We cannot talk about victorious living without talking about vices.
The dictionary defines it as an immoral or evil habit or practice. It is also defined as a fault, defect, or shortcoming. Other synonyms include failing, weakness, flaws, sin or imperfection.
When we view vices in the general term of the word, we still realize that young people play the major role in what is termed as vices in a society.
However, they didn’t begin to do that overnight. It all started from an inner struggle with their evil habits and weaknesses.
What are your vices?
I need you to take some time to think about that question. Truth is, the first step in overcoming and gaining victory is in knowing what the enemy is. Possibly, you’re the only one who knows about it. But then again, you can fool everyone but not yourself and definitely not God.
From my experience with vices, I know it ties the victim with cords of shame; the feeling of not being good enough or perfect enough or even ‘godly’ enough comes along with it. It’s a sad, depressing feeling. While society might go all out to punish young people for performing such vices, I’ve come to know it’s not always as willful as we think it is.
It’s a constant battle between good and bad, right and wrong. We want to be moral but we find ourselves doing what is tagged ‘immoral’. We want to do good but we find ourselves doing bad. We want to be free but day after day we fall into bondage. This is a struggle Paul faced as well;
I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? -Rom 7:19-24 (MSG)
This struggle from within has resulted in suicides for some people and for others, prison sentences. Of course, that’s when the vice leaves the secret corner of our personal space to the public space. For some of us, it is still an internal battle which we somehow feel is ‘controlled’ enough. But if vices could become so destructive, we need to nib it in the bud!
Am I a pro in overcoming vices? Nah. I’m still overcoming mine. But I know someone who is a pro in thrashing everything that isn’t good in us- God! The triune God makes this possible for us by; 1. Jesus died and His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. 2. The Holy Spirit lives in us, searches our hearts for these evil habits and helps us deal with them.
Paul also admits:
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.- Rom 7:25 (MSG)
Don’t struggle with the vices alone. I know you may not be comfortable telling anyone about it. I know how people could change in a second when they hear the vices we deal with! But it’s okay. They are humans, they have the right to freak out and probably stay away from us as the plague. But God- He wouldn’t flinch for a second when you tell him about the vices you struggle with. He will gladly help you get free from them.
Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. –John 8:36
It’s pretty dangerous to get stuck in your head. A lot of people have been destroyed by their vices. If you’re reading this right now and you’re honest enough to admit you also have some vices of your own, then it’s time for you to get free. It’s time to tell God about it and stop struggling on your own. Stop trying to hide it from Him.
I pray for you right now, that you overcome the vices in your life and you begin to walk in the victory Christ won on the Cross for you. You are free from today, in Jesus precious name. Amen!
It’s always my desire that you live victorious lives!
Lots of love,
©Mfon Etuk, 2016