How does a parasite survive? By feeding off its host in a manner that is damaging to the host. If it doesn’t have anything to feed on, it dies. Similarly, in order for sins, bad habits or addictions to survive, they require food. Our words, thoughts and actions are often the food sin requires for survival. In order to get rid of a sin, we must deprive it of its food source.
The sin parasite feeds on negative thoughts, words and actions. In order to remove this food source, we can make an effort to think about good things, watch what we say, control our actions and be careful of what we put into our minds. However, it takes more than simply depriving them of food to get rid of these stubborn parasites. To be completely effective, it also takes prayer and God’s forgiveness to fully be rid of them. Ultimately, it is forgiveness that finally washes it away.
So how do we obtain this forgiveness? It’s simple actually, we just have to ask for it, confess our sins and repent (1 John 1:9 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
American King James Version×). It’s a free gift from God, made possible by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus the Christ. Without the forgiveness of our sins, we would receive the penalty for them, which is death (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×). All of us have sinned and require forgiveness (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
American King James Version×). A parasite feeds on its host until the host either gets rid of it or until the host dies. Sin behaves in the same manner. Unless we get rid of the sin parasite in our lives, we will also die (spiritually speaking).
Lying, jealousy, hatred, covetousness, wrong desires, wrong thoughts, pride—the list seems endless. Sins can turn into habits and even addictions if we don’t recognize them and stop them (Romans 6:12 Romans 6:12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.
American King James Version×; Colossians 3:5 Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
American King James Version×; Romans 1:29 Romans 1:29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
American King James Version×). It’s much easier if we can avoid contracting these sinful parasites in the first place. How do we recognize a sin when it first shows up? By consistently reading our Bibles and daily prayer (Psalms 119:133 Psalms 119:133Order my steps in your word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
American King James Version×). It can be hard to recognize some sins, so praying to God for help is the best solution. Psalms 90:8 Psalms 90:8You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
American King James Version×says that God is aware of our sins, even our hidden sins.
Once we recognize sin and have the desire to change, it’s God who changes us from the inside (Ezekiel 36:26 Ezekiel 36:26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
American King James Version×; 2 Corinthians 5:17 2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
American King James Version×; Psalms 51:10 Psalms 51:10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
American King James Version×). It is God in us (His Holy Spirit, which is the power of God) that changes us (Romans 8:26-27 Romans 8:26-27  Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
American King James Version×; Galatians 5:19-25 Galatians 5:19-25  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
American King James Version×; Ephesians 4:22-24 Ephesians 4:22-24  That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
American King James Version×). We cannot get rid of sin without God’s help, but we can and should pray to God to ask Him to stir up His Holy Spirit in us, which we receive at baptism through the laying on of hands (2 Timothy 1:6 2 Timothy 1:6Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.
American King James Version×). Even before baptism, God’s Holy Spirit is working with us through our parents (1 Corinthians 7:14 1 Corinthians 7:14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
American King James Version×). To access the full power of His Spirit, however, baptism is required. (For more information, search “When Should You Be Baptized” on ucg.org.)
Sinning also involves something we can control—our thoughts and wrong desires (James 1:14-15 James 1:14-15  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
American King James Version×). How can we control our thoughts? Is it as easy as just not thinking about bad things? Yes and no. We can consciously force ourselves to stop thinking negatively, but we need to replace the wrong thought with something good. It can be a scripture, a hymn or a favorite quote—anything as long as it is good (Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×). If we don’t replace a wrong thought or desire with a godly one, it will be back, and each time it comes back it will be harder to get rid of and more difficult to stop feeding (Luke 11:24-26 Luke 11:24-26  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he said, I will return to my house from where I came out.  And when he comes, he finds it swept and garnished.  Then goes he, and takes to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
American King James Version×; 2 Peter 2:20-22 2 Peter 2:20-22  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  But it is happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
American King James Version×).
When struggling with bad habits or recurring sins, we don’t need to be afraid to talk to our parents or a minister. That’s why they are there. And again, pray. Prayer, asking God for help and forgiveness and reading the Bible are the best ways to get rid of bad habits and sinful behaviors.
Sin is like a parasite. Being careful of what we watch, listen to, read and think about will help us stop feeding the parasites.