin, take a deep look through that list. Let Scripture take hold of you and sing praise and worship to God.