Sometimes, it surprises new Christians to find that they still struggle with sin. Although we have been united to Christ and justified by his righteousness, as long as we are on this earth, we still have a sinful nature and must daily resist temptation.
In this episode of Let’s Talk, Jackie Hill Perry, Jasmine Holmes, and Melissa Kruger discuss the ongoing struggle against sin in the Christian life. They each confess personal struggles with temptation—and what strategies help them resist. In order to be motivated to fight sin, we have to believe what God says about it. Melissa reflects,
I think fighting sin is an act of belief. It says, you know what? I am limited. I don’t understand how this world works, but God does. He’s the Creator. He made me. He actually knows how I work best. So all of Scripture is saying, “This is how you work best.” . . . What I think I want isn’t actually what’s good for me.
Listen in on their conversation and be renewed in your own determination to fight for holiness as they discuss:
- Recognizing sin doesn’t go away when you come to faith—you have to fight it (1:52)
- The fight against sin as a war—being battle-ready (6:25)
- How Reformed theology may affect the fight against sin (8:45)
- Understanding the enemy (13:52)
- How friends help us fight the battle (16:27)
- Knowing your sins and staying soft-hearted toward them (19:48)
- The effect of covenant love on repentance (24:15)
- When fighting sin feels like death (27:28)
- What to say to people who don’t think they have sins to fight (28:55)
- Measuring against the correct standard (33:22)
- Scripture that encourages people to endure in the fight against sin (34:07)
- One of their favorite things (37:17)
- Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (book)
- I’m a Bad Mom, and It’s Not Okay
- The Pattern Among Fallen Pastors
- Love Your Neighbor Enough to Speak Truth
Today’s episode of Let’s Talk is brought to you in part by International Justice Mission. IJM is a global nonprofit working to end slavery and violence around the world. They take on the difficult, complex work of helping governments protect their own citizens from brutal systems of oppression that have, in some cases, flourished for centuries. With your support, children, women, and men trapped in cycles of awful violence, abuse, and slavery can be found. They can be rescued and they can be restored to health and wholeness. By becoming a freedom partner, you can make this transformation possible. Freedom partners give monthly so IJM teams can show up month after month to rescue people from slavery and walk with survivors as they heal. Visit IJM.org/LetsTalk to join today. Your consistent support will impact the lives of individuals all over the world who are waiting to be free.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Jackie Hill Perry: Hey everybody. Welcome to Let’s Talk, a podcast from The Gospel Coalition Podcast Network. We are here to apply biblical wisdom to everyday life. If you’re enjoying this podcast while you wash your dishes or drive your kids to school or you go to school yourself, we hope you will spread the word about it on social media. My name is Jackie Hill Perry and I am here with Jasmine Holmes and Melissa Kruger. Very smart saints.
Jackie Hill Perry: So far we’ve talked about witnessing and fighting discontentment and overcoming church hurt and all these other things that are real heavy and depressant until we think about the glory of our Lord Jesus. And today we’re going to talk about actively fighting sin. All right? When I first became a Christian, I didn’t understand the art fighting sin. Because I understood sin very clearly. Because when we come to Jesus, we obviously come as sinners.
Jackie Hill Perry: But I think when I became a Christian is when I realized, Oh, the sin doesn’t go away. I’m still irritable, I’m still angry, I’m still lustful. I’m still a messy mess of a person. And so now I have to figure out how to actually walk by the spirit and not by the flesh anymore. Like when did you discover that in your Christian walk where it’s like, Oh, I can’t just believe in Jesus and then passively think that I’m going to be Holy randomly. Like I have to actively pursue holiness in light of fighting sin.
Jasmine Holmes: I was a teenager and I remember I woke up one night in the middle of the night and I went downstairs. My dad was doing some work and I was like, “I don’t think I’m a Christian.” And he’s, “Okay.” He’s always really calm when I would say stuff like that. It’s like, “Okay, why not?” And I was like, “Well, I want to be righteous, but I keep doing bad things and I want to be Holy. But I keep having bad thoughts and I want to love my brother, but I really don’t.” My little brother. And my dad was like, so you would say like, “The good that you want to do is right there but you’re not able.”
