Let's face it, we all sin. We may all sin differently but we all sin. The only real power sin has over a Christian is the shame that causes us to try to hide it, to keep it a secret. Sin only has power over us when we keep it in the dark. Sin loves the dark. We need to do something about that.
The solution is a simple one but it can hurt our pride and ego. It also reveals a lot about ourselves. It leaves us very exposed to God, and if we choose, to God's children. In order to rob sin of any hold it thinks it has over us we need to drag it into the light:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)
Now I am talking to followers of Jesus here. Jesus broke our slavery to sin so that we are no longer forced to sin but too often we choose to sin. Our flesh has not yet been transformed so sin still has a way in, if we allow it. The only way to deal with any weaknesses is to bring them into the light, to confess them. It is amazing how quickly that sin loses any attractiveness when we expose it to God's light.
If you are struggling with cutting, don't keep it a secret. It is a powerful thing in the dark but when you expose it you rob it of it's power. Struggling with pornography? Expose it. Alcohol? Drugs? Sex? Lying? It doesn't matter what it is, big or small, if it has power over you, break that power by bringing it into the light.
Sin is ugly:
For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. (v. 12)
That's the place we do not want to go back to, the place of disobedience. We live in the age of grace. God covers our sins through Jesus but we are not to use his grace as an excuse to keep on sinning. If we are sexually active outside of marriage and accept Jesus we set aside our sin. It's power is broken but our mind may still wander there. That sin had been part of us and may still have a pull on us. Talk about it. Expose it. Don't try to be perfect because that will just set you up for a fall. Be honest about your feelings and thoughts and allow Jesus to destroy what that things is trying to do to you.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. (vv. 13-14)
When we bring it into the light we see it for what it is. Sin can look attractive when kept in the dark but when it is exposed to God's glory we are able to see just how ugly it is. Too many of us choose the appearance of perfection over the freedom of honesty before our God. The only way we can be perfected in Jesus' love is if we trust that love with our dirty little secrets. Besides, we can't hide anything from God.
I think we should not be sin conscience but righteousness conscience. However, to get there we have to change our attitude toward sin and perfection. We have to expose every dark corner of our heart and allow God's righteousness to permeate us. Stop building façades and be real in your living. When you are aware of sin or even the temptation, show it to Jesus and move on. Yes, as simple as that. Show it to our King so his light destroys it and move on in your growing maturity in Jesus. Rob sin of any power it thinks it has over you; bring it into the light.
Two scriptures to lend you strength to live honestly and powerfully before our God:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)