I am a sinner.
I do not think this admission is easy for anyone, yet it is a thread that ties the human family together. We all sin and our struggle to put off the natural man is a consequence of the journey we have begun in this fallen world. As Paul wrote, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
We should strive to shake off the sins that shackle us. Yet, we should also recognize Satan will try to exacerbate our sin with evil, twisted lies designed to completely separate us from Heavenly Father and our potential.
These five lies are some of the most potent and can easily lead to our spiritual death if we believe them.
1. You are unworthy of God’s love.
Satan knows the most precious truth of eternity is that we are beloved children of an adoring Heavenly Father. He will always strike at the heart of this principle because if we do not believe Heavenly Father loves us, so much of purpose crumbles away.
Consider this teaching from President Thomas S. Monson:
God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.
When we sin, there are consequences. We can lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We experience the pain of godly sorrow. We must face the repercussions in our relationships and day-to-day life.
But losing Heavenly Father’s love is not a consequence of sin. There is nothing you can do to separate you from the love of heaven. The love of Christ is always available. It is in times of sin and sorrow that Christ would want us to embrace his love the most.
2. You should hide your sin.
The intense emotional feelings associated with sin lead us to try and cover them up. We lie. We avoid. We disengage. If we hide our sin, we tell ourselves, it will just go away.
There are a number of problems with hiding our sins. It prevents us from seeking help and treatment from Heavenly Father, trusted Church leaders, and professionals counselors. It leads to pride, where we care more about what man will think than God. It hurts our relationships, including with Heavenly Father, as we lose opportunities to connect at a vulnerable, spiritual level.
We shouldn’t go around confessing our sins to anyone and everyone. Sin is personal and struggling through it is precious and sacred. However, we should confess our sins to Heavenly Father without hesitation or fear. Talk with a Church leader. Look for ways to share your struggles in an appropriate way.
Do not allow the admission, “I am a sinner” to become soaked in shame.
3. You should obsess over your sin.
If you are reading this, it is likely you want to do something about your sins. This is wonderful! This is glorious! This is what Jesus Christ is all about!
Yet, Satan can drive us to an extreme where we obsess over our sins so intensely we choke our souls to death. Satan would have every moment of every day be consumed by what you have done wrong. Do not let your sin become the defining characteristic of your thoughts and actions. Do not let it define you.
One of the most powerful ways to combat sin has nothing to do with fighting darkness. Instead, it as about adding light. Stop trying to fight your sins to the death. Do good. Minister. Pray. Love. Add the light of Christ into your life and the darkness will eventually flee away.
4. You are inherently evil.
We should experience godly sorrow for our sins. We recognize we have done wrong. However, many of us fall into the trap of sinking into shame. Shame is an intense feeling of guilt, sorrow, and unworthiness. Godly sorry tells us we have done something bad. Shame tell us we are bad, at our very core.
You are a being of light. You are divine. At your eternal core is unlimited potential. Sin does not erase that. Sin will not erase your progression unless you give it the power to do so.
Think of Moses and his confrontation with Satan, who raged and railed against him when Moses refused to worship him. The scriptures say Moses saw the bitterness of hell, yet he was sure of his divine nature as a son of God.
When you are faced with the bitterness of hell because of your sin, stare it straight in the eye and say the same. I am a son of God. I am a daughter of God.
5. You can never change.
Satan can never change. He can never progress and his goal is to make us feel the exact same way. Maybe you have struggled with the same sin for years and you are exhausted. Maybe your sin feels so deep and so dark you do not see any way back.
You can always change. You can always repent. It is not easy, but the process of utilizing the Atonement will leave nothing undone. We will be complete through it. Completely clean. Completely free. Completely empowered. Completely joyful.
This is evident in Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s passionate testimony:
If you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time. Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor. Don’t delay. It’s getting late.