through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
I was doing fine until Valentine’s Day weekend. After committing to eat fewer sweets and more apples, I bombed. Valentine’s Day ruined my plan, even though apples sat in the refrigerator drawer. Two sets of brownies that were made for Bible study night, defeated good sense. As a treat for my friends, we cut out brownie shapes with cookie cutters and decorated them with white icing and red and white sprinkles. Of course, I had to eat the negative space—the brownie pieces left over from using the cookie cutters. All good chefs eat their own food, right?
Have you ever intended to cut back on something, but then your plans were derailed by a surprise? A sale at Macy’s. Beautiful desserts at a party. Netflix releasing a favorite TV show. “Resistance is futile,” to quote Star Trek.
More serious things pull against our self-control and wisdom. An unkind word spoken by someone else. Unfairness at work. Someone being mean to a person we love. We try to be self-disciplined and walk according to God’s will (not our own), but walking in victory is sabotaged by either something we want or a knee-jerk reaction to a surprise situation. How do we resist the urge to respond in an ungodly way?
Two weeks ago, I blogged about “Desire’s Ambush,” and I’m still dealing with this renewed realization that our values are key to victory. If we’re not careful, selfish desires can creep back into our lives once we’ve said no to them. Satan and his forces will try to trip us up with old battles, but keeping our hearts aligned with God’s desires for us, helps us to walk in victory. We have to decide what we value more.
God gives us a warning at the end of Romans 12, a warning about good versus evil. The key to victory is which one we value more.
“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:21 NKJV
A short verse that cuts to the heart of the matter. Don’t be overcome with what harms others or yourself. Overcome harm with good.
Do we splurge in the moment and risk our health, or do we limit what we eat and become content with smaller portions? Food isn’t the only temptation.
Do we value being right over being loving, and say something that will hurt someone else or reflect poorly on God? Or we do value someone else’s feelings and our testimony, and we guard our words? Do we indulge in spending money for things we don’t really need, or do we honor God as good stewards of the resources He has given us? Do we value pursuits that steal time from loved ones, or do we include family and friends in our fun hobbies or set aside enough time to be with them?
We fight for what we love. As we delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4), we value more and more what He values—what’s “good.” That includes people, relationships, love, truth, and honor. Doing what’s right over what’s convenient. Seeing the worth in godly choices and the poison in ungodly ones. The more we value what God values, we’ll fight to honor Him and be there for people in ways that build them up instead of tear them down.
So starting this week, I’m going to love brownies a little less. And in other areas of my life, too, I’m going to direct my values in the direction of health and soundness as God defines it, and see what happens. Let’s look for the “good” in every situation and seek that. Let’s fight for what God loves, and value everything else less.
How hard do you think it is to change a person’s values? What has to take place?
As we dive into what it means to sustain life’s spiritual victories, we hope you’ll leave comments on the posts. Check out “Victory’s Default Setting” and “Desire’s Ambush” if you missed them. Be sure to follow this blog to receive future Bible study devotions in your inbox! Guest bloggers and I will be talking about Sustaining Life’s Victories throughout the year.
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© Copyright 2019 by Katy Kauffmanvictory, desires, values, selfishness, anger, food, Loving Brownies a Little Less, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies