I've been thinking a lot about not yielding to temptation. For a few days, I was thinking, "I do a pretty good job of that." And then the Spirit of God spoke to me, and brought me back to reality. I was thinking in terms of "big" sins and "big" temptations like the story of Joseph and Mrs. Potiphar. But the Lord showed me that I had been giving in to the temptation to
- think of myself before others
- be critical
- show disdain
- be prideful
- be right
The devil is tricky - and he can make us believe whatever he wants, if we let him. He tells us lies like "it's ok to talk about this with others, they are concerned, it's good to get it off your chest." The fact remains that it's still gossip, and it's still a sin. And we have a choice. We can choose not to sin. As a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you, and He gives you the power to not sin.
It's at times like these, when I'm confronted with my sin, that this hymn comes to mind. Meditate on the words of this hymn, and ask God to show you where you are not living up to His standard. Confess your sins, and praise Him for the forgiveness you have through Jesus' death at Calvary. Thank Him for His transforming power in your life.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
Kind and Merciful God
Words by Bryan Jeffrey Leech
Kind and merciful God, we have sinned in Your sight,
We have all wandered far from Your way;
We have followed desire, we have failed to aspire
To the virtue we ought to display.
Kind and merciful God, we’ve neglected Your Word
And the truth that would guide us aright;
We have lived in the shade of the dark we have made,
When you willed us to walk in the light.
Kind and merciful God, we have broken Your laws
And in conduct have veered from the norm;
We have dreamed of the good, but the good that we could
We have frequently failed to perform.
Kind and merciful God in Christ's death on the cross
You provided a cleansing from sin;
Speak the words that forgive that hence-forth we may live
By the might of your Spirit within.
Kind and merciful God, bid us lift up our heads
And command us to rise from our knees;
May our hearts now be changed and no longer estranged,
Through the power of Your pardon and peace.