Sometimes I am tempted to see myself as a victim of forces beyond my control. In many cases we are victims of things such as weather changes or traffic jams, that we really have no power over. In other situations however, we fall victim to temptations because we opened the door to it.
Sure, I would love to blame the day and age I live in, I would love to blame the environment I find myself in, the way I was treated, my weaknesses, my personality, my temper, the way I was brought up, my nature as well as my nurture, and on and on the list goes.
This tendency to see myself as a victim can be so strong that in my prayers instead of confessing my sins, my faults and my shortcomings I find myself explaining to God how I'm innocent, I'm really just a victim of this sinful world. I begin to sound like Adam in Genesis 3:12
Adam had just blamed God for giving him a woman who "caused" him to sin. I do similarly when I blame God for me being alive in this day and age with all its struggles and temptations.
Though it is true that I am living in our day and age and that there are many struggles and temptations, it does not excuse me from giving in to sin.
I know I touched on this on my last blog post. But as I was doing my personal devotion I read a quote that really spoke to me and this issue of sin and temptation and our freedom to choose.
The mind, the soul, is built up by that upon which it feeds; and it rests with us to determine upon what it shall be fed. It is within the power of everyone to choose the topics that shall occupy the thoughts and shape the character. (The Faith I Live By p18)
Yes, I fall into temptation and it feels inevitable at times. But the more I honestly reflect on my personal life the more I realize how often I neglected to fill my mind with the words of God. I realize I am not as good about hiding God's word in my heart as I could be, I realize I do dwell in thoughts and welcome emotions that are just paving the way to the behavior that I supposedly wish to avoid.
I guess it feels dangerous to talk about this. It hits too close to home, it makes me too vulnerable, too human. But I created this blog to share about my personal spiritual journey and here it is. Dealing with sin and temptation is part of my spiritual journey and this is a glimpse into how I am progressing.
Plan of Action
My plan of action is to:
- be more honest with God in my personal prayers
- to confess my sins instead of excusing them.
- be more intentional about hiding God's word in my heart.
- to read the Bible first thing when I wake up, before doing anything else (this has been going really well)
- to be more intentional about memorizing scriptures.
- be more careful with the thoughts I entertain.
- do a better job filtering what I see and hear (as far as possible)
- expose myself to christian media (of good quality) as often as possible.
- to engage in spiritual warfare
- realize this is war and as a religious leader I must pray for myself and those around me (church members, friends, family, etc.).
- realize that when I fall, all around me suffer.
- to be more proactive in choosing God in every moment of my life.
I believe too often I am not intentional enough, or at least not as much as I could be, when it comes to feeding my soul.
How about you?
What are your thoughts on this topic?