Can I Be Glad I Gave Up That Sin?

Charles Pogue

Have you ever known of a situation in which a person said, “Okay, I’ll give up that sin, but I’m not going to be happy about it”? Long years of observation and experience tell us that if one asks himself the question, “Can I give up that sin and be happy about it,” most of the time he will not give it up at all. It seems obvious, then, that not only can one be happy about giving up some sin, he must and will be happy about doing so. What are the keys to rejoicing over giving up something that is wrong?


One must have as the very most important goal in his life to please God. Paul wrote to Timothy, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:4). Any faithful soldier wishes to please his commanding officer.

God is the commanding officer of the Christian soldier. If that soldier is faithful, he will readily and gladly give up anything that offends that commanding officer. It is a relevant question to ask, but why would the soldier want to please his commanding officer to the extent that he will gladly give up those things that displease the one who is over him? The answer is twofold. The punishment for displeasing (disobeying) one’s commanding officer can and will be severe. On the other hand, in a physical army, for instance, pleasing the commanding officer carries with it commendations, medals, and rewards. In the Lord’s army, pleasing Him (including giving up anything that might displease Him) offers the reward of eternal life. Nothing is worth giving up one’s soul or that reward (Mat. 16:26; Mark 8:37). If anything stands in one’s way of eternal life, and he realizes how great is the reward and how sore is the punishment, he will not only give it up, he will be glad to do so.

The first thing one must do to give up sin and be glad he has is to understand that it is sin. In this world, there is hardly a sin that many people deny is a sin. Shockingly, that even includes murder of the unborn, the about to be born, and even the just born child. How does one know that a sin is a sin? If the Bible explicitly or implicitly reveals a thing to be sin, one can know it. If a thing is contrary to the nature of God, and God has said that He hates it, it is sin. If one has any fellowship directly or indirectly with that which is offensive to God, he has sinned (Eph. 5:11-12; 2 John 9-11).

When one recognizes a sin for what it is, how does he give it up, and gladly so? We might make the following suggestions for doing that. The first thing one can do is observe the consequences some sin has brought to someone else in this life. Adultery has led to the breakup of many marriages and families. Our prisons are full of those who have been caught stealing. Using alcohol or other drugs have resulted in cancer, heart trouble, and a host of other health consequences. Some have engaged in activities that led them into false religion; I have personally witnessed that very thing. Observing what sin has done to others may be a good place for one to begin in the desire to give up sin. Having seen what consequences sin has brought to others, be honest with yourself and ask, “What consequences has sin brought to my own life?” It may be the case that one of the things listed in the preceding paragraph is a consequence that has come upon you. However, there is so far as the Christian is concerned, a much more common consequence of sin. When one refuses to recognize, and thus give up, some sin, that person will become secular-minded. He will come to the point that he would rather be made happy by self-satisfaction and gratification over things in this life, than to give much thought about judgment. One in that situation must wake up to where he is, recognize the sin that caused it, and put it away.

A third thing one can do is continue his study of God’s Word. We have already listed the ways the Scripture reveals something as sin, but a continued study of what the consequences are in this life and what the ultimate price paid for sin is should make anyone glad to give up sin. Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden and ultimately suffered physical death for their sin. David sinned with Bathsheba, and as a result of that sin the child that was born out of that adultery died. David came to repentance, but had he not, he would have lost his soul. Judas Iscariot went out and hung himself. We could go on and on with a list of people throughout the Bible who sinned and lost their physical lives over it. However, that is not the worst tragedy. The worst tragedy is described by Jesus in His description of the judgment day. Those on His left hand will go into everlasting punishment (Mat. 25:46). The Lord will take vengeance on unrepentant sinners with flaming fire (2 The. 1:7-9). If I sin, whether there are recognizable consequences in this life or not, there will be eternal consequences in the next one.


Probably no one would doubt the impact of recognizing the consequences of sin in this life and in the next one. That is not so much the problem. What the problem is, is coming to realize that something I love is wrong. That is where many people are, they love an evil that they will not even recognize as evil. Why is that the case? First, they just plain do not want to. They love the sin too much to be honest with themselves and admit that it is sin. In the second place, they may fail to understand that having any fellowship at all with things that God has Continued from Page 1 6 Defender October 2018 revealed as sin, is sin. That is true regardless of what it is.

The thing that must be accepted by anyone who wants to cast sin out of his life is that he must desire to please God above all else. He wants to do that so much, he is going to be extremely cautious. To put it bluntly, if a thing even has the appearance or possibility of being evil, the person who wants to go to heaven will not engage in it at all. He will give it up and cheerfully so. Let us all examine ourselves to see if there is something in our lives that stands between ourselves and God and put it away from us. Yes, we can give up sin, and be glad of it!

Source: Defender, editor Michael Hatcher. Bellview Church of Christ, Pennsacola, FL. Vol. XLVII, Oct. 2018. Num. 10.

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