This simple phrase can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. "I just can't stop"...you fill in the rest. It is whatever the thing you try not to do, but for some reason, still do it. Interestingly enough, this is not uncommon, and you're not alone. Saul, who later became Paul after an encounter with Jesus, was one of the most influential writers of the new testament epistles and books of the Bible.
Paul wrote in Romans 7:15-20
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Romans 7 as you will understand the warring between the flesh and the spirit and how you can overcome it with your mind. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he', Proverbs 23:7. Almost all of us struggle with something; food, tobacco, alcohol, sex, foul language, drugs, anger, lying, pornography, cheating, etc. I highlight these merely to remind us, we're not perfect, but you don't have to settle that the thing you hate to do is just your lot in life. YOU CAN OVERCOME IT!!! Now let's talk about how?
Proverbs 23:7 is a short statement but powerful. It outlines the possibility of reshaping your outcome, situation, circumstance, etc., by reshaping your mind and thought process. Actions are a by-product of what starts in your mind. If you see yourself as an addict, you will probably do things that addicts do; I hope you get the point. Let me be clear; this is not a word game whereby you can say or fake your way to a different state. It first starts with having a relationship with the Lord, Jesus, and allowing him to express to you who you are and how special you are to Him, and why He went to the Cross. Once you understand who you are and, more importantly, you belong to, you can start to deal with actions born in the mind.
Your flesh is in opposition with your spirit; in other words, they are on opposite teams. Your flesh wants to do whatever it believes feels good, tastes good, looks good, etc. The spirit of God that dwells in you knows better and wars against the flesh because when the flesh goes unchecked, the things specified above that you will not to do, may go into practice. To overcome this and free yourself of the chains of bondage to unbecoming acts, we need to arrest the thoughts in our minds before they fester and develop into actions. How does one do this? Good question; let me offer this, you can't prevent thoughts from coming, but you can limit the type of information coming to you through your eye and ear gate. We need to be mindful of what we watch, where we go, and who we are listening to every day. These things can significantly narrow bad content from entering into your mind and thought process.
However, when bad content penetrates your mind and thought process, you must immediately arrest it, place it in quarantine, and then hit the delete button. Just because you had a bad thought does not mean you are a bad person. You must see yourself as God sees you; unique, precious, and valuable. You must start to see yourself in a different light, and as you practice this tactic in conjunction with maintaining a healthy and strong relationship with the Lord, your vernacular will change to "I Can Stop, and Did." God Bless You.
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