Jasmine Holmes: And I was like, “Yes.” And he was like, “The flesh is weak but the spirit is willing.” And I was like, “Yes. How did you know?” And, he opened up Romans 7 and I was like, Oh, okay, cool. The bible. “Okay, I see what you did there sir. I see.” But it was like definitely a huge moment in my walk because that’s when I remember kind of being faced with that fact that fighting sin and sanctification is always going to be part of the Christian walk.
Jasmine Holmes: There’s always going to be a pattern of repentance and belief and reestablishing belief over and over and over again.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. I think part of the problem of becoming a Christian as a teenager is that you have so many opportunities to mess up. And so for me, honestly, it was my words. I would want to do good and not say all the things and that by myself blowing up at my parents or fighting with my brother or gossiping about a friend. And then you just feel dirty afterwards until you have all those things and it’s just disconcerting to see.
Melissa Kruger: So the thing that it helped me see is it’s going to be like Jasmine was just saying that continual goin back to Jesus that there’s, yes, we are clean. Yeah. Because the word Christ is spoken to us, but that we have to continually go back and ask for forgiveness and repent. And yeah, the Lord’s prayer directs us in that it says, forgive us our debts. That means each time we pray we’re probably going to have something we need to repent and confess. And I don’t know that as a church we teach very well. I just don’t know. I don’t hear, when we share a prayer request, it’s normally about a job situation, a friend thing. And maybe it’s not comfortable in your small group to be like, Whoa, and here’s my sin, will you please pray that I can fight it?
Melissa Kruger: Well, but we don’t talk about fighting sin a lot.
Jackie Hill Perry: And we should. I think one thing that a Piper honestly has helped me to understand is that fighting against sin really is the pursuit of joy. And looking at it from that vantage point has helped me to want to confess and want to repent because I realized, no, I really want to rid myself of this thing because then I’ll have joy sin never makes us happy. But fear is having friends and community and people that we can trust with our sins who will give us wise counsel but also won’t beat us over the head with like Leviticus or something. That’s a thing. I don’t know if people quote that.
Jasmine Holmes: Quote Leviticus.
Jackie Hill Perry: Yeah. You can’t. No.
Melissa Kruger: It has something about unclean.
Jackie Hill Perry: Yeah.
Melissa Kruger: That’s in every sentence.
Jackie Hill Perry: I just don’t want a friend to say you nasty woman. You defiled the camp, go sit in the tent. Yeah, I don’t want that.
Melissa Kruger : But I think part of it is sometimes we forget we’re in a war. I don’t know. Have y’all seen Saving Private Ryan?
Jackie Hill Perry: Yes.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. That first battle scene when they go out and all those young boys, I mean you realize how young they were when you see the movie and they’re all running to the beaches and they’re getting shot at and you think this is a beach. And if one of those guys sat down on the beach and said, I’m going to sit here and just to enjoy the view and you get a suntan or whatever, everybody would look at him and be like, you’re crazy. What are you doing? We’re in a battle. But I think sometimes in the Christian life we think, Oh, when I come to Christ, it’s going to be easy. This is the joyful life, but just, we don’t think about it as a battle.
Melissa Kruger: But when you look in scripture that’s exactly what it’s described as. And I think when we don’t realize we’re in a battle, we’re often shocked when things get hard. But when you’re here to fight, you’re not sitting on the beach looking at the ocean, you’re here with your gun ready, ready to go take the Hill. And I don’t think I’m often battle ready. Yeah. So how can we put our armor on?
Jasmine Holmes: You can push that metaphor really far, especially with the Saving Private Ryan. Because I have like when I was a kid I remember watching it and being like there’s this one young kid and he’s like hiding behind something and he’s just crying.
Melissa Kruger: I’d be that kid. That is me.
Jasmine Holmes: Some of them were pushing forward because really like tactically they thought they were going into one thing and then it turned out to be a completely different thing and it was a massacre. And there’s that one kid, I think he’s like calling his mom and he’s just in a huddle. And I’m just like, that is myself. And that’s often how I am. And spiritual battle as well. Just like, Oh, I wasn’t ready. I’m just going to sit here and like, I don’t know, call my mom.
