In my own life, dealing with the devices of Satan’s tempting, I’ve often fallen prey to the taunting of “Well, you’ve already fallen to this sin now, so what’s the point of stopping?” Of course, such a taunt is not to be even considered by the Christian, as if committing the sin again and again is not compounding our guilt. Instead, we certainly should avoid sin altogether, but where we haven’t heeded this avoidance, we ought also immediately cast it away when it comes to our attention. Repent. Repent now. Not later.
Along those same line of thought, I appreciate this quotation from the venerable and beloved Matthew Henry, speaking to diligence in our duties:
It is best to remember our duty, and to do it in its time; but, if we have neglected that, it is next best to remember our faults, and repent of them, and do our duty at last; better late than never.
So, in whatever we’re doing, if we come to an immediate recognition that we’ve failed in this area or that, let us take up our duty once again immediately, repenting from our sloth, etc. and pressing toward our goal in Christ Jesus. The most pervasive attack of distractions I have found to be on the Lord’s Day when providential hindrances have kept me from my usual Sabbath schedule. It is on those days I must be diligent in my duties to keep the Sabbath and, if I’ve found myself straying, or being distracted, to repent immediately and take those duties back up. This, instead of saying to myself, “Oh great! I’ve failed in keeping the sabbath today, what’s the point of trying any further?”
If we are to be honest with ourselves, are we ever truly able to keep the commandments purely and without admixture of taint in either matter, manner, or motive? Of course not. Does this absolve us of our duties to endeavor to keep the Lord’s commandments? Absolutely not. Instead, it drives us to the ever pleasantly good news that that we have the imputed righteousness of Christ and, therefore, we ought all the more in a sense of gratitude and duty (both, not either/or) take up the Lord’s commandments with cheerfulness and resolve.