“Sometimes the person who commits same-sex sins, is his or her worst enemy.”
“I must be the most wicked and vile person in all the world.”
“I deserve what I’m getting.”
“God can never use me again.”
“God has given me over to my vile affections.”
“There will never be another opportunity, like I once had.”
“I don’t fit in with other Christians anymore.”
“I am going to pay for my sins for the rest of my life.”
These are statements that are often made, not by someone else, but in your own mind. Many people who fall into sin, become their own worst enemies. They doom themselves by becoming a victim to their failures. It is their own attitudes that prevent them from being useful again. Often when someone has fallen into samesex sins, they are filled with guilt and shame and are defeated by their own doing, not the doing of others.
When the prodigal was at the bottom, and had finally come to himself, he immediately doomed himself to servanthood forever. However, when he returned home to the father, his doomsday prediction was replaced with the acceptance of him as a son. His unworthiness turned to his father’s acceptance. What can we do when we are tempted to sabotage ourselves because of our sins? I have been in this position, so let me share with you some suggestions.
1. Recognize the effect that your sins have had on your life, but make sure you understand that it is in the past. It’s possible that your sins have had a permanent effect, but those permanent effects do, not doom your future. The person who convinced me that I could not be used again the most was me. Once I got past that, I was able to move forward. Sometimes it isn’t others who stop us, it is ourselves.
2. Stop slandering yourself. Self condemnation is the worst kind. Many people are their own worst enemies when it comes to talking bad about themselves. Do not do Satan’s bidding for him. Recognize that your own self talk can sometimes cause you to sabotage your future.
3. Stop blaming others. Nothing will sabotage your future more than blaming others for your sins. I know people who have fallen deeply into sin and can not get back because they keep blaming others for what they did. As long as you blame someone else for your sins, you are sabotaging yourself from ever being useful again.
4. Quit trying to forgive yourself. This is one of my pet peeves. I am so tired of hearing people say you must forgive yourself. I’ve got bad news for you. You are not the source of forgiveness. You need to accept forgiveness, not give it to yourself. So many people are trying to forgive themselves, rather than living in the forgiveness that they have in Christ. Self forgiveness, is a humanistic philosophy that came from Buddhism, not Christianity.
5. Dwell on your blessings, not your consequences. What you dwell on will determine what you do. Stop thinking about the price, and start dwelling on the privileges you have in Christ. God is still blessing you, so quit ignoring His blessings, while dwelling on the consequences. He is still blessing you, even in the midst of those consequences. Rejoice in His blessings.
6. Stop making excuses. When we sin, we are without excuse, but we are not without acceptance and forgiveness. I would much rather take the blame for my sin, then to lose out on the blessings and grace of God. Stop trying to explain yourself. It is what it is. You sinned. There are no excuses. Fortunately, the father didn’t ask for excuses from his son; he accepted him just as he was.
7. Stop trying to earn your way back. You cannot come back to God by works. The harder you try, the more you’re sabotaging any chance you have to return. Come back as you are, and let Him do the rest.
Sometimes we are on our own worst enemy, and we must stop sabotaging our return to God. I am convinced that there are as many who are not restored, because they sabotage themselves, as there are those who have been failed by other Christians. If the Lord knows your heart is sincere, He will send you someone who will restore you, but you must stop being the one who gets in your own way. No matter what you have done, God stands ready to accept you back. May God help us to understand, that it is our own errors that often prevent us from getting back into the race and in fellowship with God.