None of us can escape sin in this world. Whether large or small, we will make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God throughout our lives. Of course, we rejoice in Jesus Christ, who saves us from sin. As the prophet Isaiah taught, “though your sin be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
However, embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ is a life-long endeavor. In the midst of great sin, it can seem impossible to hold onto Him. If you find yourself struggling to give up your favorite sin, this may be the best thing to try.
Stop Fighting the Darkness…
It’s natural that our first instinct is to combat the darkness. We put up safeguards, build accountability, and bring out our fiercest weapons. However, putting up a good fight can be hard to do when our natural man is strong and our gospel character weak. We can become weary and exhausted. This happens when we rely on our own strength instead of Christs’. But how do we gain access to that strength if we feel full of sin and shame?
…And Start Adding His Light
The solution is to focus on adding light through positive action rather than obsess over stopping our sinful actions. This doesn’t mean that we stop trying to prevent sin in our lives or give up. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care about sin. It means our focus turns towards Christ and the simple ways our agency can increase our power.
For example, we add the light of Christ into our lives when we read our scriptures, pray, serve others, and engage in good activities. For some, this describes what fighting the darkness looks like. However, when we frame it into a positive mode of adding His light, we take the full weight of the responsibility off our shoulders and open the doors to grace. It also helps us avoid shame and negative self-talk.
When we focus on the good we can do through Christ, we gain a more complete perspective of the repentance process while maintaining a sense of our own divinity and goodness in the eyes of God. Our nature begins to change and slowly the light grows. We are then stronger to combat our sin.
In closing, consider this quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:
“Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. More importantly, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs. When the spiritual light of the Holy Ghost is present, the darkness of Satan departs. The Lord is our light and, literally, our salvation.”