People have the power to stop negative behaviorsPublished 11:06am Friday, August 30, 2013
By Jill Marin
Grace Christian Church
“We can’t stop, we won’t stop” seems to be a strong message in our culture today. It is used to excuse behavior that otherwise might be seen as questionable or even unacceptable. It is a message that seems to show power, fulfillment and freedom. But, if we take a closer look, is that really the case?
If we truly are running things and things are not running us, then we have the power to stop our own behaviors that are having negative impacts on our lives. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) We can be confident as the person we were created to be, we can live amongst others with respect while having the power to assert our rights when needed. Galatians 5:19-21 lists for us the works of the flesh and tells us that those who practice such things including sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, jealousy, outbursts of anger, drunkenness, etc., will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. If we really are showing our power, then we will be showing self-control. Let’s face it. If we cannot control ourselves, we won’t be controlling much else in life either. Galatians 5:22 reads, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
True fulfillment and joy in life are not often found in living for ourselves. They are found in our relationship with others in our lives and especially with God. It takes a strong person to choose others above him or herself, to put the spiritual before the physical, and to put off temporary pleasure for things that are worthwhile and lasting. Most times, delaying gratification is difficult, but well worth it. But, true fulfillment is found in Christ. John 10:10 reads, “The thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Freedom seems to be something everyone wants. But, what is our freedom based on? Is it living our lives completely as we want to, without any consideration of others? Are we really free when we are following the crowd, doing what seems best in the moment, often times when we are not thinking clearly? “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin….If the son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36) Negative behaviors keep us trapped in nasty unending cycles. True freedom is found in Christ.
Need help stopping? You are not alone. Many times we can use help to get where we want to be and need to be. Ask for help; it is available. No matter what kind of mess you are in, or how sick you may feel, you can get help. Don’t wait until you think you’re in a better spot. Ask today. Often times, asking is the hardest step. You can do it. Be bold. Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength.”
When the world tries to tell you that you can do whatever you want to whenever you want to and everything will be great, don’t believe it. Negative consequences are sure to follow. If you want true power, fulfillment and freedom, focus on Christ. Put the desires of your flesh down, pick up your cross and follow him.