My friend Ed was telling me a story about his little son. He was standing in a mud puddle, so Ed told him to get out. But instead, his son began running through the puddle. “No running through it either,” he said. So the boy began walking through the water. When Ed told him, “No walking!” the boy stood with just his toes in the water, looking defiantly at his dad. The child knew what his father wanted, but he didn’t want to do it.

Sometimes I’m like that stubborn little boy. I know that what I’m doing isn’t pleasing to the Lord, but I do it anyway. God told the children of Israel to “fully obey the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:1 niv), but they failed repeatedly. The psalmist acknowledged his struggle in Psalm 119, “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!” (v.5 niv).

Jealousy, hatred, rebellion—they occur all too often. But God provided for our redemption through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit helps us when we are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13); and when we confess our wrongdoing, God promises to forgive us (1 John 1:9).

If you are like me and keep running back into the mud puddles of life, don’t give up. God will help you to resist temptation, and He will never stop loving you!