Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Most of my life I have struggled with addictions. Not, the kinds of things that take you to "rock bottom." I struggle with the little addictions. They are not going to blow up my family. They don’t prevent me from going to work or putting food on the table. They are just constant reminders that I am not really in control of my body or my mind. They continually tell me that if push comes to shove, I may not be enough. After all, I have not been able to over come X or Y in my life.
I tell you right now, the battle in your mind over things like going to the gym, eating one cookie, watching a little porn, harboring a bit of jealousy, or giving in to your anger again are the Devil's favorite battle grounds. While he still loves a life destroying drug addiction, he prefers the little battles where the stakes don't seem as high. He loves to stratify sin. He convinces us that a broken promise to yourself is not as bad as a broken promise to your neighbor. He wants you to believe not keeping your word can't be as bad as murder. After all, he is a logical guy and that is just logical.
In some ways, drug addiction, stealing, murder, and discovered adultery are the “better” sins. These activities are often a fast path to rock bottom. They will alert your defenses and cause a fight or flight response in your body. The Devil will do all he can to prevent a fight. Unlike God, his resources and time are limited. He would prefer a frictionless slide that leaves you weak but not dead. He knows that if you hit rock bottom, you just might turn to the Lord (as many have done) and that if you “submit yourself to God.. resist the devil… he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).
Yet it is the little sins, the promises you make yourself and don’t keep, that are the ones doing the most damage. Because there is no one to hold you accountable, these lies are relatively frictionless and create the “wide" gate and “broad” road leading to destruction. (Mathew 7:13). Your subconscious is paying close attention to those broken promises. It is deeply offended and hurt when you lie to yourself. Over time, it learns to not trust you. It is this lack of trust between you and your subconscious that will prevent you from fulfilling God’s calling on your life.
Achieving your full potential and embracing your calling requires Faith; in both its forms. The first and perhaps most important is faith in God (Mathew 17:20) and the second kind is faith in yourself. Faith that when the going gets tough, you will get going. Most of us fantasize that when God calls us, with the burning bush, with the big promotion, or with the big business opportunity, we will show up! But in those moments, our subconscious will remind us of all the little promises we have failed to keep. We will question if we are enough and slowly pull away from the opportunity - convincing ourselves that it was not the “right” time.
The Bible says “whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 13:12) This verse illustrates that the true path to abundance starts with little. It also illustrates that if we are not faithful in the little things, we will never have anything. In fact, what we do have will be taken from us.
Saying "no" to the cookie, going to the gym, turning off the computer, forgiving your neighbor, controlling your emotions or keeping whatever promise you have made to yourself will create a compounding-interest effect in your life. A little will beget a little more and that combined will gather even more until your cup runneth over! And it all starts, when we put the (metaphorical) cookie down.
If you enjoyed this post - you might enjoy our podcast.