Over and Over Again
One of the greatest challenges in any believer’s life is that of finding ourselves repeating some of the same mistakes over and over again. We may have thought that we were really putting something behind us – gaining ground – only to be frustrated and disappointed yet again. The fact that it truly bothers us is a good spiritual indicator, but it is not what an overcomer is striving for. Christ said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). That is what we are to become, nothing less.
We know unquestioningly that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. That is the only way that lasting change can and will occur in our inner person. Knowing that, we can automatically deduce that Christ must increase in us, and we must decrease. It is a daily process for each one of us as we go forward.
What can we do differently, now, to take on more of Christ’s mind and character? Concerning Christ, David wrote, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Psalm 45:7). We often think about and dwell on God’s love, but we need to understand that He hates wickedness just as much as He loves righteousness. Righteous love and righteous hate are two sides of the same coin. The word “hate” here is translated from the Hebrew word “sane” (saw-nay). It means to personally hate the enemy or foe, which is sin. Another descriptor in the definition is “odious”, which means extremely unpleasant or repulsive. So God personally hates sin, and it is extremely repulsive to Him.
Let us have a look at another verse with the word hate, this time in the Greek. Christ said, “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:6). The synonyms for detest are: abhor, loathe, despise, etc. Simply put, our God passionately hates sin. Do we passionately hate it in thought or deed as well?
The passionate do what they do with their might. That being said, there are things that can elevate our passion. Solomon does a great job of it in Proverbs 26:11. “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). That is a great mental picture for us to have living in our minds. There is absolutely nothing appealing about this disgustingly repulsive picture that Solomon has painted. We understand exactly what he is so graphically saying. A fool is not disgusted with his own sins and will return again and again to them. The fool does not detest sin the way that God does, because he has no spiritual connection to God.
Thankfully we do have the connection through the Holy Spirit. That is why the Apostle Paul said, “Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:14-16).