Introducing the Sin Families
Sins tend to gather in what we call “families”—groups of related sins. If you have a problem with drinking, for example, it is a part of the overindulgence family, which includes such sins as gluttony, drunkenness, drug abuse, shopaholism, and the overuse of media. All such sins relate to indulging too much in some kind of substance or experience.
But overindulgence is just one example. We have come up with ten sin families, each with its own parent sin. The “parents” include such foundational sins as pride, anger, and sexual immorality. In the families headed by these parent sins there may be found several other related sins.
Of course, describing sins in families this way is somewhat artificial. It would be possible to come up with a different list of sins and to arrange them in a different way. Furthermore, there is overlap among the families. Violence, for example, might be considered to partake of both anger and divisiveness (two different “parents” in our scheme). Real life is not as cut and dried as our list of sins may appear. Nevertheless, we believe our sin families represent a helpful way of looking at the universe of sins and figuring out where our particular sins fit in.
The sin families are listed in the column to the right. Think about all the sins that are troubling you now. These make up your own hit list of tenacious sins. Plan to deal with them all, if not at the same time, then one right after the other Regardless of the areas that concern you, your success in finding freedom from sin habits depends on how honest you are prepared to be with God and yourself. It is true that in this life you will never cease struggling with temptation. Nevertheless, as you deal with the sin in your life, tell yourself, I will face my problems head-on. With all my strength, I will seek out God and His will for my life. I will settle for nothing less than ever-advancing progress toward becoming more like Christ. God will honor your authentic attempts to draw near to Him, and as you do, you will find that He is already there.