Sin perplexes us. We love it, and we hate it. We embrace it, and we war against it. We act on it, yet we don’t always understand why. Sin is alluring and confusing, pleasurable and destructive. The redeemed heart has been set free from sin’s power, yet still wars with sin’s presence—and sin distances us from the God who willingly came to rescue us from it.
When I asked friends, “What are some sins and areas of temptation we must fight every day?” the response was overwhelming: jealousy, laziness, discontentment, control, discouragement, pride, a sharp tongue, vanity, slander, inadequacy, anxiety, fear, selfish gain, impatience, anger, disobedience, lust, fear of man, and critical judgment of other Christians.
Which of these resonate with you? Do others come to your mind?
20 Practical Ways to Kill Sin Every Day
No Christian is exempt from the battle with sin, and it’s wise to consider what and how we’re actively fighting each day. But we do not fight alone:
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:9-11)
Believer in Christ Jesus, you are dead to sin and alive to God – and your calling is to “consider yourself” in this way. So what does it look like to fight sin on a daily basis, when temptation is all around you and spiritual death is sin’s goal (James 1:15)?
Ponder these 20 practical ways to “consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God” by killing sin today:
1. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s conviction and help.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)
2. Practice regular confession.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
3. Remove the temptation.
And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:43)
4. Tell a friend.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
5. Memorize Scripture.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil….take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… (Ephesians 6:11, 17)
6. Meditate on the cross.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
7. Deal quickly with offense.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15)
8. Discern your desires.
…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22, 24)
9. Help someone in need.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
10. Praise and thank God.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:5, 16).
11. Watch your words.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
12. Forgive the repentant.
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)
13. Know yourself.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11)
14. Heed your conscience.
But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
15. Flee sexual sin.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
16. Preach the truth to doubt, fear, and unbelief.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… (2 Corinthians 10:5)
17. Deal with your anger.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. (Psalm 37:8)
18. Aim to please Christ.
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
19. Remember God’s work to save you.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?…And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 11)
20. Follow Jesus.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)