"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21
I continually struggle with my sinful nature and often find myself doing things I know I ought not - much more often than I'd like to admit, in fact, and in stupid, silly ways that are thoroughly embarrassing to me. And in the midst of my struggles, I have often wondered how I can overcome, how I stop being so stupid, be the person I want to be and avoid falling into those sins.
It feels absolutely impossible.
I've heard it said many times that the trick is not to try harder but to trust more. In other words, rather than focusing on the sin and trying to overcome it, to focus on God and his grace and mercy, trusting him to carry me through. I do believe that, but this verse seems to be telling me that there's more to it than just focusing my thoughts. It seems to say that focusing my thoughts ought to translate into action - doing good, not just thinking about good. And how true! If I focus my energy into doing something good, whether it's doing my best to be a good and faithful husband, concentrating on my work and doing my very best as an act of worship, volunteering at church, helping the needy, or even just being a good friend, my energy won't drift toward those other silly things that drag me down.
At least it ought to make it more difficult.
Help me, Father, to do good today in order to overcome the evil that lurks in my old sinful self, and wants me to do all those things of which I am so ashamed. I'm sitting here working today, so since that's what I'm doing, help me to do it as an act of worship to you and do my very best rather than filling my mind with unproductive trash. Everything I do, Lord, I give to you, everything I am I give to you. I am yours and not my own. Help me, Father. Help me to give up myself, to let go and let you take over - I cannot do it apart from you because it truly is impossible without your grace. This is my deepest desire, to honor you in everything I do. I love you, Lord Jesus.