The Sin Cycle

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. (James 1:14, 15 NLT)

Regardless of your time walking with Jesus, you have that thing in your life…

That thing that has some how snuck in the backdoor and separates you from God more often than anything else.

  • Maybe it’s pride.
  • Maybe it’s something you drink.
  • Maybe it’s something you smoke.
  • Maybe it’s something you look at.
  • Maybe it’s stretching the truth.
  • Whatever it is, it’s not good.

A few days ago, I read James 1 and wrote down this as the Sin Cycle:

1. Our desire

This is where those big, hard to shake sins begin. We have a fleshly desire for something that’s not of God. It’s in us because of what Adam and Eve did when they ate the prune (just mixing it up a little, maybe an apple?).

2. Our distraction

After our desire, there’s usually something that distracts us, that drags us away from the truth that we know. We have the desire, fight the desire, but go from fighting to wanting to stretch the truth and deciding that it may be okay after all.

3. Sin

We finally give in. We feel like we just can’t help it. Our insecurities get the best of us or our desires take over for good. We fall.

4. Growth

We do it again. This is where all of us really need to worry. We’re letting what separates us from God have reign in our lives. We do it over and over. We convince ourselves that it’s ok and we agree with the Enemy that we’ll do it.

5. Death

If not taken care of and gotten out, sin leads to death. Death in our relationship with God, death in our relationships with each other, death in our communion with the Father, and death in our effectiveness in reaching people.

Thankfully, God is still graceful and can rescue us from any of these places. His grace is sufficient. We do, however, have a responsibility. If we love him, we’ll obey his commands… we’ll break the sin cycle.

So, what do you think? Have you seen this to be true in your life?


  1. Jonathan, this is probably one of your most thought provoking, convicting posts to date. Mainly because, even though we love to think, and make others think, that we have it all together. When in reality we struggle DAILY with things that separate us from God. The most difficult task in breaking this “sin cycle” is admitting we’re flawed and accepting God’s grace and forgiveness. Great post!


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