Melissa Kruger: Yes. Curl up in a ball.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah, definitely.
Melissa Kruger: Some of them getting sick on the boat because of fear of getting ready to go into this battle. It’s terrifying to be in a battle. And so I think sometimes we just put our blinders on. We want to pretend like it’s not there and then all of a sudden we’re getting hit by bullets. So we’re like, what’s going on? And we’re unprepared. We’re not ready.
Jackie Hill Perry: Do you think that there is a way in which reform theology has made us inactive in the fight against sin?
Jasmine Holmes: I can definitely see that. I can definitely see that. Because honestly, there are times when our understanding of the fact that we’re just wretches and we need a savior and we can’t do anything good apart from Jesus makes us forget apart from Jesus and apart from the spirit part of that, and we’re just stop at, well, we can’t do anything good anyway. As somebody who, and I know, I know that somebody is listening and going, Oh, no, reformed theology when you properly understand is X , Y, Z and that’s just not a proper understanding. We know. Yes, that is not a proper understanding.
Jasmine Holmes: But people misunderstand and misapply things that should be beautiful and things that should be good all the time. And as somebody who is raised, reformed, reformed Baptist, so maybe not as reformed as some people would have liked me to have been raised. But as somebody who is raised reformed, I can definitely attest to that fact that there was a lot of in my life I saw just being prone and just being like, well, I’m no good.
Melissa Kruger: We almost identify as a center rather than identify as a saint.
Jackie Hill Perry: But I think also I think sometimes we can prop up, Oh, we’ve been made righteous by faith alone, by grace alone. Missing that the scripture also says, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. And so it’s like, yeah, we are righteous by faith through grace, but we still need to work. And so I think that element of working out our salvation can sometimes be missed because of our theology. And I think what it could potentially lead to is just taking advantage of grace thinking, I don’t need to fight or I don’t need to repent because again, I’m righteous through grace or through faith.
Jackie Hill Perry: In Jude, verse four he talks about how there were people coming into the church who were perverting the grace of God and using the grace of God as a means to sin because God is so gracious. We can do whatever we want and it’s just like no. Titus tells us that grace actually teaches us to say no to ungodliness.
Jackie Hill Perry: So I think it’s the grace of God that we have received. If we love God’s grace and teach about God’s grace and highlight God’s grace, we need to be the primary people fighting our sin because we recognize the depth of what God’s grace does to us and for us.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. I think fighting sin to is an act of belief. It says, you know what? I am limited. I don’t understand how this world works, but God does. He’s the creator. He made me. He actually knows how I work best. So all of scripture is actually, all the law is saying this is how you work best. It’s a blessing. It’s a grace. The law given to the Israelites wasn’t to be a burden. It was to be a grace. Now obviously they couldn’t keep it. And so it was a tutor to lead them to Christ, but it’s meant to show us how to live. And so it’s this act of belief to say, you know what God? What I think I want isn’t actually what’s good for me.
Melissa Kruger: So I’m going to choose to believe you and walk in your ways because I believe there your ways are better than my ways. So it’s this act of trust when we say we’re going to obey. I think one of the other problems, sometimes in reform circles is that we never talk about the devil.
Jackie Hill Perry: Talk about it, Melissa.
Melissa Kruger: I mean, he’s after us like he wants to steal, kill, and destroy God’s people. And when we act like we don’t have an enemy who’s really after us we’re going to forget to put our armor on. And I think Ephesians 6, Paul is someone who says, put on the full armor of God and you need to do this so that you’re battle ready to fight. And to actually really believe he is speaking lies into the world out here and into the culture and those laws are coming to us. And if we don’t know the Shepherd’s voice, we may follow the lies, but that he’s active.
