We all have our own little rebellions. We enjoy those little indulgences that make us feel good and in control.
I love control.
That’s why I like driving. I am in charge when I hold the steering wheel.
For some people, they feel in control with alcohol, smoking, or drugs.
But most of the time, our rebellions are less noticeable.
Like our addiction to posting selfies on Facebook and Instagram, working just a few too many hours at work, eating too much (or not enough), buying the newest iPhone every time one comes out, procrastinating on every history project, or spending five hours (and $500) in the mall instead of one hour (and $50).
What’s your one thing that makes you feel in control?
You have to have something.
Maybe you feel like you have to do something bad to get it out of your system.
Like buying that $200 pair of high heels you can’t afford, eating half a bag of brownie brittle in one sitting, letting that cuss word slip out when you get cut off while driving, wearing the little black dress that’s a little too little, having that beer after three weeks of being sober, plagiarizing one of the sources on your English paper, badmouthing your boss after work to a fellow employee, or spending three hours on Instagram instead of one.
You claim, “It’s just one time. It doesn’t really matter.”
But, oh naïve one, it does matter.
Once you open up the floodgates, it’s really hard to shut them. Once I make a single mistake, it’s really easy to make another one. (And by the way, there’s always another one.)
Here’s an example of my normal though process: “Oh, darn. I spent too much time reading that blog. I should’ve stopped a few minutes ago. I really should be folding laundry…and I have that paper due in a few days. But I already spent too long on the Internet. I might as well spend a few more and make this sin worth my while.”
Literally. That’s my thought process. And “a few more” minutes easily (and usually) turns into two hours.
Is it worth my while?
Is it worth the guilt I feel afterwards?
Sinning is like being on a diet. When you’re on a diet, you restrict yourself from eating junk food; and the only thing you want to eat is desserts and snack foods. You’ll probably have a breakdown and eat a whole pie in one sitting. Maybe then you’ll skip your workout because you feel so guilty about your dessert indulgence. Then you’ll stay up late to watch a soap opera and only get four hours of sleep.
Sinning is like running down a mountain. You simply can’t stop.
This applies to a LOT of things.
From making out to having sex.
From plagiarizing a source to paying for answers to a test.
From having a glass a wine with dinner to becoming an alcoholic.
Sin is a slippery slope.
Satan whispers, “Hey, you messed up once. It’s no big deal to slip up again.”
He’s very convincing. Most of the time, we believe him instead of God’s still, small voice whispering, “I am ready to forgive you for your mistake. You can change your behavior, and I will help you.”
We ignore His whisper, make the next mistake(s), and get into trouble later on.
It’s never worth it.
But how do we turn back after we make that first mistake? How can we repent instead of give up the fight?
Having that saturated-fat-filled milkshake or adding a few extra hours to your time card may bring temporary satisfaction. But do those things have any real and lasting value?
…and be sure that your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23 NASB)
For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. (Romans 7:18-19).
Simply remember this: DISCIPLINE YOURSELF.
And remember who tells you to keep sinning and make the next mistake. Satan doesn’t want the best for you; he wants the worst for you. He wants you to go astray. He wants you to be ineffective. (Another hopefully helpful tidbit—it’s really easy to feel ineffective when you feel guilty.)
God tells you to turn around because He loves you, and He’s on your side. He wants your best. He wants you to stay on His path and be effective.
We can’t do that when we’re stuck making “little” mistake after “little” mistake.
Learn to see things from an eternal perspective. Before you have your little indulgence, ask yourself these three things:
- Will this benefit me later on?
- Will this cause me to want to do something I shouldn’t do?
- Will this decision please God or displease Him?
Usually, we know the right thing to do and don’t do it (Romans 7:18-19). But hopefully, asking these questions will cause you to pause and think before you make a mistake that will harm you later.
Wearing those expensive high heels won’t help you feel good when your feet are in pain.
Smoking that cigarette won’t give you satisfaction when you can’t stop coughing.
Browsing endless Facebook pages won’t make you happy when you’re jealous of your friends’ seemingly perfect lives.
Remember that God wants the best thing for you. Even though it feels good to indulge and have a little “sin party” sometimes, it will just make you want to keep sinning. It’s harder to stop once you’ve started. Keep that in mind when you’re tempted to give into a little rebellion.