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Godliness seems pretty easy when you’re having a peaceful quiet time at a retreat center with a brand-new engraved journal.

But when you’re late for work, can’t find one shoe, and your kids are hounding you, it can be a little more complicated. Maybe you lost it this morning. Or every morning.

Or you’ve been doing a great job sticking with your goals, and then one night, you have a massive binge of epic proportions. You don’t even remember what you ate, drank, or watched until 2:00 in the morning.

Do you feel like you’re not like those other Christians who seem to have it all together?

We know that our sins hold us back and keep us from the joy and freedom God offers us. So, why is it so hard to overcome sins? 

 What are we doing wrong? 

Psalm 19 says: “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.”

This verse is crucially vital for understanding the step-by-step process of how sin works. Sin always follows a pattern. 

The Three-Step-Process of Sin:


When weeds first pop up in a garden, they look small and inconsequential. They are easy to remove and don’t pose a threat. They might even look cute. 

That is how sin starts. That’s what Psalm 19 means by *hidden faults.* They are small attitudes, behaviors, or complaints that crop up in our hearts regularly. At the time, they seem unimportant. Many people don’t even notice them. 

Those are the kinds of sins that we make excuses for. We think, “I had a bad day. I was tired, and everything hit me at once. With everything wrong in the world, you’re blaming me for one small word?”

How do you react when someone cuts you off in line, makes you late for work, or inconveniences you? 

Hidden faults are the hardest for us to recognize in ourselves. That’s why Psalm 19 says, “Who can discern his errors?” A level of ruthless self-honesty is required to see this part of ourselves truly. 


When hidden faults are not dealt with, they grow into presumptuous sins. This is when the weeds get big, ugly, mean, and nasty.

If we haven’t been paying attention to hidden faults, the presumptuous sins may seemingly come from nowhere. You thought you were doing pretty well, and then you lost it. It suddenly seems impossible to bite back that angry retort.


When the first two steps play out on a repeated and daily basis, if you continually allow the small weeds to take root and grow, the final state is that sin will “have dominion over you.”

When this happens, sin seems to have complete victory.

Does all of this sound harsh? Does it seem like a heavy dose of law and judgment and not a lot of grace?

Psalm 19 doesn’t just give us the bad news. The final verse is chock-full of grace and gospel good news.

Here are a Few Tips  for Fighting Sin:

  • Confession

90% of overcoming your sin is very simple. *Recognize it,* *confess it.* 

That’s all it takes. 

While that sounds easy, this is the hardest part. It means confessing those daily, niggling hidden faults where we are most tempted to deceive ourselves. 

God is the kind gardener who wants to hack away a little at our hearts. Confession and repentance are some of the means by which God does his spade work. 

  • Remember Grace

The instant you have confessed and acknowledged the hidden faults, God immediately covers them with his grace, forgotten by the blood of Christ.

If you are in Christ, then there is no judgment or condemnation. There is only an invitation for freedom and joy. Jesus loves you, Jesus is for you, and Jesus has permanently forgiven you if you have placed your faith in him. This is not about earning God’s grace. It is simply about growing further and deeper into Joy and Abundant Life.

  • Expect Failure.

If it were easy, you wouldn’t need Jesus, right? Yet the Christian faith is a walk of ever-increasing dependence upon Him

If you would like to learn more about what it means to walk with God and grow in Christlikeness, you can explore resources on our website or visit us for Sunday morning worship at Dream City Church.

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