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 really 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).
Even after you become a follower of Jesus, 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 or something you do or say. It’s not a pill, resolution, or vow you make.
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 need to start in your mind. You need to know and believe God’s truth.
When you know the truth, the truth will set you free.
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?
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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