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Happy Valentine's Day

For God so lo V ed the world,
That he g A ve
His on L y
Begott E n
So N  
  T hat whosever
Believeth I n Him
Should N ot perish,
But have  E verlasting Life

God's Valentine Greeting
    John 3:16

Cognitive Dissonance 

"Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and wishes ... that lead to evil actions."1

How true it is that "what the mind dwells on the body acts on!"

Consider, for example, how temptation works. A seemingly innocent thought comes to mind from anywhere of a number of directions or, at times, from seemingly nowhere. We decide (mostly unconsciously) to dwell on that thought and, as we do, it hooks our emotions; and the more we concentrate on that thought, the stronger we feel about it, and the stronger we feel about it, the more we think about it—and then we begin to visualize in our mind what we desire and want to do. And then, unless we make a conscious choice to stop thinking about it, we are just as likely to give in to and act out the temptation.

The battle is won or lost in the mind before we ever act out the temptation.

One of many dangers in consistently giving in to temptation is that, as another has pointed out, "If we don't live the life we believe, we will end up unhappily believing the life we live."

We do this because as long as we don't live consistently with what we believe, our mind experiences what is called "cognitive dissonance"; that is, mental disharmony. Because we can't tolerate this mental conflict, we change our beliefs to match our behavior and then rationalize and justify what we do—an extremely dangerous path to follow. The end result is what the Bible calls having a dead conscience which ultimately leads to death—spiritual death.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the desire and good sense to live in harmony with your Word, the Bible, and never rationalize or justify anything that is contrary to your Word and your will. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:14-15 (TLB).
2. See James 1:15.


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.