Do you consistently do what is right and not do what you shouldn’t? I struggle with this, failing most in the daily things such as patience and kindness to my kids when I’m tired and want to do something else, or laziness and eating junk food when I’m stressed or bored. Why do my good intentions fly out the window when they are most needed?
I find that the words of Mark 14:38 come to mind when I fail to live as I ought, “The heart is willing but the flesh is weak.” However, even this is giving myself too much credit – my heart and flesh are weak!
He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
(Joshua 24:23 ESV)
I am finding Joshua 24:23 to be good advice. If I want to bend my life to obey God then I need to both incline my heart towards God, and get rid of things in my daily life which turn me away from God. We cannot separate the internal and external actions, what I do affects what I feel and love, and vice versa. Of course, watching and praying help immensely too – though often the temptation to give up on this is what has gotten me into a mess in the first place!
It is a struggle to train ourselves for godliness, but the final outcome is worth more than the riches of the entire world (1 Timothy 4:7-8).