Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
1 Corinthians 2:16
Our contemporary culture desires things to happen as quickly and conveniently as possible. Yet when it comes to knowing others, and knowing ourselves, “quick and convenient” breeds superficiality. Our love for expediency is making us strangers to one another, and strangers to ourselves.
A wise man long ago said that an unexamined life is not worth living. I would add: an unexamined life is impossible to live faithfully and well. One reason for this is that controlling our desires has everything to do with getting to know ourselves better—that is, understanding what people, situations, and substances give us problems, and what responses are effective in countering them.
A good way to begin practicing the examined life is to ask yourself what you’re feeling before you indulge your cravings. Our cravings are often the result of—and a superficial way of dealing with—some negative emotion. . . anger, depression, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, etc. Once you’ve identified the feeling behind the drive, you can more appropriately express or deal with it, instead of engaging in some appetite you think will make the feeling disappear.
When you learn to know yourself and express your feelings appropriately, your appetites can stop being emotional buffers and once again serve the purposes God intended them to serve.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”-William James (1842-1910)
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.