Why Do You Do What You Don’t Want to Do?
By Rick Warren
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NIV).
Have you ever wondered why you do what you don’t want to do? Or why it’s so hard to do the things that you know are the right things to do?
Our sinful nature causes us to often make wrong choices. You can probably relate to the apostle Paul when he says, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. . . . So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t” (Romans 7:15, 17-18 NLT).
Even after you become a believer, there’s this tension inside of you. You have your good nature that God gave you, but you also have your old sinful nature that is pulling at you.
But there is a way out! Jesus promised in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NIV).
The secret to personal change is not willpower. It’s not a pill. It’s not a resolution. It’s not some vow that you make. The secret to personal change is not something you do or say.
The secret to personal change is something you know. You know the truth. When you change the way you think, it changes the way you feel. And when you change the way you feel, it changes the way you act.
Behind every self-defeating act is a lie you believe. It may be a lie about yourself, your past or future, God, or others.
Why do you do something that you know is bad for you? Because you think there’s some kind of payoff. That’s the lie! You can only change and fulfill God’s purpose for your life if you start with God’s truth. If you want to change the way you live, you have to start in your mind. You have to know and believe God’s truth.
When you know the truth, the truth will set you free. You have to expose and uncover the lies that you have been accepting. Some of those lies you picked up on the playground as a kid or from TV. Some of them you picked up from your parents or you creatively thought them up yourself. But they are lies, and when you reject them and instead find out what God has to say, you will experience freedom like you’ve never known.
Talk It Over
What do you think it means to know God’s truth?
Think of the lies that have played repeatedly in your head for years. Which of God’s truths do you need to replace them with?
How can you know God’s truth better? What changes do you need to make in your life?
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Prayer is a simple concept. It’s just a conversation with God.
But at the same time, prayer can be intimidating. After all, you’re talking to the Almighty! It can be hard to know how to ask for your requests, and anticipate how God will answer.
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Experience God’s Power Through Prayer shows you how to…
• Develop a daily habit of prayer
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• Understand the benefits of memorizing Scripture
• Express your gratitude to God
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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