Jackie Hill Perry: Paul said in a 2 Corinthians 2:11 he says, so that Satan won’t outsmart us. We are familiar with his schemes. And we just can’t be out here thinking, Oh, the devil is defeated. His head has been crushed by the second Adam and all that. It’s like, yeah, it has, but he’s still out here. And he’s still fighting our marriages and fighting our minds and fighting peace and fighting with our children, fighting in our careers, in our home. He’s still out here. And I think having an awareness of the evil one can prep us to prepare for him.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah. And he’s fighting the community that’s supposed to be helping us fight against the sin. I think about so often, it’s hard for me to get on Twitter. It’s so hard.
Jackie Hill Perry: You’re not on it.
Jasmine Holmes: Never, because I’m just like, Oh, I need tweet. I need to say, I get on and I get discouraged and I get off. But what I see most often is that believers are so busy treating each other like enemies and so busy being adversarial towards each other, that they’re not mindful of our adversary the devil who’s prowling like a lion. And I think that could be a scheme of the devil to distract us from looking into ourselves and fighting our own sin and fighting our own. Part of Christian community is holding other people accountable, but we’ve so corrected and so swung the pendulum, I think we don’t talk enough about the devil and his schemes and his desire to really curtail Christian unity as much as we talk about how the problem with the world is other Christians.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. And so one of the best things you could do in war strategy is to have one person fire on themselves. If you’re in this battle and you have all the Germans fighting the Germans, well you’re going to win. If you have that confusion rather than knowing who your enemy is. And I love, I don’t know who said this, but they say the enemies are the world, the flesh and the devil. And so like knowing your enemy is the first step in fighting. Knowing that the world’s going to come at us. And not that we hate the world in the sense of the people in the world, but the systems of the world, the way the world tempts us to live only for this life rather than for heaven.
Melissa Kruger: And so our flesh, we all know surely that there are temptations of the flesh. But then the devil, he comes at us with the schemes and wants us to believe lies rather than the truth of God and the gospel. And here’s the thing, I think he comes at each of us different ways. I love, it’s Jeremiah Burroughs, I believe in Precious Remedies Against Satan’s devices. What a title, right? It’s really good. And he says, Satan likes to present the bait and hide the hook. And I think he uses different lures with each of us. How different fish use different bait. If you’re in the saltwater or if you’re in the Lake, you use different things to lure. I think he does that with all of us.
Melissa Kruger: So what you may struggle with Jackie or what you may struggle with, Jasmine are totally different than me. So sometimes I think that makes it hard to hold each other accountable. Because may be able to walk and watch a certain movie that I can’t watch. I mean too, there are these areas that cause us to struggle that don’t cause other people to struggle. And so I do think it’s still really helpful to have friends in the battle. So how can we be friends helping one another, fight the battle. Have y’all had good friends who have really helped you at certain seasons of life?
Jackie Hill Perry: Absolutely. I’ve had seasons where I don’t want to fight anymore. Where I’ve sat in my room and cried like, Lord, I am tired. I’m tired of being tempted. I’m tired of resisting the flesh. I’m tired of having dreams. I’m tired of all of that and I need you to fight for me. And oftentimes what he’s done is that he’d sent a Christian or a Saint who will pray prayers that I don’t feel like praying. Who will encourage me to read verses. Well, I won’t read it, but they’ll text me to force me to read it. You know what I’m saying? They lift up my arms like Moses’ arms were lifted. They become from me people who fight long enough where I’m ready to fight again.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah, definitely. And one of my hugest struggles, the biggest things that I struggle with is unbelief. I have to constantly be reminded of who God is, how he loves me, what he’s required of me. And having friends who understand that struggle and love me enough to tell me who God is and to remind me of his love for me and what that love is called me too has been a huge encouragement in my life. It’s been a recent encouragement honestly to have friends like that and to have friends that are aware of my struggles and to feel vulnerable enough to be able to share those struggles. And it’s been a huge, extremely recent blessing that I’ve been able to take advantage of.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. I think it’s so nice when you have people that you can… it is people that you can trust. I feel like on those things, because I need to know if I share with you ladies, you’re not going to go tell everybody else, “Hey, this is what Melissa struggling with. Can you believe she’s got those issues or whatever.” I had a group of girls in college, we would meet every week and this was when we were all dating. So there was a lot of accountability that they would ask all the uncomfortable questions.
