Have you ever known that something was going to make you feel bad and done it anyway? I thought I could handle the two packages of Rolo chewy caramels that Bill tossed into our cart the last time we shopped together for groceries but, after just two days, they were almost gone.
Why did I do it? Why did I open the last bag when I knew I would be powerless to stop? Sometimes (most of the time) I feel like I am my own worst enemy because I know what’s good for me and still do the opposite. Sound familiar?
It’s a problem that’s been around since biblical times when the Apostle Paul had this to say about his own struggle with sin: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) I used to think that the reason behind my cycle of self-destruction was a lack of willpower. That I could conquer every stronghold and demonstrate any desirable attribute with God by my side and verses like Philippians 4:13 in my pocket.
My position changed one day when, while working through page 119 of Beth Moore’s study Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit Of the Spirit, I read that the fruit of the spirit “is the supernatural outcome of being filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Learning that self-control is not about what we possess, but who we reflect, made me realize that Bill’s Rolos weren’t to blame for my latest binge. I was. And if I wanted to stop overeating, I would need to start spending more time with God.
Any character-building efforts on our part beyond what we put into spiritual disciplines really are meaningless. A chasing after the wind. God is our refuge and our strength because it is He who transforms us (and our eating habits) from the inside out.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13