Stop Digging

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2.

I had never heard of the saying, “If you are in a hole, stop digging,” until I read it in a book recently. It is apparently a well-known saying that many have written about. The saying appears to me to be particularly appropriate for those in the downward spiral of sin. This morning I talked with the mother of one of my former clients (while I was a parole officer) who is again in prison. He has been involved with substance abuse over the years. He had contacted me last summer prior to his most recent arrest. He had stopped at the store in our little town and picked up one of the free booklets, “Never Give Up!” that I have placed there.

Tommy knew that it was a possibility that he would be arrested because some people he had been involved with had already been. He was doing at that point the things that he should do. He had stopped using and was trying to cut off contact with the people who were trying to drag him back into substance abuse. Tommy was in a hole that he had dug and he was, as in the saying, trying to stop.

The apostle Paul was saying something similar in Romans 12:2. He said, “Do not be conformed to this world.” In other words, he was saying “stop it!”, “stop digging”, “turn away from the things of this world and climb out of the pit you have dug”. It is somewhat similar to the story of the boy sitting on a tack. Now the tack was hurting him and he wanted that to end. So, the boy was asking for advice from those who came by. Finally, another little boy said to him, “Why don’t you just get off the tack?” Good question. It goes to the heart of the problem with addictions and sin. Why don’t we just stop? Why don’t we just stop digging the hole we are in and climb out?

It may be that we think there is no hope and that the sin is too powerful to be overcome. Sin deceives. Sin can be overcome. You can overcome sin through the power of God. However, many think that God will just zap you and you will never again have to ask God for help. They think that they can just go back to living like they were in the world and just not be involved with that particular sin. No, it does not work that way. Overcoming sin requires a complete commitment to God and to what He wants in your life. It requires a complete change. You cannot continue to visit with your old friends who are still involved in the sin you were involved in. Instead, you must constantly look to God for the renewing of your mind for freedom from your old sins.

So, if you are sitting on a tack – get off of it. If you are in a hole and digging deeper – stop digging and get out. You can do it through the power of God just like the apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You can do the same!

(If you are in the downward spiral of sin stop digging deeper.)

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