We are drawn to that which we find alluring, appealing, and attractive. If it looks good, tastes good, or feels good, it can be very difficult to refuse. Thankfully though, as our appetite for God’s riches increases, we will form new habits. When we see sin as ugly and dirty, we will see God’s ways as … hard to resist!
This is the fifth lesson in a series on changing your habits and your life. Previous segments include:
- The Tipping Point
- All Systems Go
- Inside-Out, Outside-In
- In Your Face and in Your Space
You may find all the videos here.
Let’s move on, then, to consider why we find sin so alluring, and then how we can be drawn instead to the thoughts, deeds, and habits that please God.
We don’t have to look far to see this principle at work.
Gen 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
What made that fruit so hard to resist? The serpent advertised it, highlighting those things that appealed to Eve. She physically saw the fruit as attractive, even delightful. She rejected that which might have stopped her, God’s threat of punishment.
Look at the consequences! Talk about bait and switch! That’s the devil’s strategy.
Contrast her with Jesus in Matt 4. He was physically hungry, craving food after his forty-day fast. Yet he resisted Satan’s offer. He was more attracted to the Father’s word and will than he was to immediate gratification.
Of course the devil can’t make anyone sin. This is the point in Jas 1:13-17.
Jas 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Whatever we choose to look at – whatever gets our attention – whatever we find attractive – whatever we are hungry for – good or bad – will be hard to resist.
In this series, I’ve used and credited James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. As a non-religious book per se, it is filled with ideas and illustrations. If you get it, separate the meat from the bones. I am not endorsing the book entirely.
Some very practical ideas in Clear’s book are these:
Because habits become automatic, we stop paying attention to them.
Pointing and Calling – verbalizing your actions as you do them.
Habits Scorecard – a list and rating for what you do every day.
Time Log / Journal – plan for next week. Evaluate, change plan.
State your intention. I will BEHAVIOR – TIME – LOCATION.
When X happens, I will do Y.
Habit Stacking. After CURRENT HABIT, I will NEW HABIT.
Habit Bundling. Pair an action you WANT to do with an action you NEED to do.
To build a good habit, make it obvious.
To stop a bad habit, make it invisible.
Design your environment. Out of sight, out of mind.
MORE TO BE ADDED. PLEASE CHECK BACK!
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and two grandchildren.