Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. (1 Pet. 4:1)

HAVE YOU EVER stuck your finger into one of those Chinese finger traps? The more you pull to get your finger free the tighter the trap’s grip becomes. This illustrates what can happen when we try to escape from the attitudes and behaviors of our sinful past. We want to be done with them, but we find habits are hard to break and previously fed appetites are difficult to ignore.

My physician told me to stop eating ice cream before going to bed. I don’t know how he knew about this habit, but I took him at his word. He said nothing about other times of the day, so I will occasionally sneak a spoonful in the afternoon—just a bit from around the edges of the carton, where calories don’t live. Besides, it is sugar free. It is easy to say no when I am in the doctor’s office, but it is more difficult when I am looking at an open container. I can rationalize all I want, but I know I am supposed to be done with the deadly stuff. What suffering I must endure for my health!

Christ suffered and died to free us from sin’s grip. We too must be willing to suffer in our effort to put sin to death in our lives.

Surrender to God something you want to get rid of.

Ken Heer was a pastor, community director, and author (A Good Start and Ancient Fire). He passed away prior to this publication.