Question:

I seem to be struggling with my Christian life. I keep dabbling in fornication, which is always painful for me, so I don't even know why I do it. I also noticed I don't have a lot of Christian friends around. I can't seem to actually find any friends, even in my church. I don't want to keep living like this. I know God wants to use me. I just feel it. But how would He when I keep playing with sin? I want to love God, I want to spread His word, but I am ashamed of my life. I can't preach when I'm not practicing it. I'm so confused. How do I even know I won't fail God again?

I read somewhere that genuine repentance means you don't go back to the sin again. So does this mean I never repented? Would God ever forgive me again? I keep annoying Him with this same sin.


Answer:

Repentance means you have an radical change in both your behavior and your attitude toward your behavior. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). What I gather from your note is that you are sorry about sinning, but that sorrow doesn't translate into you making much changes in your life.

The result is that you live a double life. You act like a Christian at church, but you live like a heathen the rest of the week. Thus, you live the life of a hypocrite (someone who is putting on an act). I suspect that this is why you don't have many friends at church. People suspect that you aren't sincere in your beliefs -- it leaks through no matter how careful you are.

John pointed out a difference between those who follow God and those who follow Satan. "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother" (I John 3:9-10). John is not saying that a Christian is unable to sin. Earlier in the letter, he pointed out that anyone claiming not to sin is a liar (I John 1:8-10). Rather John's point here is that sinning is against a Christian's nature. He cannot abide in sin, he is driven to get out of sin, he may slip up but he and sin just don't get along. The child of Satan is the opposite. He might know he ought not to sin, but he has compromised. He has accepted that sin is in his life. You are doing this, you "dabble in fornication," and you "play with sin." What is missing is any horror at what you are doing to yourself.

This is not to say that a Christian won't slip and fall back into sin, but the Christian is driven to not accept sin in his life, so he changes. "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity" (Proverbs 24:16). However, notice that you use the fear that you'll sin again as a reason for not straightening out your life. If you know you are in a bad state, change. Even if you know it is going to be a struggle, change!

Put your pants back on. Remove all the contacts you have with women you've had sex with from your phone and computer. Get radical about changing your life.

I am very grateful for your reply. I am doing my best. I have read more on this also. I know this time around I won't fail God. I also won't be too confident in myself and put myself in situations that'll cause me to sin.

Thank you. God bless you and your ministry.