Melissa Kruger: They would be like, how long were you kissing? They would ask. Where did it go? We’re all close on all this. They were asking really specific questions, but sometimes the fact that I knew they were going to be asking me these questions and them, I was like, I don’t want to answer that question so I’m going to be good.
Jackie Hill Perry: No, seriously. There’s some sins I resisted because I didn’t feel like confessing. I just didn’t want to go through the drama of it. If that’s Holy, it’s probably not done from faith towards him, but still it’s like, I’m all right. I’ll just pass.
Jasmine Holmes: And having people who are like in the moment, I remember one time I was engaged to fill up, we were looking at our new apartment and in the moment I called my mom and I was like, “Hey, let’s just talk till I leave.” And she was like, “Okay”. She’s like, “Sure. Yeah, let’s just talk to you till you leave.”
Melissa Kruger: It’s hard.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah, it is. And it’s good to have which step was the Holy spirit because normally my mom would be like, “girl, I’m on my way. No you didn’t.” But she was very like, “Sure, let’s talk.” It was the spirit. The spirit was like Bridget, she needs you to be gentle with her right now. And she was.
Jackie Hill Perry: So what do you do when like you might have a consistent pattern of sins or you just have, I’ll say it this way. So I have this theory that there are certain sins that are typical of a different personality type. And so because I’m a communicator, a lot of my sins might be communicative. Like I might be snarky or sarcastic or even manipulative with my words and language. Me being assertive and bold has worked out for my ministry because I can say things that are hard, but it also can make me a bully in my home.
Jackie Hill Perry: And so those sins because they’re so can feel so intrinsic to who I’ve always been, I oftentimes don’t feel as grieved those as I might about pornography. How does someone fight or what do you do to become soft-hearted again to those kinds of sinful patterns?
Jasmine Holmes: I think just knowing what sins you maybe prone to because of what type of personality you have. So for me, it’s said that I struggle with this and I’m unbelief. I am a researcher. I want to know, I want to understand, I want to see the facts and I need to be reminded of the facts constantly. And that can be good. That can be great. I make a really good research assistant. But when it comes to not being able to see, touch, feel audibly hear God, sometimes I doubt and I could be tempted to say, well, I mean, but that’s just who I am.
Jasmine Holmes: And I have for a lot of my life, but it’s only been in recent years that no unbelief is a sin. And when I struggle with it, I need to treat it like that. I need to treat it like something that needs to be repented of the fact that I think that in my limited human understanding, I should always be able to grasp exactly who God is. It’s prideful and sinful but it definitely took knowing more about myself and how I processed the world for me to become more serious about that sin. And the Holy spirit I truly believe was incredibly active and involved in that learning of myself.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. And sometimes I think we can dress them up a little nicely. So for me the sin I keep falling into a lot of times is people pleasing, which is really rooted in the fear of man. But it can almost look good-
Jackie Hill Perry: It’s actually in Christian spaces.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. I’m just doing what they asked. I’m just helping. I’m just doing these things. But it’s been really helpful for me, for my husband to be like, “You know what? Your yes to something is always a no to something else.” And if I’m just going by what other people want from me rather than praying and ask the Lord to direct me, that’s simple. It can look good. It can look like I’m doing these good things, but if it’s not rooted in what is the Lord want me to do? And really sitting before him and praying and asking for that. I’m going to get off on things.
Melissa Kruger: And so I think sometimes what I have to do is just admit it sin and not try to pretty it up and say, Oh, it’s just me being helpful to people or being servant hearted.
Jackie Hill Perry: Because I think language matters. I remember when I started to really reckon with that, maybe just because I’m a poet, but I was thinking to myself, I keep calling this thing a struggle when it’s an idol. And for me to call it a struggle allows me to wiggle my way out of dealing with it. But when I call it the idol which shocks me into repentance really. And so I think just identifying the sin, calling it for what it is, but also prayer is so necessary. Because I can’t make my heart soft. I don’t have that kind of power.
