Nip the Problem in the Bud

“I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence and self-assertiveness, and this is where the battle has to be fought.” Oswald Chambers
I spent almost two hours asking the Lord to show me what was going on inside me. Why focus there? Because sin doesn’t just happen!
According to the analogy used in James 1, temptation is merely an opportunity presenting itself for us to handle life our way or what James calls our “own evil desire”.
This desire – something we set our heart on doing – is only brought to the surface by the temptation. Then as we mull this desire over in our head, instead of eliminating it, we progress to the next step – conception.
In following James’ analogy, though, there is a gap between conception and birth. The struggle is not sin. Sin is when we act on or give birth to our desires, the “my way of handling life” wiring inside our head and heart. This is why Scripture tells us to focus our efforts on the first step of renewing our mind, not on the last step of changing our behavior.
Mom used to call this nipping the problem in the bud. You never let the flower bloom, sin in this case, because you cut it off before it does.
If you don’t deal with the inside, sin will be the result. But if you change what’s inside, you automatically remove sin before it ever happens.
We don’t need people to hold us accountable not to sin, the last step. No, we need accountability to the life-change FREEdom process that enables us to nip the problem in the bud/our thinking, the first step.
This is true biblical Christianity – people whose lives have been changed, not those who merely talk about life change.
Who is your first step accountability to life-change partner?

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