So, does anyone else struggle with self-deception?? I think one of the most powerful lies I have told myself over the years is “this one little decision doesn’t matter..” And I AM talking about “little” things because, obviously, we know that the importance of the “big” life decisions like marriage, education, church, job, etc… What gets us is the “small” stuff. We dream of having an organized, powerful, disciplined life, and yet those “little” decisions we make every day are holding us back from all that we imagine our lives could be. What about that “little” decision to hit the snooze one more time? We think, “oh that doesn’t matter in the ‘grand scheme’ of life…” Oh, but it does. Day after day after day of too much snoozing leads to day after day after day of a harried, rushed start…Which means we probably didn’t have time to pray, nor to eat a decent breakfast, nor to get ready to a point where we feel confident about how we look… So, do being prayer-less, hungry, and insecure have any effect on us? You bet they do! And how did it start? Just that “little” decision to not get up and get my day started when I knew that I should.
What about that “little” decision to have a double-bacon-cheeseburger, and oh yeah, let’s “biggie size” that drink and fries?? But it won’t hurt anything just this once. Another lie. And after six months of having that for lunch every day, and after six months of telling myself “this will be the last time…,” and after six months of feeling bloated and angry with myself, and after six months of steadily putting on the weight, and after six months of waking every morning determining to do better and yet still making that “little” decision of what to have for lunch wrongly again and again….After six months, I realize that I’m trapped. I’ve formed a habit, and now the habit is forming me.
We could think of thousands of examples of “little” decisions that we make every single day that shape who we become. It occurs to me today, as I sit repenting of the “little” decisions I’ve made over the past week that have resulted in so much wasted time and energy, that these decisions we make are the seeds. That’s right, the seeds we use each and every day to sow into our lives what we will become. Seeds are small. Tiny, even. Yet as we continue to sow them day after day, they turn into the giant trees of our lives bearing the fruit of who we really are. Galatians 6:8 comes to mind: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (ESV)
God does not expect perfection from us, but I believe He expects us to pursue it. What’s the cliche? ‘Chase perfection and achieve excellence,’ or something like that? Every time we feel that little inner nudge that says “I should…” then, we should. Whatever it is. If we know what we should do, then glory! We have the correct knowledge. Now we must pray for the strength to follow through and do it. We tend to follow the “I should…” thoughts with something akin to, “yeah, I know I should do _______, but I would rather________” Stop the madness! We are self-deceiving yet again if we think that giving into ourselves is what will bring us the greatest happiness. I’m here to tell you that eating that bacon cheeseburger is pleasurable for about 8.4 minutes. That’s it. And then the other 10 hours that I’m awake I’m feeling guilty and even hating that bacon cheeseburger.
The great news is that God helps us in our weaknesses. He steadily points us in the right direction, if we’re listening, and then gives us the strength to do what we know we should. All we have to do is ask. Which means that we have to make time to ask….Which means we should stop hitting the snooze button and get up when we know we need to so that we can spend time with Him before starting our day….Which means we should make the “little” decision to go to bed a little earlier tonight so that we can start our day off right tomorrow. You get the picture. What are your “little” decisions making you into today?
[This post was originally posted on October 21, 2014.]
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