Have You Really Tried?
August 31, 2009
“‘I don’t know how to conquer myself!’ you
write me despondently. And I answer: But have you really tried
to use the means?” – Jose Escriva
I recall a time when I wanted to lose weight. For months, I moped
and moaned and fussed that the weight wasn’t coming off.
I hoped and hoped that things would change, but they only got worse.
I hadn’t changed either my eating habits, nor my exercise
habits. And all the moping, moaning, fussing, and hoping in the
world wasn’t going to burn those excess calories.
Now, when I started eating less and exercising more – lo,
and behold! – the weight came off.
It’s the same with sin. We know we have a problem, and we
mope and moan and fuss and hope that we will change. But we fall
into temptation again and again and again. Why? Because all too
often, we aren’t really trying to overcome the sin! We want
our sinful tendencies to go away all by themselves, to slink away
in the night, without applying any effort of our own.
Let me state this very simply: sin doesn’t do that anymore
than weight does.
Overcoming sin means digging into Scripture, examining ourselves,
spending time on our knees, practicing discipline and self-control,
and accepting accountability. When we really try, we will overcome.
Remember, God calls us to holiness and sanctification.
He never commands the impossible.
So if you’re finding it “impossible,” the problem
lies with you, not with him. “Have you really tried?”
sins are you struggling with?
- What have you done thus far to
overcome these sins?
- What additional means can you try in your effort to achieve
victory over these sins?