I looked out of the corner of my eye at the table in the back of Remnant. It was a nice table. There was a nice tablecloth, and some flowers. All very nice. Then I saw it. My nemesis, my kryptonite. A chill ran down my back as I was immediately tempted to do wrong. I instinctively began making my way toward it. Slowly I crept, not wanting to make a scene or cause anybody to see what I was doing. Inch by inch, closer and closer. Someone called out to me, and I jerked upright, “Hi, I wasn’t doing anything…” not cool, Jerry, not cool.
Eventually I made my way over. There it was, glistening in the soft glow of the overhead lights. The basketball hoop above it cast a shadow around my prey, drawing my eyes right to the target. I nonchalantly moved my hand toward it, not wanting to alert it or scare it away. “Come to papa,” I muttered under my breath…
My hands tightened around the object of my affection, my forbidden fruit. I grabbed the last chocolate donut with chocolate frosting from the donut box and bit down hard.
I know, I know, that is a lot of words to describe eating a donut. If you are saying that right now, you have obviously never been on a diet! I’m not sure why every diet in the world hits you right in the pastry. I’m telling you, if someone invents a diet that will help me lose weight and still eat chocolate donuts I will forever be their slave. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. Donuts taste great, but they are horrible for you. Sin is even worse.
We all have sins that are our kryptonite. They call to us, they beckon us, they lead us to self-loathing, pain and destruction. Yet we keep coming back to them over and over again. Even the apostle Paul dealt with it. He wrote, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do the very thing I hate…No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:15,18,19)
So how do we get past these sins, how do we get victory over the things that knock us off track? I think Paul had the answer when he wrote, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16
As if that wasn’t enough, he went on to write, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Gal 5:22-23
So there it is, all neatly wrapped up in a couple of verses. In order to overcome sin, and really get victory over it, we must be guided by the Holy Spirit. Spend time in prayer, read your Bible, and hang out with people who encourage you to do good, not bad. Making this change may cost you a few acquaintances, but your true friends will understand and encourage you. Your local church is a great place to be with people who will lift you up when you are down. You can be a Christian without going to church, but it’s kind of like being a world class chef who only cooks for himself. Your food may be great, but if you don’t share it, it is kind of a waste. We were made to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and church is a great place to start.
Avoiding the donuts at church, but not church… Jerry