Would God be unfair to punish people who violated His rules? Should He be more tolerant of sin?

A man who is in jail for robbery told me he has been stealing since boyhood. He says he can’t stop and he knows he will be in trouble again. He doesn’t think God has a right to punish him.

Liars have wept in my presence, saying they can’t stop lying. Alcohol abusers say they aren’t to blame for their addiction. A spokesman says that telling a homosexual to repent is “like telling a person to change the color of his skin.”

The prophet Jeremiah would agree that it is sometimes impossible for people to change their conduct—but for a different reason. It’s not that they cannot change; it’s because they do not want to change (Jer. 13:23-25). And because of that, God is completely just in His judgment.

If you are enslaved to sinful practices or destructive habits, you can be delivered. Admit your sinfulness and helplessness to God. Accept His offer of complete forgiveness through Jesus, who died in your place. Rely on the Holy Spirit, who can enable you to resist temptation (1 Cor. 6:19; 10:13). God can transform your heart and enable you to change, making possible what seems impossible.