Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I know it's wrong, but I still want to do it!

The Bible starts with the story about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Everything is beautiful and good in the garden and they can do whatever they want, except eat of the forbidden fruit, and of course that is exactly what they choose to do. Somehow I feel like this story reminds me of my own life. I can do whatever I want, except choose evil, and still every day I'm tempted to choose evil. I know that everything that is evil will eventually destroy me and those around me, but it can still be really tempting. I don't think anyone who decided to have an affair for example, wanted to destroy their own lives and hurt their spouse and kids on purpose, but the sin so easily entangles us.

The great news in the Bible is that on our own we will never be able to always choose what is good, but through God's strength we can do the impossible. One thing I have noticed over the years is that when you grow spiritually the sins that used to tempt you before become less and less tempting over time. As a new Christian I would have to make the choice to stay away from things I knew that were evil although it was tempting to enjoy these things. Gossip is one example. I used to love reading gossip magazines for entertainment but as I became a Christian I knew it was wrong to be entertained by other peoples' hardships and challenges in life. In the beginning I had to choose not to buy these magazines anymore although I wanted to buy them, but over time I didn't even want to buy them anymore. I started feeling bad for all these people whose private lives are invaded so that people like me can be entertained by the gossip about their lives. This is just one example. We all have habits in our lives that we know are wrong, but we find ways to justify our behavior.

The good news is that when we spend a lot of time in God's presence he softens our hearts so that our conscience comes alive again and we start to feel bad about the habits that we used to justify. When we make the choice to let Jesus into our hearts we will never be the same again, day by day and year after year he restores our hearts and fill them with love. It's not an instant change, but every time we spend time in God's presence he has an opportunity to continue to heal what is broken inside of us. Psychology and personal development is great, but it can only take us so far, but when God starts to do work in us we will be surprised by the results He can create.

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