I was hanging out with one of the young people in our church today. We decided to hit the local driving range and try to see how far we could hit the ball (I’m not a golfer!). Now it was probably 95 degrees today and after good 30-45 minutes of driving golf balls, we’re dripping sweat! It was a workout! While we were there I participated in one of my favorite activities…people watching, and I saw this guy driving, sweating,getting a really good workout. He then proceded to take a seat, get out a nice clear bottle of smart water (expensive water that doesn’t have any of the bad stuff in it) and lit up a cigarette! It really struck me as funny at first….”Hey, it’s almost 100 degrees out, I’m working out here, dripping sweat….you know what I’d really like? A Cigarette!” Then it became something really sad. Here’s a guy, putting in some time exercising (even if you don’t consider golf a sport!), then in the same “breathe” destroying any good he had done his body. He was taking one step forward and two steps back. And while I found part of me chuckling and even judging him, I realized that I frequently do the same thing. Not just in excercise, but in many areas of my life…especially spiritually. How many times have I taken a step forward in my walk with Christ, only to find myself seemingly taking two steps backward? How many times do I allow myself to fall into bad habits or sin that basically destroy the spiritual work or momentum I had gained? The truth is, is that if I want to be more like Christ, if I want to daily be transformed and be an active participant in progressive sanctification, then I’ve got to give up smoking! (metaphorically speaking) I’ve got to stop shooting myself in the foot spiritually and grab hold of the power of Christ in me that will allow me to shed the habits and sin that keep me from ever truly becoming the man of God I have been created to be. What about you?