Devoted followers of Christ hate when they sin. It’s maddening. We don’t understand why we continue to do things we know are not honoring to God (Romans 7:15). If you’re like me, you may have often pondered why we sin in the first place. It seems logical our love and devotion to God would keep us close to Him and far away from sin. It would be that simple if we did not have an enemy who was constantly seeking to trip us up and eventually destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).
While we can’t blame Satan for our failures, we can blame him for planting the seeds of those failures. Ultimately though, the reason why we sin is because we choose to take our eyes off Jesus.
I think one of the biggest mistakes most Christians make is thinking Satan takes time off from looking for ways to throw us off course. The problem is we often fail to match the intensity of the enemy’s attack. We don’t spend every waking hour serving God and looking for ways to advance His Kingdom. The devil and his demons are on mission every moment in time, so every minute we take away from the battle is a huge opportunity for Satan.
This is why the enemy works so hard to sidetrack us. Satan tries to distract us with material possessions, social and economic status, and selfish lusts. But I think the most insidious distraction is the one telling us we deserve a break or some time for ourselves. He distracts us from our mission by convincing us we deserve just a few hours to check out from the world and relax. This tactic is the subtlest and can lead to a host of other distractions and temptations because we rarely see it coming.
The moment you take your eyes off Jesus, Satan is waiting to pounce. I’ve written before about there being “No Days Off” for followers of Jesus, and while it evoked some strong responses, I stand by it. There is a healthy recharging time necessary for all people; it was so important God built it into the rhythm of our souls (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11). But if our recharging time is not focused on nurturing our relationship with Christ, then it is most likely self-centered and a dangerous distraction in and of itself.
Why we sin comes down to a matter of focus. When our eyes are on Jesus, we won’t sin. I think it would be close to impossible to do so. As soon as we get distracted and take our eyes off Him, we begin acting selfishly. In that moment of pride, we sin and allow the enemy to take some ground in our lives. No one but Jesus will ever live a sinless life, but we can certainly minimize the amount of sin in which we engage. It’s as simple as refusing to take our eyes off the One who loves us most. We know why we sin. This is not a complex problem. By the grace of God, sin is easily defeated. We simply must want it more than we want our own selfish desires.