Do What the Devil Don’t Want

In the last few years, I’ve come to see more clearly when the serpent is tempting me. I don’t always know, but it’s been easier to notice, especially when I keep in mind that I want to do what the devil doesn’t want me to do. I think it’s a pretty good motto for a Christian to live by: DO WHAT THE DEVIL DON’T WANT. Some examples:

  1. The last thing the devil wants me to do when I see a beautiful person is to pray for her. Instead, the devil would rather have me lust and abuse the woman. So what do I do?
  2. The last thing the devil wants is for me to start my day by offering it to God’s will. Instead, the devil would much rather have me forget God and go on with my life in my own selfish way.
  3. The last thing the devil wants is for me to forgive my friends when they betray me. The devil would rather me lash out and plot revenge.
  4. The last thing the devil wants is for me to ask God for help and trust in the Lord when chaos and danger happens. The devil really wants me to curse the day and turn my back on Him who is the o
    only person who can truly help me.

I think you get the trend, right?BetterWay

The better way is always the way the devil hates. So always choose the better, not the easier!

And I think you realize also that by doing what the devil doesn’t want, you almost automatically do what Jesus wants.

So do not let the devil win, because if he wins, you will always lose. But if Jesus wins, then you win too. And don’t you want to win?

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Why We Workout

SHMSgym

[this is where I work out]

It’s a month into the new year, and some of us may have started slacking on our resolutions. I think this might help us get back on track, and with vigor:

A good friend once told me: “I’m losing motivation to work out. When I get home from work, I just sit and watch a movie until I fall asleep. I used to get right to exercise, but now I’m so tired and can’t get myself moving. Any advice?”

I looked at my friend and listened. He was already a strongly built guy, but I could hear forfeit in his voice and frustration in his eyes. I thought about what would help him most. I asked him a question, “Well, why do you workout?”

“To get big and strong.”

“Why do you want to be strong?”

“I don’t know. I just don’t want to be weak…”

“Well, I know why: you want to be strong so you can serve and protect your family. I know you love your wife and daughters. They mean everything to you, and you need to be strong so you can keep them safe. So when you exercise, don’t work out for yourself. Don’t keep yourself healthy just for you. Do it for them. They need you to be healthy and ready. If we do things only for ourselves, then we can make excuses and spoil ourselves. Selfishness is never productive because we all want to be lazy, and selfishness is about spoiling yourself. But when we remember the people we love, we can keep going! Do it for them.”

My friend nodded, a very sure nod. I saw his eyes light up with determination as he said to me: “You are right. I got this now. Thanks, man.”

And even though I love being right (pssh… duh!), what I love even more is that this advice works for anything, any resolution that is truly good and healthy:

Why study? Because I want to have the knowledge and wisdom to help others.

Why eat healthy? Because I don’t want to die early! How can I help anyone if I’m dead? (or as good as dead?!)

Why drive with more patience?

Why shop less?

Why ________? Because ___________!

So hang in there with your resolution. Think about why you made the resolution,* and how it would help your beloveds if you kept at it. Don’t let them down! Dedicate it to them.

*Of course, if you find out your resolution doesn’t measure up, drop it and make a new one!

Believe in Something MORE

A certain meme set off my sarcastic side* today. Here it is with my response all over it:

Don’t always believe in yourself — always believe in something MORE!

In case you can’t read the heresy, it says with much naivete: “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.”

There are a half dozen things wrong with the claim. I’ll let you figure out the others after I share the big one:

I don’t believe in myself. I know that sounds like I have a major lack of self-esteem, but it’s more than that. I don’t believe in myself because I’m only human!

I make more mistakes than good calls. I miss more opportunities than I can remember, and the fact that I can’t remember (because of my limited mortal brain) makes me even less reliable.

I’d much rather believe in Him who is forever greater than me, because I am so limited, selfish, mortal and sinful. Even if I do believe in myself, without the Lord, there’s not much to believe in… (sorry to bust your bubble! I’m not God, and you aren’t either. I can prove it: one day we’ll both be dead! What’ll we believe in then? A corpse?!)

Every success I have in my life has been because the Holy Spirit has helped me. Either through others (like my parents, family, friends…) or directly (like when I get random awesome ideas and surges of motivation that zip in from nowhere)!

So next time you need to believe in yourself, actually pray that God helps you to believe in yourself, because your lazy and forgetful self will probably stop believing pretty quick. (See what I did there? I blew up a contradiction.)

*Sorry for the sarcasm if it offended you. Occasional bursts of sarcasm are known to emit randomly from my highly critical mind.