By Robert E. Guinn
I saw a sign the other day in a restaurant that caught my attention. The words “Cowboy Logic” were inscribed on it with the following description: “About half your troubles come from wanting your way. The other half comes from getting it.”
It was such a simple yet very truthful sentiment.
As we read and study our Bibles, we discover that every human being suffers from the same spiritual problem that separates us from a loving Creator, sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23, 6:23). James put it this way: “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death,” (James 1:14-15).
Sin offends and hurts our relationship with God. James teaches us, however, that avoiding sin is more than following a check-list of what we should and should not do. Jesus also emphasized this in His Sermon on The Mount (Matthew 5). He taught us that the moral issues of murder, adultery, oath-making, and hating our enemies should be corrected on a deeper level. Jesus also put it this way: “ What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person,” (Mark 7:20-23).
What is our heart’s desire? Jesus taught us that we can determine the condition of our heart by knowing what we treasure or desire (Matthew 6:19ff). That desire then motivates the way we live.
If we find ourselves troubled, maybe it is time for us to consider that cowboy logic. Are we struggling because we want something we cannot, or should not, want? Do we find ourselves disappointed because when we get what we wanted it did not deliver what it promised? Sin’s promise is tempting, but its pleasure is only temporary (Hebrews 11:25).
The Bible teaches us that when we focus on and set our desire correctly on Jesus and the heavenly promises, we can be content no matter what life brings (Philippians 4:11-13; Hebrews 12:1-2). So, let us set our affections and desires on the things that are above and be satisfied in the Lord (Colossians 3:1-2).
- Robert Guinn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org