Monday, March 8, 2021

How to be strong when sin is making you weak

Regarding the discussion of sin we had during men’s group …

“I want to quit, but I can’t.”

I want to lose weight, but first I have all this food in the house that I have to eat. I can’t just throw it out.

               Instead, I start from abstinence. I fast until I’m actually hungry, then I eat. I make sure my stomach isn’t uncomfortable because of gas, or because I’m too full, or because I ate something spicy, or because I had an argument with someone, or some other stress. I make sure my “hunger” isn’t thirst by drinking plenty of water. I make sure I’m not just eating out of habit by distracting myself and doing something constructive. Thus, I discern if I’m truly hungry. If I’m truly hungry, I let my wife know. As a last resort, I might even “cook” for myself.

I wanted to go to grandma’s house, so I walked down to the end of the block; but I wasn’t there yet, so I turned around and came back.

Blowing smoke like a pro
               Instead, I calculate what it’s going to take to get there. Grandma lives 15 miles away. That’s quite a hike. Maybe I should drive the car. Do I really want to go to Grandma’s house, or am I just trying to justify why I can’t get there.  Am I using the right vehicle? Do I know how to use it? Do I know the way? Maybe I should get somebody to help me find the way. If I make a wrong turn, they can say, “Wait! Isn’t the whore house down this road? Aren’t we going to Grandma’s?”

So, your good intentions aren’t enough. You have to train yourself to do what is required. To master yourself, practice often. Build your muscles. It is immensely helpful to have a partner to help you stay on The Way … on Target.

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12 

               If you’re trying to “clean your house,” be sure to put some good angels in it. Otherwise, the same old relatives will move right back in with you. 

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” Luke 11 

               You are in charge of you. Your mind doesn’t want to do what you say. It wants to stay comfortable and avoid all work and struggle. It wants the thrills, and will trick you if you don’t exercise your power. Tell your mind, “I decide, we do.” Your mind obeys you if you take action. All your mistakes have been forgiven, and it’s up to you to stop being less that who you really are. If you truly are a child of God, you have infinite power available to you. If you don’t know how to access that power, ask somebody who knows.

In the New Testament, the word “repent” does not mean “to stop sinning;” it means “to change.” Change your mind. Change the way you think. Switch paradigms. Stop thinking of your life in terms of “sin,” and start thinking of life in terms of “love.” Stop thinking in terms of what you need to do to survive; and start thinking in terms of what God can do through you. Don’t let your mind lead you: You lead your mind. Don’t let your body lead you; you lead your body. Change your habitual sins by replacing them immediately with a pre-planned, constructive activity. You trained yourself in the habit of sin; now replace that by training yourself in the habit of good works. Stop settling for cheap thrills, and seeking after minor blessings. Be the blessing! God is not weak, and neither are his kids.


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