Why Do You Do What You Don’t Want to Do?
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV)
Have you ever wondered why you do what you don’t want to do? Ever wondered why it’s so hard to do the things that you know are the right things to do?
Our sinful nature causes us to often make the wrong choice. You can probably relate to the apostle Paul when he says, “I don’t understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate …. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t” (Romans 7:15, 17-18 NLT, second edition).
Even after you become a believer, there’s this tension inside of you. You have your good nature that God gave you, but you also have your old sinful nature that is pulling at you.
But there is a way out! Jesus promised in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NIV).
The secret to personal change is not willpower. It’s not a pill. It’s not a resolution. It’s not some vow that you make. The secret to personal change is not something you do or say.
The secret to personal change is something you know. You know the truth. When you change the way you think, it changes the way you feel. And when you change the way you feel, it changes the way you act.
Behind every self-defeating act is a lie you believe. It may be a lie about yourself, your past or future, God, or others.
Why do you do something that you know is bad for you? Because you think there’s some kind of payoff. That’s the lie! You can only change and fulfill God’s purpose for your life if you start with God’s truth. If you want to change the way you live, you have to start in your mind. You have to know and believe God’s truth.
When you know the truth, the truth will set you free. What you have to do is expose and uncover the lies that you have been accepting. Some of those lies you picked up on the playground as a kid or from TV. Some of them you picked up from your parents or you creatively thought them up yourself. But they are lies, and when you reject them and instead find out what God has to say, you will experience freedom like you’ve never known.
Talk It Over
- What do you think it means to know God’s truth?
- Think of the lies that have been on repeat in your head for years. Which of God’s truths do you need to replace them with?
- What will it take for you to know God’s truth better? What changes do you need to make in your life?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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