Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life. (Rom. 6:13)

SOMETIMES IT SEEMS AS IF my body has a mind of its own. I think I’ll take a walk and my body says it’s tired. Or my hand reaches out and grabs a cookie I had sworn not to eat. Do our bodies have minds of their own? Of course not!

Our bodies are merely the accumulation of our many choices—good or bad. Our bodies don’t have addictions on their own—not even to cookies. Our bodies don’t choose to sin or to do good. Paul was speaking metaphorically here when he said we need to offer our bodies as instruments of righteousness. But our bodies are ours to command. We choose how to think, feel, and act. We even choose how to choose—by virtue of discipline or lack thereof. We must discipline our thoughts and attitudes until it is second nature to choose the righteous and God-honoring option.

Righteousness is always intentional. We are not naturally drawn to discipline, love, or selfless actions. However, the good news is that if we practice choosing well, it does become a habit after a while and our habits become our character. A godly character is formed choice by choice.

Identify how to become an instrument of righteousness today.

Kathy Bence lives in Idaho with her professor husband, Phil.