To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
But What If I Want to?
Even Jimbob was in search of the magical pill to help him say no to those things which may harm him, but self control does not come in prepackaged, Just saying no is a good start, but it is not enough. Is there any help?
The apostle Paul shared his hopeless battle like this. 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:14-15. Spoiler alert – Romans 8 Paul writes about his victory through the Holy Spirit.
This subject of corralling your passions is too long for a short devotional as you well know books have been written about the subject. My points are given to inspire you to keep fighting, stay in the game, and avoid the short cuts.
- Controlling appetites
- Jesus fasted for 40 days and then the Bible records, He was hungry. At this point the devil tempted him with bread that he could make to eat. Jesus did more than say “no”. He redirected to another supply of spiritual food. Remember he told the disciples after talking to the Samaritan woman, “I have food which you do not know about.
- Redirect to something of equal or higher value
- If it is food, choose a healthier option. Wait for the meal that will come later
- If it is a lack of good time usage, let your feet take you to another place physically. In other words, get up from your chair or couch away from the TV
- Desire for things
- How much is enough? I don’t know, but it always seems to be behind ONE more thing. If I just had “this”, then I would be happy.
- Jesus said desire is subordinate to worship. He told the devil, worship God alone. In the Sermon on the Mount, He told them not to worry about food, clothing and housing, but SEEK first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.
- Put on your Anti-Envy glasses. Almost all commercials about buying new things appeal to the envying of the more stuff side of us. “Thou shalt not envy” BUT rather bless your neighbor
- Thankfulness is the road to contentment
- “Fake it till you make it” is the first step for many to take on the road to thankfulness. You will declare it before you feel it.
- Thankfulness is a redirection of values. The immediate thing you want is placed as a lesser value to the thing which brings life and hope.
- Thankfulness brings peace to your soul
Thankfulness incorporates mercy for making wrong decisions. Like me, maybe you struggle with avoiding certain foods or eating foods in smaller amounts. At times it is easier to resist. At other times, the magnetic draw pushes self control to the sideline and moves forward. When I return to thankfulness for God’s love and mercy, I receive the forgiveness to make a better choice the next time.
Like Jimbob, it is best to remember to include others into your struggle. A valued friend will pray and encourage you into the best for your life. Humbling yourself makes you stronger instead of weaker.
Just because you “Want to” doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. Don’t sacrifice the best on the altar of “I want it now”. May God’s grace, mercy and presence of the Holy Spirit lead you to true freedom.
Blessings Love y’all