Have you ever craved something that makes you sick (emotionally and/or physically), but you give in to it anyway? I sometimes crave horribly-fattening-but-oh-so-good food that I know only provides temporary satisfaction.
For instance, I know that Taco Casa messes me up somethin’ fierce, but there’s just something about a big ol’ bean burrito with extra cheese and sour cream that makes me sooooo happy — for a little bit, at least. It sounds good. It looks good. It tastes gooooooooooood. But after I’ve satisfied that craving, after an hour or two, I feel hungry again, and a little nauseous.
It’s the same with sin, really. We know it hurts us. We know it separates us from others, but we don’t care in those moments of weakness. Once we’re in the middle of the sin, we’re all in. By the time the wrapper has come off, we want to eat that fat burrito, and so we hide from others. Maybe in our car. We let the sour cream and cheese ooze out everywhere. No worries. We’ll lick it up later. But then it’s gone. We’ve eaten the burrito. And, now, there’s nothing left but a feeling of guilt and, maybe, some gas. Holy beano! What have we done? We said we weren’t going to give in to that temptation anymore, but we did it. And in a few hours, we’ll feel empty again.
So, why do we do it? Why do we crave, or hunger for, the very things that make us feel bad? It’s because our focus is skewed. Our lens is letting the things of the world in and not the light of God.
We’re trying to fill a void, to capture something that will satisfy us. And, so often, we look to sinful things to do that (food, gambling, porn, drugs, approval of man, whatever idol it is). But can I tell you something you and I already know? None of those things will ever be able to satiate. We’re longing for, hungering for, craving the wrong things.
We’ve gotta shift our focus, setting our minds on things above and not on earthly things. (Colossians 2:2) Once we received the redemptive gift of Jesus, we were to put the old behind, rejecting the sinful ways of the world, and setting our minds on the things of God. It’s all in your mind, really. And mine.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
— Romans 12:2
Changing the way we think takes effort, discipline and will power. When sinful desires enter our minds, we’ve got to take them captive and change them, replacing sinful thoughts with healthy, godly thoughts.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Philippians 4:8
You’ve got this! Step away from the burrito. and step into God’s truth that you, with God’s power, are an overcomer.