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Battling Your Own Desires

Every single day I face some type of battle. Obviously I have to deal with the struggles of being a black man in the south, or working with people who disrespect me routinely. But, right now I want to focus on internal battles and not external. Paul said in Romans, “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate… I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”

In those verses, Paul clearly expressed his feelings on the constant battle he and everyone faces with trying not to sin. In his mind, he wanted to do one thing, but his body was compelling him to do something else.

Ever since I was a kid, I always tried to do the right thing. Often times society refers to people who try to do the right thing as “good” people. Meaning they are not malicious or deceitful in their thoughts or actions. Though I know when most people meet me, they think just because I’m a Christian and I didn’t grow up in the city that I’m a “good” guy. Not that I don’t understand their thinking, but honestly, I don’t like to be labeled as a “good” guy. Just because I didn’t experience growing up in a big city doesn’t mean I’m naive to city life. And, just because I don’t act out on many of the sinful thoughts and desires that enter my mind, doesn’t mean that I don’t have them.

The battle I probably face the most is lusting after women… especially since I’m now single, plus I work in the entertainment industry. I think this is, has been, and will always be a battle for single adult men and women. Hey, I love women. I think they are beautiful. I want to hold and kiss and make love with a woman. There… I said it. I feel it’s natural that I’m attracted to women. The battle for me isn’t suppressing my natural desire. That would be impossible! It’s more so not giving into flirting with attractive women who I have no interest in, except to fulfill some temporary pleasure.

There are so many battles that we face in our mind everyday. Like making the decision to exercise, to eat healthy, etc. Another thing I battle with is maintaining a positive attitude. One day last week, I was having a bad day. I felt that no one around me cared about me at all. It was as if I was a black spot on a wall people passed by and glanced at. It was at that time that God sent someone to encourage me and show me that I need to always stay positive. I realized that no matter how others treated me, the real truth is I am very blessed, and that’s enough reason to smile.

The first step in winning a battle is acknowledging it, and being honest about it. I know that I’m not going to win every battle. But, I will always try to do the right thing. And, one thing I want to do is focus more on embodying the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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