I need to get out and run.
It's cold. I'm tired. My knee hurts. My back hurts. I'm hungry. It's almost dark. I don't have time.
I need to stop eating sweets.
One doughnut today won't hurt me. It's just a small piece of cake. This will be my last cookie. It's a special occasion. I haven't had much lately.
I need to lose weight.
I can start on Monday. My clothes aren't that tight. I'll just eat this one thing (which leads to one more, then another thing, then another.)
I need to read my Bible.
I don't have time. It's boring (sorry but I know we all feel that from time to time.) God isn't speaking to me. It won't really make a difference.
I need to spend time in prayer.
I'm just talking to myself. I'm tired. God doesn't really answer my prayers anyway.
So I was thinking, how do I stop these thoughts and conquer them once and for all. I think that simply by making one good choice at a time I can eventually get rid of these constant conversations with myself. When I go down that path of making one wrong decision, it continues to lead me astray. I fill my head with condemnation about what I've done wrong and that because I've done that wrong, then this other choice doesn't matter. And then I just end up in a place where I feel like nothing matters. And I eat. And I sit. And I worry and I get upset with myself for wasting another day. I make one wrong decision after another. Then the day is gone and I've done nothing to make myself better. This cycle just keeps repeating itself until I'm just exhausted.
It's a bit like the title of my blog. Daily Obedience. It's making one right choice after another that will cause us to finally succeed with all of our goals. One decision for good. Read my Bible. Another good decision. Spend quality time in prayer for my family. Another good decision. Put on my running shoes and get outside. Still another good decision to eat healthy and on and on. And then when the end of the day comes, I've made a slew of good decisions and I can rest knowing that I've conquered the negative beast today.
And it's also important that I don't allow the bad choices that I make to keep me from making good choices. Just because I had a doughnut for breakfast doesn't mean I shouldn't eat a salad for lunch. Because I didn't spend any time in prayer today doesn't mean I shouldn't crack open my Bible tonight. Even for 5 minutes. I believe every choice, even small, that we make for good, will spur us on to continue making good choices.
My favorite verse of scripture that teaches us to train our minds is Philippians 4:8.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such thingsDon't get bogged down in what you did wrong today but praise yourself for what you did right. And if you can't find much that you did right, then be determined to make a better choice tomorrow.