“I seem to be addicted to ___. I’ve resolved time after time to never do it again, but I keep falling back into it.”
“Good news! God gives us power over sin. You can have victory over this.”
“OK, I’m open to that. What do I need to do?”
“Just learn to have self-control. Make a choice to do what is right, and do it, regardless of your feelings.”
“Of course. I’ve tried to do that. I’ve mustered up all the self-control I possibly can, and I can resist for a while, but eventually I always succumb to ___ again. Are you saying I just need to try harder? I’ve been trying as hard as I can.”
“It’s not just trying harder. You need to completely surrender it to God. I have a friend, and he struggled with ___ and when he gave it up to God completely, he was instantly delivered.”
“As far as I can tell, I have surrendered completely to God. Honestly, I want to be free of ___ more than anything else in the world. I’ve asked Him to change whatever He needs to get me there. I have held nothing back. So if I haven’t surrendered enough, what can I do to surrender more deeply?”
“Perhaps it’s not surrender that’s the problem. Maybe it’s that you’re trying to do it in your own strength. You need to let go and let God. You need to trust his power in your life.”
“I thought the same thing. A couple of years ago I spent a lot of time in prayer, and left it all in God’s hands. I was hoping he would deliver me right away, and I’m still looking for the time when he will, but so far I’ve always eventually blown it and fallen back into the same sin.”
“I think you just need to understand how serious this is. Your life could be ruined if you continue in ___. I don’t mean to be harsh, but you need to repent and stop sinning.”
“I know it’s serious. I’d give anything to be able to stop doing it. I hate being enslaved by ___. I have repented, the best I can, but it still keeps coming back.”
“Of course you can stop. That’s what the Bible says. ‘No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man and God is faithful to not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.’ (1 Cor 10:13). You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13). If you give in to ___ it’s by your own choice; don’t blame God for it.”
“You know, you’re right. Sometimes the temptation toward ___ is overwhelming, and it feels as though I have absolutely no choice; as though I’m just forced to sin. But I am willing to accept that, regardless of how impossible it seemed at the time, it was actually, technically possible to resist the temptation.
“So every time I’ve fallen into ___, it’s been my fault. God isn’t to blame for it.
“That doesn’t really help though. It’s hard enough to do the right thing that I often blow it. And if you tempt me enough times I’ll eventually blow it again. So none of this helps me to be free from it from now on. I can decide right now never to get involved in ___ again, but tomorrow I’ll just make the wrong choice again. How can I stop myself from doing that?”
“I think you need to just decide not to. You can determine in your heart to stop sinning in this area.”
“I have decided that dozens of times but it never sticks. There is nothing I can do today to keep myself from doing the wrong thing tomorrow.”
“Well, I think you just don’t see how bad this is. You need to stop sinning right away.”
So: how would you answer?