Every letter I write to you is first and foremost a letter to myself - especially this one.
Stop making excuses.
I’m serious. Why do you think you’re stuck in the same sins, day in and day out? Your biggest enemies are no longer Satan and the world around you - your biggest enemy is you.
Every day, you feed yourself the subtle lies, the recrafted excuses, the lame cop-outs, while all the while bemoaning your inability to change. You’re stuck in a cell with the key in your hand, despairing over the few steps it would take to walk out.
Listen to me, nothing will change if you don’t. That’s ridiculously obvious, I know. But we need to hear it until we get it. If all your days are characterized by “Maybe tomorrow” and “I’ve already failed, so why keep trying?” then that is what your life will be - a regretful pile of maybe’s and missteps.
In one of his songs, Andy Mineo describes this internal battle all too well:
"Well, if I listen to you, and everything you put in my ear
I'll be living like woulda, shoulda, coulda, I'll be paralyzed by fear
I got two choices when I do this, make moves or make excuses."
Two choices, my friend. That’s it. Make moves or make excuses.
You are in the midst of a spiritual war. Sin cannot be trifled with. It cannot be taken lightly or ignored. It is a cancer which left untreated will lead to death. In the words of John Owen, “Kill sin or it will be killing you.” There are no gray areas here. If you aren’t fighting sin, you’re giving in to it.
Christ did not pull your lifeless soul from the sea of sin and death so that you could go take a swim in it again.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. (1 Peter 2:24)
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:14-19)
The Gospel call is one of repentance, of turning from sin to serve the living and true God. It is a call to arms, a call to take up the armor of God and fight hard. It is a call to stay sober and vigilant in that fight. It is a call to mortify the flesh in order that the Spirit within can live.
It is an incredibly difficult call. One that we cannot carry out apart from desperate reliance on the power of God. But in that reliance, we must act. No more excuses, my friend. No more lies. No more cop-outs. Make war.