Spring 2021 Magazine

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional - Friday, January 11, 2019

“…But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” — James 1:14-15

Pursuing Godliness

I remember playing video games with my best friend when we were younger. We loved sports, so our showdowns on the NCAA and NFL football games for PlayStation were routinely competitive and heated — probably why I have so many useless, broken PlayStation controllers in my closet.

Because I loathed losing, I always wanted to sack him when I was on defense. Numerous times, I remember selecting a goal line defense even when he was on my side of the field. Why? Because I hated his progression toward the end zone, I wanted his quarterback in the dirt and I didn’t care what kind of defense it took.

If he read the defense correctly (which he usually did), he always had an open receiver because I had foolishly stacked my defensive line. My foolishness of intensely pursuing my desire resulted in touchdowns, which resulted in losses, which resulted in the stack of broken controllers. In the virtual world of video games, my desires led me down a path of consecutive losses.

In James 1:14-15, James reminds us of the evil desires that burn within us. He acknowledges that, as humans, we are sinful and fallen beings. We have desires. We pursue money, sex, fame and (insert your idol). Having these desires isn’t new. It’s human. But “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

When we pursue our ungodly desires, we sin, and soon enough, we find ourselves stuck in an inescapable rut. And once sin is full-grown, as James tells us, it leads to death.

Run to God in prayer. Delve into the Word. Confess your inner struggle with a friend, mentor or spouse. Because the second we allow our ungodly desires to come into fruition, we slip into the dangerous, sinful path that leads to death.

Steve Copeland

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