Jackie Hill Perry: But I have to be able to be honest with God and say, “Hey, this is what I’m dealing with” And I don’t want to change. I don’t feel like changing. This is safe for me to be mean. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to be nice, but I love you enough that I want to change and I need you to change me. It’s like being born again, again and again and again. I got the Holy ghost, but I need more of Him.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah. just that constant, Jackie, I know I say this all the time, but just that constant repenting, believing, repenting, believing over and over and over again. And I liked what you said about language because oftentimes I don’t call things idols or I don’t call things sin. For me, I don’t call pride what it is or selfishness or whatever fill in the blank. And using that language is so helpful even when we don’t feel that language. So I am 100% convinced that love is an act of the will because sometimes my husband, who I love very much, I love because God has required me to love. There are some moments, there are some moments where I don’t feel the love, but I know that God is required the love and the forgiveness and the forbearance. And I have to walk in it before I feel it.
Jasmine Holmes: And that’s a word always I feel it after I have been obedient and after I have walked in it because I have committed to this person and I have covenanted with this person. And whether I feel it or not, there are vows that I have made that I must keep. And regardless of how we’re processing it in that moment emotionally is so important because the emotions and the self-justification, it can change from moment to moment.
Jasmine Holmes: But God’s word is always true. So if it says something is a sin, I’m going to repent of that sin and pray that God would stop in my heart and allow to truly deeply repent internal way while still walking in obedience whether I feel it in that moment or not. And that can be really tough. But I firmly believe that that is what God requires of us.
Melissa Kruger: One thing I think that can happen is when we obey, the Lord can use that obedience to actually soften our hearts. So there’s something about choosing to walk in his ways, choosing to be the first to say, I’m sorry. Yeah. When you’ve been at a big fight with your husband or something like that and you go and you say, I know he did a lot of things wrong, but I know I did things wrong. And so when you take that act of obedience and even just go in and say, Hey, I shouldn’t have said it this way, or I shouldn’t have yelled like that, you’re just putting it forward. Sometimes the act of obeying I have found softens my heart.
Melissa Kruger: I don’t know how that happens, but it definitely.
Jasmine Holmes: The spirit.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. Just saying, stop being so willful and submit to me and then his spirit just as at work and we are softer. And I also think there’s nothing that we can do more than be prayerful. And when we are hard, say it to the Lord, my heart is hard, will you please change me? Because I know that the paths of sin are death. And I know that your paths, there’s fullness of joy to obey you and follow you. It may not feel like it. And I think that’s important to always acknowledge sin. Fighting sin can feel like death. It’s hard.
Jasmine Holmes: Because it is. Yeah.
Melissa Kruger: When they say Romans 12 in view of God’s mercy, offer yourself your bodies as a living sacrifice. The sacrifice is dying up there-
Jackie Hill Perry: And be Holy and acceptable and all that
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. And it’s helpful. There are three images of the Christian life, a battle, childbirth, and a race. All of those are really hard, but I think the joy in all of those is they’re really hopeful. You go through labor hoping to see this baby at the end, you run a hoping to finish and you fight a battle hoping for peace. They’re hopeful struggles. And so I think when I can view it that way, that I’m not near as surprised by the struggle. I think one of the hardest things of the battle against sin as we’re so surprised. I don’t want to still need grace. I want to graduate from this school and I want to be perfect.
Melissa Kruger: But just remembering, Oh, this is what the Christian life is described as in scripture. It’s never described as you get there until heaven when sends presence is fully removed. But right now we have the power to fight and believing we have the power to fight, but that it’s going to be a battle that helps me in the battle.
Jackie Hill Perry: What do you say to the saints who have grown up in church and they just don’t think they have sin to fight? They’re nice. They’re kind, they give to the church. They go to church every Sunday, they serve kids in Haiti, they go on a missions trip. They’re just nice people. I don’t need any sense to fight.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah. I was that kid. God uses all different things at humble us. My life was not hard at all. I got married and for me, nobody who knew me before I married my husband would have ever described me as an angry person or a person with a quick temper. Never. I didn’t know that about myself. My poor husband didn’t know that about myself. And we got married and things started. I had a miscarriage within the first six months of marriage, my family moved to Zambia. We moved away from the place that I’ve lived almost my entire life. And God started using that to just bring out so many things inside of me.
