If you’ve ever had a rash, your experience may have gone something like this: you notice yourself scratching at the irritated part of your skin and it dawns on you that it’s been itching a lot. You realize the rash is there. You put cream of some kind on it to treat it and make a conscious effort not to scratch it. Your concentration on not scratching it makes it itch more. You hold yourself back, but your self control eventually breaks down and you scratch feverishly until it attains that raw, hot, yet strangely soothing painful sensation that you know deep down means it’s going to be twice as bad tomorrow. You’re relieved for a moment, yet you know that you’ve done the worst thing you could have done to it.
Sin is sort of like that.
Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want…. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:19,24-25)
Lord, give us the self control to let Your Spirit dictate our actions when we are in the throes of temptation.