Personal Development

How to Help People with Life-Dominating Sins

Venus Transit 3Charles McCaul

A Life-Dominating Sin is what many Westerners would call and addiction.  However, it is an activity that involves what the Bible and the God of the Universe calls “sin.”  A Life-Dominating Sin is a sin that influences the person’s life for many years and drives them to destroy their personal life and that of loved ones a little at a time until it eventually blows up.  A Life-Dominating Sin may also be called a “stronghold” in that person’s life.

Life-Dominating Sins include:

  • Gambling
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Sex
  • Spending
  • Gossip
  • Lying
  • Anger/Violence
  • Stealing

Characteristics of the Person

  1. They minimize their sin.

This person knows they have “done badly” but they don’t accept the seriousness of what they have done.  They think “it’s not that bad.”  They compare themselves with others and conclude they are not as bad as others.  They make excuses for their sin and blame others.  Because they think the sin is not that serious they think they can solve it on their own so they don’t tell anyone.

  1. The always have deeper problems.

You see, one sin leads to another.  These people are usually liars and deceivers since they have to cover up what they are doing.  They are independent. They don’t like to take advice from others and they don’t like to submit to others.  They have shame because of their sin and this is a great hindrance for them to seek help until it blows up.  They almost always have a low self-image of themselves or experience self-rejection.  They have pride because they don’t acknowledge the seriousness of their sin or situation.  They are selfish because they only think of themselves.

  1. Their thinking is distorted.

They don’t see life the same as others.  Their mind needs to be renewed by the Word of God.  Therefore, they need to create new thinking and new habits.  (Actions are the result of thinking.  Wrong thinking = wrong actions.  Good thinking = good actions.

  1. They need deliverance.

Sometimes a demonic stronghold is the source of the sin.  It could be something that is passed down from previous generations or it could be a door they opened in childhood or youth.  Sometimes the demons get a stronghold because of the sin. Regardless, the person needs spiritual deliverance.


How to Help the Person who has the Stronghold

  1. Make sure they really want help.

We Christians have a tendency to assume someone wants help to pressure them to get help. If they do not come to the end of themselves and really want to be free whatever efforts we make to help them will not bear fruit.

  1. They must identify their primary sin(s) and take 100% responsibility for them.

We must go through with them each sin, identify it, explain it and they must accept that they are personally responsible.  No one else “made them do it” and no situation made them do it.  They made a choice to engage in the sinful activity that led their life to fall apart and hurt so many people.

  1. We must help them identify the associated sins and they must take 100% responsibility for them.

It’s likely they have lied, deceived, stolen, spoke evil of someone and hurt others by their sinful activities.  They must identify each of these and acknowledge they have done so and are 100% responsible for these other sins as well as their primary sin.

  1. They must make restitution to any they have offended.

A big deception of a person bound by a Life-Dominating Sin is that they have only hurt themselves.  This is 100% wrong thinking that must be corrected.  They have hurt and betrayed their spouse, their children, their close family, the people they work with, the people they had influence over and even future generations because they have lost part of the destiny God had for them that would have had positive influence over others.  They must go to every person possible and pay back anything they have taken and ask forgiveness. This process of humility is crucial in the healing process as the memory of pain is a huge deterrent to doing this again.

  1. We must help them discover their thinking and actions that led them to this place in the beginning.

They have wrong thinking about life, family, success, happiness, the way to relieve stress.  They must identify the “self-talk” that they have been telling themselves all this time.

They must also identify the specific actions they took that led them to the destruction of their lives and hurting so many others.  Places they went.  People they associated with.  There is a Cycle of Addiction they followed each time. They must identify that cycle and break it before they get to the point of no return.

  1. Help them to create a plan to overcome this cycle.

This is a key point in the healing process. Saying “I won’t do it again” is not enough.  They must have a clear plan on how they will combat the thoughts and temptations next time.  How will they flee temptation?  What thoughts will they substitute for the tempting thoughts?  Who will they contact when they are facing temptation?

They must create a “Never to do” list of things in the smallest degree that they will never do again.  This includes areas that become “yellow traffic lights” to warn them they are slipping back, as well as “red traffic lights” that warn them they have “crossed the line”.

  1. We must help them with their family.

Their family has been wounded:  their spouse and their children.  It will take much marriage and family counseling to rebuild the trust in the family.  (Once trust is broken it is very, very difficult to be rebuilt.)

  1. We must help them with their finances.

Most of these Life-Dominating Sins will have affected their finances.  They probably have mismanaged their finances.  They will need financial counseling.

  1. They must be accountable.

One of their thinking errors is that they could solve this on their own.  Most people cannot solve these kinds of issues on their own.  This person will need to be accountable to others to help him gain victory and live in that victory.


As you can see, it is a long-hard road for a person to travel on to restore their life after living with a Life-Dominating Sin.  It’s been my experience most people are not willing to pay the price.  In my opinion and experience the beginning is total repentance, regret and taking 100% responsibility for the damage done to him and others.  Unless this occurs there is little hope of getting healed.


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