Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me. The bad news is you have the same problem.

I know the right things do do, yet I still continue to do the wrong things. I know it’s part of my human nature, but that doesn’t excuse me, or you. I know that I am supposed to act like Ephesians 5 with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. BUT IT’S HARD! Love never fails, but I do. If you’re honest with yourself, you do too. 

Although my life verse is Matthew 6:33, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well, I often do not seek first the Kingdom or His righteousness and I would like “all these things” added to me without all the work. The Bible has a few more things to say about this area problem. 

If you’re at all like me you try to justify the things you think, feel, want to say or do say, stretch the true to make a better story. It’s a trap and leads to a downward spiral. Sin only leads to more sin. 

Paul said in Romans 7:15-20, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” NIV

Isaiah 64:6 says, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” NLT

1 John 1:8, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” NIV

So, how do we get better? How do we resist the temptation to sin (do wrong)? Here is an idea from 2 Peter 1:5-8 Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

We are reminded that; For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

Ecclesiastes 12:10-11 teaches, the Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. (Note, a goad is like a cattle prod to get us moving because we are a stubborn people unwilling to trust and serve God.) 

I am often my own worst critic and too often my own worst enemy. I have been reading through the Bible and although my target was a year, I will likely take an extra 6 months. I’m almost there. I am learning a lot and revisiting familiar stories and verses. I am also finding new things in God’s Word. 

By Gene Westveer

“Hey, God can solve all your problems.”
I’ve heard that many a time.
If I would just get with the program,
Mountains would be easy to climb.

Those who tell me are well-meaning,
But I just don’t think they can see
In their thoughtful intervening,
That my biggest problem is me.

That rebellious streak I have inside
I may try to suppress – or not.
With Christ I have been crucified,
So each win shouldn’t be so hard-fought.

“Let go and let God.”  That’s the advice.
Each time that I do I can see
When I give up control, then Christ
Solves my biggest problem – that’s me.

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