By Paul Leavans
When faced with intense temptation, Jesus quoted Scripture. He had made a choice to obey the commands of the Father regardless of how appealing the temptations were at the moment. We face choices every day between what is written in God’s Word and what is immediately appealing.
- Should I go to worship and smile and sing even if I’m depressed?
It is written, “Let us not give up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25). “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). “Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
- Should I go ahead and curse when I’m angry since I’m thinking it anyway?
Instead of doing what I feel and saying what I think, my speech is to be governed by the commands of God. It is written, “Do not swear … Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No,’ no” (James 5:12).
- If romantic love is gone from my marriage, should I leave my mate?
It is written, “A husband must not divorce his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:10). “Husbands, love your wives … the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:25, 33).
- Should I discipline my children when it hurts me worse than it hurts them?
It is written, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24).
A Christian is one who accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord. As Savior he forgives our sin. As Lord he dictates the way we think, feel, and behave.
William James, the father of modern psychology, once said, “If you act the way you wish you felt, you will eventually feel the way you act.” It’s much easier to act yourself into a way of feeling than to feel yourself into a way of acting. This story illustrates the point.
“I want to wound my husband as much as possible,” an irate wife told her divorce lawyer. “Sue him for every dime you can get.”
“If you really want to hurt him, I’ve got a better idea,” the lawyer replied. “For the next six months, treat him as nicely as you possibly can; then when he’s dependent on you and he feels very secure in the relationship, slap the divorce papers in front of him. You’ll really wound him.”
She thought it was an ingenious idea. Six months later the lawyer asked, “Did you treat him well?”
“I did just as you said,” the woman replied. “I was affectionate, selfless, thoughtful, and incredibly patient with him.”
“Are you ready now to file the divorce papers?” the lawyer asked.
“Oh my, no!” the wife responded. “I’ve fallen in love with him again!”
It’s amazing how God can change our feelings when we forget self and obey him.
Dr. Paul Leavens is Minister of the Christian Church in Lindsay, 120 N. Frazier Ave. To contact him, call 559-562-3743 or visit www.lindsaychristianchurch.org.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.