Today in my personal devotions I was studying Romans 1:18-3:20 and a couple of verses struck me. Romans 1:21-22 tells us that man is aware of God and instead of glorifying and thanking Him we work so hard at finding our own meaning and purpose. Our thoughts become futile and we are fools. Then a little farther into the passage Paul talks about idol worship. We often value what the world values - house, money, success, esteem so much more than valuing God's righteousness revealed in our lives.
I wonder if I struggle with sin so greatly because my values are misplaced? I know I should have a healthy diet and exercise (take care of my temple), but is my end goal to glorify God or to glorify self? I've used the reasoning that I want to have a good testimony, but what I'm really saying is "I want people to think I have it all together." I don't. None of us do. That lie doesn't help me stay faithful to the command of honoring God with my body. If, above all else, I want God's righteousness revealed in me, would I have greater success in my obedience? Where is my heart focused?
So many times we know where God is asking for our obedience, but we excuse, justify or sometimes make it about ourselves. We often work so hard to do the work that only HE can do in us. My son and I have often talked about our lack of self-discipline in some areas of our lives, but we must remember, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. If you didn't have self-control to start with you can't manufacture it yourself. Only God can grow the fruits of His Spirit in our lives. Seek after His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you... (Matthew 6:33).