Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Why Do You Sin?

  • Joe Beam President, Marriage Helper
  • Updated Mar 11, 2015
Why Do You Sin?

If you've ever found yourself struggling repeatedly with a recurring temptation, you've probably asked yourself, Why do I keep doing this when I know what it'll cost me? It will hurt me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically?

Sin shouldn't have that kind of power over anyone. Then, why do we sin? The flesh is weak. Self-gratification is the drive to find as much pleasure, comfort, and satisfaction as possible. It shows itself in sins such as greed, vanity, and self-centeredness.

The process you go through when you sin:

  • The battle is for your mind. If your spirit belongs to God, and your flesh is of this world, the battleground is your mind. Your sinful nature seeks what it wants and tries its best to focus your mind - both its intellect and emotion - on the things your flesh desires.


  • Fleshly temptation ambushes you. Temptations that create great fleshly desire within you ambush you through some temptation trap. If that temptation is a new one - meaning the temptation isn't to a repetitive sin - you think you are in control.


  • You agree to think about it. Confronted with temptation, you realize its pull and know you must leave immediately. But as you turn to walk away, the flesh whispers, Can't I just think about this? If you stop to think, the battle is nearly over. I know I don't want to do this, and Surely I won't, but that doesn't mean I have to be in such a hurry. I'll stay just a little longer and enjoy as much of it as I can without really doing anything.


  • Emotions join flesh and entice you with possibilities. Enjoying proximity with the temptation, all the while certain you won't sin, gives time for your flesh to enlist the aid of your emotions. You know doing this would be exciting. I know I'd like it if I did it, and This is probably the only time in my whole life I will ever have this opportunity. If I walk away, I may never have this chance again. Leave now and I'll regret it for the rest of my life.


  • Your spirit weakens and your flesh gains control. Your spirit, listening to the Spirit of God, wants to flee. But your mind, drugged by the passion growing in your flesh and emotions, wants to find a lie to believe so you can commit the sin. You subconsciously look for any rationalization that will help you justify experiencing this sin.


  • Your mind joins your flesh and rationalizes. At this point, your mind has joined the sin process. It thinks something like this: I know this is wrong, but I very much want to experience it...to feel it just this once. Surely God, in His great mercy, can forgive me just this one time, I know He will.


From Forgiven Forever by Joe Beam, copyright (c) 1998. Used by permission of Howard Publishing, W. Monroe, La. 1-800-858-4109.

Joe Beam founded Marriage Helper, an organization that provides marriage help to hurting couples. For more information on getting help for your marriage, click here.