Early on in my walk with the Lord I did my best to avoid sin for a variety of reasons.
#1 – Sin is bad and God hates it.
#2 – Guilt & Shame when I sinned.
#3 – Fear of getting caught.
These reasons were moderately effective for avoiding most kinds of wickedness, but sin still had an attraction and hold over me. I mean, why do you think most everyone lives in sin? It’s attractive and enjoyable. The only problem, as the proverb declares is YOU WILL BE FOUND OUT. No matter how well you attempt to hide, cover and disclose your wickedness, it will come out in the end.
Then I had a revelation that changed my life.
I remember having a stark realization that I truly enjoyed the lasting benefits of living in righteousness and holiness much more than the passing pleasures of sin. It was a simple, yet profound truth. The sense of peace and clarity I had when walking in integrity was MUCH more appealing to me than a lifestyle of deception and darkness. My head hitting the pillow with a clean conscience was invaluable. No longer was I gritting my teeth, trying NOT to sin. I was authentically moved to do right for the pleasure it brought me. I call this grace based holiness. We walk in holiness for the superior pleasures of loving God, not only because it’s the puritanical right thing to do.
These days, I have found it incredibly effective to appeal to this desire when calling sinners out of their lifestyle of darkness. They can look into my eyes and see that I am at peace. There is power in a clean conscience. The security of my walk of integrity is attractive to a world filled with fear, anxiety and insecurity.
It’s ok to live righteously for the benefits, stop trying to be a hero.