Okay, first, it’s confession time. This past week, I have been tempted to indulge in an old “favorite sin.” I haven’t fallen victim to that sin in a long time, and thankfully this week was no exception. I can tell you, though, that it was very, very difficult to resist the temptation.
Here’s the bad news: we all struggle with temptation and sin.
Here’s the good news: we have what it takes to say “No.”
We all have been there, right? Paul himself said in Romans 7:15b, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” God tells us that we should hate sin, and yet, here we are, sinning merrily away, then repenting and apologizing for it, then committing the sin again. It’s never easy! (As a matter of fact, my earlier confession isn’t a declaration of pride, saying “Look at me, I resisted the sin.” Rather, it’s an accountability admission, a testimony, saying that I had a weak week, and am grateful for the grace of God and my iPod which I turned on to help get my mind off that temptation.)
I find that resisting temptation becomes easier when we ask ourselves what is our motivation for avoiding temptation and sin. Is our love for God stronger than clicking on the link that will bring us to a pornographic website? Is our love for Him more powerful than the desire to spread some gossip? Is our love for God more passionate than our love for that man or woman who isn’t our spouse, that boy or girl who we think we love so much that we’re willing to go to bed with them in the hope that doing so will get them to love us back?
A lot of people subscribe to the lie that doing things “that feel right,” even if it’s wrong in the eyes of God, is right because it is part of “loving yourself.” Sure, it may feel good at the start, but there are rarely happy endings in stories that have heroes who don’t follow the will of God. So don’t fall prey to the lie. God’s love for you is so great that He chose your life over that of His own Son’s. There is no greater love than that kind of love.
How can I not love Someone who loves me with that kind of love? How can I choose myself and my flesh over Someone Who has such a passion for me that He loves me despite my being a constant <insert derogatory term here>? How can I follow myself and my idiocy over Someone Who wants only the best for me?
I know I am not alone when I say this of Christianity: we may love ourselves, but we love God more. That is why we do what we do.