While I’m no expert on the secret desires of evil, these seven signs should sound the alarm and flash the red lights in a rather obvious way. Check out this list to find warning signs that sin has you where it wants you… and Bible verses that confront them.
1. Making excuses for negative behavior
Let’s face it, we all have moments when we feel overtaken by behaviors we “just can’t help.” But making excuses for negative behavior just allows it to continue. It’s as if we don’t want to see what’s right in front of our eyes.
Ask God to remove the root of the behavior from your life (jealousy, strife, gossip, etc.), and keep this verse in mind: “Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matt. 7:20).
2. Blaming someone else
“We’re still arguing because you can’t let it go.”
Blaming signals the need to make someone wrong but this verse helps put accusations in perspective: “How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” (Luke 6:42).
3. Lying or denying the truth
Someone says: “Don’t get so upset about it.”
You say: “I’m not upset.” (You are clearly upset.)
Satan is called the “Father of Lies,” so right away we know this one is a slippery slope. But let’s not forget that lies come in a variety of disguises.
Stay encouraged: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).
4. Becoming “blind” with rage/jealousy/desire etc.
Unfortunately, we all know this feels like a total loss of control. Words come flying out, actions seem to take over our bodies and we leave thinking What just happened? In these moments chaos rules, and what’s spewing out of us comes directly from the source of sin.
Saying this verse as many times as it takes could help: “The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly” (Psalm 146:8).
5. Dreaming up plots of revenge
Revenge can get serious, but just as dangerous are the tiny imaginary plots we drum up in our heads. Thoughts like: Let’s see if he likes how it feels, or The next time she does that, I’ll do this lead us nowhere. Time spent in positive thought is less time allotted to negative forces.
What the Bible tells us about it: “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it” (1 Peter 3:9).
6. Dwelling on the past
While we’re fretting about some past event, we can’t focus clearly on the present. The oldest trick in the book!
Embroiled in thoughts of the past? Don’t let them continue. Jesus gave us very clear instructions on this one: “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
7. Taking all the credit, all the time
“I didn’t get this far in life by sitting on the couch eating potato chips. I worked hard, did this, did that, me, me, me, I and I.”
Plain and simple, boasting is a bummer.
A fresh perspective from the Bible: “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:18-20).
Just as the sin working in us does not come from us, the good working in us comes from God. We must always remember to acknowledge Him and not get puffed up falsely with I, Me, Mine. On our own, we live in a very dangerous place.
Can you suggest a verse to help with one of the behaviors above? Please leave your comment below. Blessings!