Helping Each Other Fight Sin

On Sunday Keith preached an excellent sermon on 1 Corinthians 5 called “Fighting Sin is a Community Project.” He gave four motivations for fighting sin: because it damages people, the church, the reputation of Christ, and because the sin inside the church is a bigger problem than the sin outside the church.

If you were like me, you walked away with a renewed desire to fight sin in your life as well as to help others fight sin. The question is how best to do it?

Keith encouraged us to ask others to be part of this in our lives. I bet this is an area that most of us don’t do well. I don’t. It’s not fun to be corrected even in small ways, and almost ridiculous to ask someone to actually look for your sin and bring it to your attention. But is it possible that this is exactly what would be best for us, what God wants for his people?

In previous places I’ve lived I have been involved in something called a prayer triplet. This is a group of two other people of the same-sex committed to helping each other live the Christian life well. These two other girls and I met every other week for an hour. We asked each other hard questions, listened to one another, prayed for one another – basically loved one another well.

We agreed up-front to a set of questions that we were allowed, even encouraged, to ask one another. I thought on the back of Keith’s sermon that it might be helpful to share that list. There’s nothing magical about these questions. They’re just questions on areas we agreed we wanted to be important in our lives – areas that mattered to God and, therefore, should matter to us.

This could be done in pairs, possibly in fours, but three felt like a good number because you could adequately share in an hour and feel safe. We wouldn’t go through this whole list every time but just cycle through the questions throughout the year.

This can be intimidating because you don’t know who to ask. I totally get that. I find that initiating one of these is best done slowly and with prayerful consideration, looking specifically for people you trust and are willing to listen to as a major voice in your life. It is worth mentioning that you must also agree to these parameters by being a trustworthy and confidential person yourself. There is nothing that can kill accountability or growth between two people faster than an untamed tongue coupled with broken confidentiality.

Perhaps you might want to consider initiating a prayer triplet or accountability partner. It’s on my to-do list, because I have realized it’s something that I’ve missed, or more accurately, missed out on. Every time I have had one in my life I’ve benefited. I think God is clear that he desires his people to live relationally and sharpen one another, and these types of accountability relationships can be a great avenue to do that and to make fighting sin truly a community project.

Relationship with God

  1. How has your relationship with God deepened, or been stunted over the last few months?
  2. Are you reading the Bible? What are you reading? How is it impacting your life?
  3. What are you struggling with to be obedient? What is a challenge in your walk with God now? What kind of doubts are you having?
  4. Are you praying? What and when are you praying? How balanced are your prayers? (Praise, confession, thanks, requests, worries, families, outsiders, local, international)

Marriage

  1. Are you loving your spouse well? How are you helping your spouse?
  2. Are you getting enough time together?
  3. How is sex/romance?
  4. Are there any areas that need addressing in your marriage? What can you think of that would improve it?
  5. Are you good for each other’s godliness?

Parenting

  1. How are you getting along with your kids?
  2. How are your kids getting along with each other?
  3. What kind of conflict are you experiencing with them?
  4. Do you pray for your children? Are you praying with them?
  5. What are your long-term goals for them? Where would you like to see them when they are 25? Does what you are doing now fit in with those goals?
  6. How could you improve your relationship with each of them?

Relationships (General)

  1. Are you being a good friend? How can you be a better one?
  2. Which friends are you struggling with? Are there ways your heart should change towards them?
  3. Are you controlling your tongue with how you speak about others?
  4. What ways are you serving at church?
  5. How can you show love to those at church?
  6. Are you relating well to those in community around you?
  7. How are you involved in evangelism? What opportunities exist to increase this?
  8. Are you honoring your parents?

Work

  1. How do you feel about your job?
  2. How are you relating to your co-workers?
  3. What ways are you struggling with integrity at work?

Note: If you are inclined to use this list, please feel free to steal, change, or delete any of these questions. It is important that your list is one that is crafted for your particular situation – just be sure you don’t leave off areas because you want to—they are likely the ones most beneficial to include!

2 Comments

  1. Michelle L said:

    Great idea Erin! It’s helpful to have the example questions too. Thanks for posting.

  2. Cari said:

    Great post Erin. Thanks for listing the possible questions to ask, this is helpful!

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