It was not long ago when I had no choice at all. Sin was a compulsion. When sin was a compulsion, I just sinned without thought, without choice. It was not something I decided to do, but something that happened to me. In spite of my best efforts not to, as soon as the desire, or temptation, or lure came along, I immediately gave into it. As Saint Paul says: “I do not understand what I do; for I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me”(Rom. 7:15,17).
Oftentimes, in moments of boredom, I would seek out sin so that it would entice me. In those moments sin was not acting upon me, but I chased after it to act upon it, I was like Saint Augustine who wrote in his Confessions: “I became evil for no reason. I had no motive for my wickedness except wickedness itself. It was foul, and I loved it. I loved the self-destruction, I loved my fall, not the object for which I had fallen but my fall itself. My depraved soul leaped down from your firmament to ruin. I was seeking not to gain anything by shameful means, but shame for its own sake.
But today, there is a choice. I do not compulsively sin, neither do I compulsively chase after sin in times of boredom, or as a means of quick pleasure in stressful times. The fact that I still have moments in which I think about sinning, or even moments when I choose to sin simply means that I am human. The fact that it is a choice demonstrates that I am not the same person I used to be.
Since I am not that person anymore, I do not have to choose to be that person I used to be. So in those moments when I think about sinning I can say to myself: “Do not reach out and take back that problem again. You have given it to God, so that even though you have a choice, it is not your choice to make.” Since I have decided to let God handle my sin problem for me, I find that I rarely sin, even in those moments when I choose to sin. For some reason, it just never seems to happen.
QUESTION FOR THE DAY:
Have I decided to take my sin problem back into my own hands?
Thank you, Lord, for taking care of my sin problem for me. Remind me ever so gently that my sin is in your hands and that sinning is not a choice I have to make today. Let your will be done in me and though me. Amen.