"Do you find yourself taking part in godless living and sinful pleasures? If so...what steps are you going to take to gain strength in wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God?"
The following questions were asked in reference to verse 12 of Titus chapter 2.
Verse 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Verse 12 It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Verse 13 while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Verse 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
When I think about explaining what godless living and sinful pleasures is, my first thought would be a sexual sin--something dramatic, arousing, and intoxicating. For me a sexual sin is not an issue.
So, what do I have lurking inside of me in the way of a sin, ready to spring out in temptation? My self-worth.
As a Bible study teacher for women I wrestle with thoughts and feelings of inadequacy and doubt. I hear a voice in my head say, "you don't know what you are doing" and I will say "you're right I don't, but God does."
I wrestle with wanting to please others, as a teacher and a leader it is a reality that you cannot and will not always please everyone all of the time. I can tell myself this, I know this, yet I still wrestle with the feelings of wanting to please all of the members in my class.
I wonder does this problem of self-worth really mean I have a problem with pride, if this is true then I weep because I do not want to be prideful. I know exactly what Paul meant when he said,
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:14-25 NIV
I have days when I do not have a problem with doubts and feelings of not being adequate enough, I have confidence in knowing that it is Christ Jesus at work in me--His Spirit--in me that gives me the words to teach. Then wham there it goes again, those rediculous words in my head bobbing around. It drives me nuts!
The steps that I take to gain strength in wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God is to feed on God's word. I read God's word, I meditate and study His Word, I memorize His Word.
"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105 NIV
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight." Provebs 3:5-6 NIV
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 NIV
"Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-38 NIV
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:26-27 NIV