Beat the Devil Out of You
No one likes being a failure.
We all have that one sin that we're dying to beat. I bet yours came right to mind. I know mine did. I'm not talking about that little bad habit, I'm talking about your biggest character flaw.
We don't like admitting we're wrong. We don't like admitting that we have a problem. We project an image to the world that all's well in our life and that we've got it made. And just like that, the problem deepens. We deny, deny, deny and all it does is take greater root in your life.
There have been times in the past when you tried to beat it. You'd get the upper hand for a week, a month, maybe 2 months, but then you're right back in the cycle. This is the perpetual struggle in the spiritual life. We're always moving towards perfection, but our own habits are the very thing that can sink us. Even the Gospel acknowledges this fact (Mark 7:15). Sin starts in our mind. Not with temptation, but by giving into temptation. It's a mental game.
Discouragement is perhaps our greatest enemy in this struggle. We look at our life and despair about how much better of a person we'd be if we hadn't let this sin take root. We get discouraged about all the times that we tried and failed. We get to the point where we tell ourselves that there's no use in trying to amend, because it's just going to happen again.
And that's where we're wrong. We simply have to be more aggressive, intense, and mad. We literally have to beat the devil out of ourselves.
You might find yourself again at that decision point. The new year is offering you a chance for a reboot and you just might take it up on the offer. But, what will it take? What do you have to do differently this time in order to be more successful?
First, be more comprehensive. This requires a multi-prong attack. Beef up the prayer life, choke the supply chain of temptation, and increase your knowledge and understand of those who are harmed by your sin.
Second, imagine your life without this sin. It's going to be awesome, but in what way? How will you be a better person and more accurately reflect the perception you show to the world?
Last, you can't win this alone. Find a source of constant inspiration, someone to help, or some group of people struggling with you.
You can beat this.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Once this sin is gone, there will just be another one to take its place. That's true, but it's going to be even weaker than the sin you just beat. You took down Goliath, now you're just fighting his lackeys. If you can take down the biggest guy in the bar, surely you can take down his blockhead friends.
You'll spend your whole life striving for perfection, systematically weeding out sin in your life.
Why not start today?