I used to think being a good Christian was like exercise: get a plan, get serious, and get to work. Spiritual disciplines, church attendance, and service were the cardio, ab workout, and flexibility training for our souls. Neglect anything, and you’d get spiritually flabby.
But I was terrible at my exercise regimen. I could not for the life of me read my Bible regularly, and prayer made me panicky as often as it connected me to God. My community at church disappeared after I had kids, and I often felt cynical about sermons and devotionals.
Was it possible for spiritual ‘exercise’ to weaken me?
Honestly, worrying about sin felt beside the point. If prayer, Bible, discipline, and church weren’t working, what else was there to try? I wondered if Jesus had given up on me.
My ideas of becoming a good Christian had a lot of truth in it—and some very poor assumptions. I could not see how my own good intentions often hamstrung me.
Here’s how we get turned around when it comes to battling sin.