If you are a Christian, you have already made the most important decision of your life: you have surrendered your life to Christ! But you’ve probably discovered by now that the Christian life is not problem-free. Yes, you have the Holy Spirit living in you to provide guidance and strength, but you still struggle to live the way you know you should. This is
because you are battling two enemies: Satan and yourself. Your nature was changed when you came to know Christ and He made His Spirit to dwell in you (1 John 4:13). But the Spirit dwells in a body of flesh, which is why you still find yourself struggling to do the right thing.
All of us commit individual acts of sin. But you may have noticed that certain sins seem to be more of a problem for you personally. Sometimes we wrestle with certain sin patterns or habitual sins—behaviors we fall into when we try to get our needs met apart fromGod.The source of that struggle is called the flesh or the old man. And if we live in the flesh rather than by the Spirit, these habitual sins will distract us from our pursuit of righteousness. They can literally kill our spiritual growth and keep us from maturing in our journey with Christ.
The early church identified a number of “capital sins”—the sins from which they believed most other sin originates. The church fathers named seven sins that are so corrupting, so evil and dangerous that for the last seventeen hundred years, they have been commonly called the seven deadly sins. And they are deadly—deadly to your spiritual growth. That is why we call them Fatal Distractions.
In this study we’ll be identifying and discussing six of these seven deadly sins, sins that can distract you from nurturing your relationship with God and, left unchecked, can even be fatal to your spiritual journey: pride, anger, jealousy, gluttony, slothfulness, and greed. (We’ve decided to omit the seventh sin of lust, because we already have multiple Bible studies on the problem of sexual sin, including The Truth About Sex
and the 40-Minute study What Does the Bible Say About Sex?
As you learn more about these fatal distractions in the weeks ahead, we encourage you to ask God to help you identify, through His Holy Spirit, any subtle ways one or more of these sins has taken hold in your life and to help you conquer these destructive temptations, so that you can walk in victory with Him.
Excerpted from Fatal Distractions: Conquering Destructive Temptations by Kay Arthur, David and BJ Lawson. Copyright © 2011 by Kay Arthur, David and BJ Lawson. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.