Jasmine Holmes: And when I look back, of course I see that there were little big quotations around the word little sins that I had been ignoring throughout most of my Christian walk because compared to my friends who were not saved as long as I was or didn’t grow up like I was, I was a pretty good person probably, give or take a few thousand sins that make me unworthy of heaven. But God used my marriage and my motherhood and grief and loss to really bring to the surface things that I had always bundled up and kept quiet in pursuit of being the good Christian girl. And I am so grateful that he did that.
Jasmine Holmes: It was jarring and scary for all parties involved. But it was good. And so what I would say to the young Christian who or older, who’s grown up in the church their whole life and thinks that they don’t have any longterm struggles with sin, humble yourself. Please ask God to show you those areas and so that you can confess them and be open and willing to whatever the spirit might show you. Because if you’re a believer, you can ask for God to show you things and be party to him to the fact that he’s showing you things. Or you can be like me and not ask and end up having an explosion of those things when bad things happen to you or when things happen to you that bring those things out.
Jasmine Holmes: I would have much rather been the person who was praying for it and getting battle ready than the person who was caught off guard because her own pride.
Melissa Kruger: I think it’s actually one of the most fearful things not to feel any conviction over sin. I would almost say, and I hope this doesn’t come off as judgemental, you might need to say am I believer? I think one of the markers of a believer is that all of the sudden sin becomes very uncomfortable. So when you’re not a Christian, you feel pretty good about yourself. Yeah. So a non-Christian thinks, no, I’m doing everything. I’m beating the odds I’m doing pretty well. It’s been since I’ve been a Christian that all the sins bother me. And the Lord is kind, they don’t all bother you at once. It’s slowly.
Melissa Kruger: Now, it’s the things that I see running through my mind. The unkind thoughts. The prideful thoughts. The why is she doing it that way? Judgmental thoughts or whatever. And I’m so bothered by them and its new things are bothering me. It used to be always, I might have just said something that would bother me. But the Lord keeps working on us.
Melissa Kruger: And so I think one of the realities of all Christians is that we’re really uncomfortable with our sin, that the spirit speaking in our lives. And so if someone’s not feeling any battle or they think they’re fine, it’s good to go to the Lord and say, show me because I should be fighting something
Jasmine Holmes: And compare yourself to his word and his standard, not to other people. Because if you compare yourself to other people, you can always find somebody who’s doing worse than you. But if you compare yourself to the sermon on the Mount, that’s a different story.
Jackie Hill Perry: Yeah, that’s true.
Melissa Kruger: Go read the sermon on the Mount.
Jackie Hill Perry: It’s easy to create your own standard of righteousness when you compare your righteousness to another person. But when you mimic Isaiah 6, for example, and you look upon the holiness of God going to say, well, it was me, and you’re going to recognize, Oh, I’m not that at all. I have broken many laws. And so for that reason I need him to cleanse me not with coal but with Christ. How would you encourage those who are actively fighting sin just to encourage them to keep going. But in your encouragement, like what word or what scripture of what passage or what story would you point people to?
Melissa Kruger: I love Hebrews 11. Therefore, since we’re surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses, I feel like that image is of these people cheering you on in your race. And when you read that verse, they were all a mess. Everybody in the hall of faith did a lot of messy things, but they’re cheering yet we’re surrounded by them and there’s a better day coming. So because I know that heaven is coming and one day the presence of sin will be removed. I can fight today. One day we will be at rest. This battle will be no more.
Melissa Kruger: And so I can put my armor on from Ephesians 6. Go out battle ready knowing peaceful, calm.
Jackie Hill Perry: Yeah. Mine is Jude, honestly, 24 and 25 to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before his glorious presence with great joy to the only God, our father, our savior, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. For me, some people could read it and say, “Oh, he’s going to keep me. He’s going to present me blameless. I don’t have to do anything.” But for me it makes me worship and it makes me want to be near him to know that with all of my mess and with all of my junk and with all of the sin, even the sin I committed this morning, I yelled at my daughter because she don’t feel like putting her shoes on.
