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August 20, 2013

Overcoming the things that hold us down

We all have sinned, we are all sinners, May God have mercy on our souls.

Some things come along and happen once, we ask forgiveness and move on, but some things stick around, and eventually begin to destroy our faith. It could be sexual, physical, emotional, but we all have them, and they all eat away at the foundations of our faith.

It can be disheartening to try and live a faithful life, while at the same time you carry this dark secret, it can destroy you from the inside out. I know, I’ve been there, many times. There are countless books on how to deal with recurring sin, I’m sure those authors are very good at what they say, I even given some of them money to try and overcome things I was dealing with.

In the end I think I found a very simple solution, mind you that it’s not quick, it’s not brilliant or life changing, it’s just simple common sense with a couple of steps. If you are dealing with something that is eating away at your soul, and you feel ashamed every time you enter a church, let me give you some very simple advise:


We are ALL sinners, all of us. There is no exception outside Christ, and there is nothing you can do that will drive away the love of God. That may sound cheesy, but think of it this way, the Priest who hands out communion is a sinner just like you. No one you come in contact with lives perfect and sinless life, even the most pious monks, and Priests struggle with sin, they have confessors just like we do.

I know when you are in the middle of a habitual sin, it seems as if there is no hope, but there is a creator who’s love is vastly stronger than anything we can do.


Find a confessor, a Priest,  a Deacon, Someone in the Clergy and confess. Get it off your chest and ask for forgiveness and advice. Many times our view becomes warped, and it takes someone else to see past the sin and provide some solid advice. Don’t be ashamed, let it rip, Priests who are confessors (Catholic and Orthodox) cannot share the information with anyone, and have been given apostolic authority to give absolution. So your secret is safe, and a good confessor will help give you steps so that you can overcome your sin. I’ve been there, I know how hard it is, but I also know that once you confess, the burden lifts and your heart can be set free.


Perform. Daily. Prayer.

Let me repeat that.

Perform. Daily. Prayer.

No exceptions, the length of time does NOT matter, you don’t have to collapse on the floor and scream out to God (unless your REALLY inclined to do so, then have at it). But the simple act of praying every day will have a HUGE impact on your faith, and once you begin to strengthen that, you will find overcoming the sin in your life becomes easier and easier.

Also find a good prayer book, and then find a prayer that fits your need and recite it every day, soon you will find that the prayer enters your heart and illumines your being. I do the Troparion every morning, and I keep an index card of people I need to pray for. I rarely miss my prayer time, and my wife joins in from time to time, and that’s beginning to effect (in a great way) our relationship.


Find something else to fill the time you sin, anything will do. I tie fly fishing fly’s, or find good books, or watch T.V. I do those things INSTEAD of my sin, it won’t come easy, there is no ‘miracle cure’ here, but if you occupy your hands and mind with other things, you will find after a while that you start sinning less and less. Again it’s a simple thing, but it’s also VERY powerful.


Celebrate EVERY little victory, overcoming a habitual sin takes time and effort, you have to WANT to overcome it. You will have set backs, DON’T STOP. Pick yourself up and keep going, it WILL get easier. I fell time after time after time, but I never gave up, eventually I noticed that I was slowly moving away from my sin, until I realized one day it had been weeks since I had done it. I didn’t run into the street screaming I’m Free, I’m Free (as fun as that would be). I used the victory to put my guards up and to make sure I don’t slip back, I was tempted badly last night, and I simply refused to feel the shame and pain again, and it never happened. I call that a win :)

Again, this is not life changing advice, but it has worked for me, and it took a very long time. But I have finally changed and no longer have to deal with habitual sin, I wont say that it will work for you, but it worked for me…


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