Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Choice to Persevere

It's January 9 today, anyone already broken their New Year's Resolution?  

Anyone been tempted to break their resolution?

The thing about resolutions is they require, perseverance.  There is that word again.  That word that makes me cringe.  Oh, how I dislike that word!

The thing is I can make the right choice. I can honor my resolution.  I can eat healthy, exercise, read my bible, love on my kids, love on my husband, organize something, and say "no" to sin.  I can do ALL of those things…once (okay, probably not at the same time, but I can do them!).  The problems is doing it over and over again.  Persevering at it.  That is what I struggle with.  But the Bible tells us over and over again to persevere.  Ugh!

This perseverance thing would be a whole lot easier if there just wasn't so much temptation out there.  I have been thinking a lot about temptation the last couple of days.   Ever since I read about it in James 1:13-16.  James points out that the temptation that we face, the temptation that causes us to stumble, that weakens us and sometimes even breaks us, does not come from God.  Don't get mad at God, it's not His fault you ate that cupcake, slept in instead of going to the gym, yelled at your kids, or entered into that affair.  It's really not.  He did not bring that temptation into your life.  

James likens the word temptation to other words like desire and entice.  When we allow our desires to entice us we become tempted.  And when tempted we have two choices 
1.  to sin or                
 2.  to persevere.  
That's it, those are your only two choices.  You have allowed your desire, whatever it might be, to entice you, to tempt you and now you will either sin or you will persevere.  Sin leads to brokenness and eventually to death, perseverance leads to strength, maturity, completeness and eventually to a crown of life.

Man, put like that, the choice doesn't seem quite so hard.  

The year is still early my friends, if there is something in your life you are wanting to change, I encourage you to do it.  Do it now, don't wait.  And when you are tempted, I hope you will persevere!

If you want to read about these truths yourself check out James 1:2-15.