2 Peter 2:20-22
Sometimes, old habits are hard to break:
“For if they, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of (our) Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their last condition is worse than their first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down to them. What is expressed in the true proverb has happened to them, ‘The dog returns to its own vomit,’ and ‘A bathed sow returns to wallowing in the mire.'” -2 Peter 2:20-22, NAB
In the few verses preceeding today’s verse from 2 Peter, the author rails against those who give in to their worldly desires and are ruled by the flesh. Today, he makes an even more important point: once we leave sin, we must never come back to it again. Actually, he tells us that is worse to have walked away from sin and returned than to have never turned from our sin at all.
Why is it worse to turn from our sin and come back than to have never left sin behind at all? Because, now we know the truth, and we can no longer claim ignorance of that truth. We know the ways of Christ, yet we decide to continue our sinful ways regardless. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but it is far worse to know the law and choose not to follow it anyway.
As we grow in faith, temptation only seems to become stronger in our lives. When we did not know that we were being tempted, we also did not even know that we were sinning. Now, with a better understanding of the law, temptation seems like an even more daunting challenge to overcome. The dark clouds of sin loom over our lives like they never had before.
Do not fall back into the same trappings of your previous life. In your new life as a Catholic and Christian, you put away your old ways to find new ones. The temptation to sin again may be even stronger, but resist the devil and his ways. As a Christian, you are now the devil’s adversary, and he will try to make you stumble at every turn. Before your life as a Christian, he did not have to tempt you as strongly because you were pretty good at making poor choices on your own. Now, as you have turned from your sinful ways, he will stop at nothing to make you stumble once again.
To remove sin from our lives can be a long, arduous process, but letting it back in may only take a few wrong choices. It is much more difficult to vanquish sin from our lives than to let it come back again. Stay strong, be mindful of your sinful ways, and turn to the Lord in prayer. Ask the Lord to protect and guide you around the stumbling blocks of this world. Once you have left your sinful life behind, never turn back again.