Jackie Hill Perry: I know that God through his spirit is keeping me and by me he’s recognizing that he’s keeping me in recognizing that he’s good and recognizing that he’s merciful. It makes me want more of him. And because I want more of him, it makes me want less than my sin. So it all kind of works together, I think for me to be strong and be Holy. What about you Jasmine?
Jasmine Holmes: It just continues to be that passage in Romans where Paul is confessing his constant battle with sin. That when I was 14, when I’m 30, just continues to encourage me and remind me that the same person who told us to put on the armor of God and who told us to battle well and who told us that this Christian life is death, still struggled and continuously struggled to bring his thoughts captive into take charge of the flesh that wanted to rule him by the power of the spirit. And every single time I go back and read that passage, I am encouraged.
Jasmine Holmes: 1 Corinthians 2, where it talks about how we have the mind of God through Christ and it’s constantly enabling us to overcome these earthly things and overcome these earthly thoughts. I have access to the God of the universe in all of these battles, and Christ has interceded for me and the spirit indwells me. And that’s no small thing. And that passage always brings encouragement to me as well.
Jackie Hill Perry: You’re so godly. I love it. All right, let’s transition to our favorite thing. Our least favorite thing is sin. But today the question is, what is your favorite time of the day?
Jasmine Holmes: Morning is my favorite time of day.
Jackie Hill Perry: By morning, you mean what?
Jasmine Holmes: I am a really big morning person, so actually my favorite time to sleep is if I wake up and it’s three o’clock in the morning. That to me is like the best time to snuggle back into bed. It’s like nice sleep where you’re just like-
Jackie Hill Perry: Oh, you like waking up.
Jasmine Holmes: Oh I love it. I love to just wake up, look at the clock and see that I still have three or four hours of sleep left and then just like sink into that sleep and then I’m a morning person too, so.
Jackie Hill Perry: So you wake up at what time?
Jasmine Holmes: Like 5:45 naturally. Then I’ll lay there,
Jackie Hill Perry: On purpose?
Jasmine Holmes: No, it’s just I wake up at 5:35 45, six.
Jackie Hill Perry: And then you’re happy?
Jasmine Holmes: I’m good. But then I don’t get up. I just lay there. I’m like, this is nice. I made it through the day.
Jackie Hill Perry: But you have an alarm.
Jasmine Holmes: No, it’s just me.
Jackie Hill Perry: I just needed clarity on that.
Jasmine Holmes: I just wake up early naturally. When I was a kid, this is so morbid. Feel free to cut this out. When I was a kid, I was always afraid of dying in my sleep. So I wake up in the morning and I’d be like [crosstalk 00:44:14]. I still have that feeling of like every morning I’m like, I made it.
Melissa Kruger: Did you pray that prayer? Now I lay down sleep if I die? Why do we teach that to children?
Jasmine Holmes: Because people like me need to be reminded that you could be dying and you’re asleep. So take care of your sin.
Jackie Hill Perry: I pray to the Lord, my soul to keep
Jasmine Holmes: Keep it. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take it.
Melissa Kruger: It’s terrifying. This poor children.
Jackie Hill Perry: What’s your favorite time of the day, Melissa?
Melissa Kruger: I think my favorite time is before bed. I go and always read by myself and it’s my favorite now because it’s like all the chores of the day are done and I can just get away with my book and hopefully no one will talk to me. And I can just be quiet. And it’s my time. It’s this little moment to read a chapter or two before I go to bed.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think mine is a noon because that’s nap time for my children. So it’s the only space where all is quiet. So if I want to work, I can work. If I want to watch food network, I can watch food network if I want to read. But I try not to read because I fall asleep. So I just try to take care of things that I can’t take care of when they’re woke. And so that’s become a fave of mine. When I was single, it was obviously after seven to 4:00 AM whatever. I just would do nothing. Just do nothing.
Jasmine Holmes: Well, rounded morning, afternoon, night. Yeah.
Jackie Hill Perry: Thank you for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk. You can subscribe to Let’s Talk through Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you like to get your podcasts. Check out other shows from the [email protected] forward slash podcast the gospel coalition connects Christians to resources that apply the truth and beauty of the gospel to all of life.