Why Do You Keep Sinning, Falling, & Messing Up?

Think for a moment out of all the teachers you’ve had in school, which one comes to mind the easiest? Which one is your favorite? Who’s teaching had the greatest impact on you? Mine was Ms. Bear. She was my 2nd grade teacher. She was your typical elementary school teacher who looked like she had just been transplanted out of Mr Roger’s neighborhood. I loved her. Why? Because she was a great teacher, but mostly because I really knew she cared about me. That made all the difference. She took time to invest. 

It reminded me of a passage in Titus 2:11-14:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

What does the beginning of that verse say? It says grace trains us to put off sin. It doesn’t say grace compels us to keep sinning. It doesn’t say God’s wrath trains us to put off sin. It says that grace trains us to stop sinning. Grace is our teacher. Now, the word train can mean a million different things right? Soldiers train. Kids train. Computer engineers train. But they are all different types of training. I’d hope my kid doesn’t get trained the same way a Navy Seal gets trained. So what kind of training does it mean in this verse?


The greek word used is παιδεύουσα (root word paidĕuō). It literally means to train up a child. Do you see how beautiful that is? The Apostle Paul is communicating to us in this verse that the same way a Father in tenderness trains a child is the same way grace trains us to stop sinning. It’s not the same as a drill sergeant. Grace will never fire you. Grace will never kick you out of class. Grace will never ask for your letter of resignation. The more you stray or mess up, the more grace gets deeply involved with you. Isn’t that true with a Father? At work when you mess up, you get fired. But when a child messes up, the parents usually expend more energy on that child. Discipline is a beautiful tool of Jesus to actually prove we are legitimate children of the king (See Hebrews 12:7-11).


So for those struggling with sin, know that your moral effort, or your white knuckle obedience won’t cut it. Come on, be honest, everyone has that one sin they can’t seem to stop doing. The guilt, the shame, and the embarrassment of thinking you are better than that. So you rationalize and think you just must have not had enough faith. This time you will definitely trust in Jesus more, try harder, and finally succeed. But here’s the truth-making more rules won’t cut it. Mustering up more effort won’t cut it. It doesn’t depend on your will or exertion, but on the mercy of God (Romans 9:16). Are those things good? Sure, but as a response to grace, not a merit for grace. Grace is what teaches us to say no to the world. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness. It teaches us to say no worldly passions. Have you ever let that sink in? Do you really believe that? Or do you think reading your bible more in the morning will do the trick? Do you believe that the unmerited favor of God towards you because of Jesus is what kills the power of sin in your life?

“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” || Romans 6:14 ESV

Sin only has dominion when you are under law. When you think you are an employee of God, rather than a child, sin has power. When you think you are under contract, rather than under covenant, sin has power. But, if you are under the waterfall of grace, you can begin to slowly but surely put away sin. It’s not a freeway its a dirt road–and sometimes you crawl. The beauty of it though is that along the journey grace is your teacher. You receive the full and perfect grade before you even start the class. The standing you have the minute you trust Jesus is the same standing you will have the minute you die–perfect, spotless, and blameless. If that truly penetrates your heart, when you fall you’ll run towards Him, not away from Him. Below Pastor Matt Chandler shares a story, that I’ve used plenty of times, that illustrates this point beautifully.

So is grace your teacher? Or are you still struggling under the unbearable weight of the law? Come to Jesus. He bears the burden. He takes the load. He does it for us. That is grace.


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  • http://www.1Latham.com/ Dennis C Latham


    Because of the lack of LOVE FOR GOD. That’s why.

    • Adem Cindrah

      I beg to disagree. Maybe to some people and in some situations that is the case, but not all. We all know that apostle Paul loved God. But even he struggled with sin. For as long as we are human, we will sin at one point or the other. The important thing is to ensure that our heart is always focused on God. Always quick to repent when we sin. Since there is no condemnation for those in Christ

      • http://www.1Latham.com/ Dennis C Latham

        I see and understand where you’re coming from – but using Apostle Paul, David or any others besides JESUS CHRIST as an example is a very bad thing to do – because none of those others is CHRIST and none of those others can take anyone to THE FATHER – and only CHRIST can do that – and only LIVING IN and LIVING LIKE CHRIST can assure a resting place with THE FATHER ETERNALLY.

        If you look deeper – and I mean much deeper.
        You can possibly see – it is hatred of GOD, CHRIST, THE HOLY GHOST, SCRIPTURE and / or TRUTH that leads to sinning – falling – and messing up.

        I know to some – hatred is too strong of a word ….. but it is TRUTH.
        Specially when it comes to purposely sinning ….
        compared to sin by mistake.
        Sin my mistake is just that – a mistake – but those who LIVE IN CHRIST EMBRACE, LOVE and WANT CORRECTION. However – there are so many under the doctrine of devils – one can not correct someone who doesn’t want to be corrected.

        Now …. pertaining to the article written ?
        I have to say – GRACE fully covers those who are LIVING IN CHRIST – but not those not LIVING IN CHRIST – as much as it does those who are LIVING IN CHRIST.

        I have to say it like that – because I have ran across many un-saved people who claim to be under GRACE – but they commit purposeful sins – they rebuke, refute and reject SCRIPTURES and TRUTH of CORRECTION.

        anyway … that moment – when you do something that hurts someone else ?
        or you do something – not carrying about who it hurts – because all you want is your own satisfaction ? That there is hatred of GOD – and selfishness to put self above and ahead of GOD in your life.

        • Adem Cindrah

          I fully understand where you are coming from. And I acknowledge that we agree on a number of matters, of prime being the fact that grace is a cover for those is Jesus. I however, still think it is not such a bad idea to use examples of those apostles who went before us, why? They are human. And they are relatable. I know Jesus was tempted in every way we are- but he was still God. And ultimately, we should all thrive to get to the threshold he has placed for us.
          Why do I think the apostles make a great example? It is because (and this is true for me, I dunno about you), one of the ways the devil uses to keep us in sin is too make us feel condemned. Like since we have already sinned, we are done with and we might as well keep on sinning. Or that we have asked for forgiveness too many times, God must surely be tired of us. And I have been in such a dark place myself. Where I did not feel like I deserved to be called a Christian and I was such a shame to the kingdom for not having enough faith.. And here is where the words of the apostle speak to me… About having a thorn in the flesh that Jesus refuses to get rid of. So that we may jolly in the strength of Christ since we are weak. It keeps us praying. And trusting.

          And that is why I said, the status of our hearts- deep inside is what God, thankfully looks at. Like He did the prostitute who kept coming back to ask for forgiveness.

          • http://www.1Latham.com/ Dennis C Latham

            1.) what prostitute kept coming back to ask for forgiveness ? I never read, researched or studies anything about that in my 15+ years of EDUCATION on this matter.
            2.) Many people use David – Moses – and others – along with the apostles as scapegoats – to continue on in sin – CHRIST is the only way to THE FATHER … not the apostles – not David – and not Moses. Although they all have GREAT ACTS we all should follow – but we shouldn’t follow their bad acts or failures.
            3.) The abundance of our hearts – come out through our mouths ….