When You Tell Yourself, “I Can’t Help Myself!”

Have you ever said, “I just can’t help myself!” I’ll admit, I have. I think we all have. But is that really true?

Jennifer stood in front of the mirror staring at the overweight woman looking back at her. Just two years ago she’d lost 120 pounds, and now 80 of them were back. I can’t keep this weight off, she thought. I know what I’m supposed to do, but I just can’t do it. I’m always going to be fat. I’m just going to accept it and quit trying. What’s so bad about being fat anyway? I just can’t help myself.

Rachel loved Travis, she really did. Though they were both Christians, they found themselves staring at the ceiling in her bedroom after a night of passion that led to a morning of regret. We’ve tried to remain pure, she mused, but we love each other so much. It’s just natural to feel this passionately about the person you love. Once we start kissing, we can’t stop. But I know it’s wrong. I feel sick to my stomach every time we have sex. I just can’t help myself.

Martha could hear her six-year-old son crying in the next room. She was crying too. Her words of anger yelled at the top of her lungs just moments before bounced off the walls of their home. Oh, God, Martha prayed, why can’t I control my anger? Why can’t I control the words that come out of my mouth? I’m destroying my family with them. I’ve tried to control my tongue, but the hateful words come out anyway. What’s wrong with me? I just can’t help myself.

Maybe you’ve found yourself saying these same five words: “I just can’t help myself.” Or maybe you’re given up and said, “That’s just the way I am.” Either way, it’s just not true.

Yes, maybe you can’t help yourself by yourself. But guess what. The power of the Holy Spirit working in you can. The key is, we must cooperate. The Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). The one thing He won’t do is force you or me to change anything. He has given us the dangerous gift of free will, but also the power of the Holy Spirit to follow through.

Paul was a man who knew what it was like to struggle with the lie of “I can’t help myself.” Listen to what he wrote to the Romans:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? (Romans 7:15-24)

Paul was a mess and he knew it. I’ve been right there with him, haven’t you? I’ve known I needed to exercise, but taken a nap instead. I’ve known I needed to talk to the woman beside me in the airplane, but opened a book and read. I’ve known I should give my husband grace, but given him the cold shoulder and turned my back to him in bed. What a mess. In each case, I could have made a different choice, but I chose not to.

How do we move past the lie of “I can’t help myself?” Paul was so excited to tell us the answer to that question that he couldn’t even wait until Romans chapter 8, but blurted it out at the end of chapter 7. “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” he cried. And then came the answer: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25). Exclamation marks all around!

“I can’t help myself?” Don’t believe a word of it. God has given you everything you need to make right choices through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord, sometimes I feel like I can’t help myself. Thank You for the reminder that my mind can overrule my feelings—that Your truth trumps the devil’s lies. Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you’re ready to start making right choices in the power of the Holy Spirit today- leave a comment below and say, “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

 

Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and start embracing the truth of your true identity in Christ. It’s time to overcome the lies of the enemy with the promises of God. Comes with a companion Bible study in the back.

Don’t have time to read? Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence is now available on Audiobook.

59 Responses to When You Tell Yourself, “I Can’t Help Myself!”

  1. Jennifer May 29, 2018 at 5:27 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself. Lord, please help your daughter. Give me a fresh anointing of your Spirit so that I can make the choices needed to control my weight, my tongue, and my attitudes about myself. I have begun to listen to the lies and get distracted by the appearance of my outer man, but Lord I know the truth. Father, please loose these knots of inadequacy. In Jesus name I do pray.

  2. Tammy May 29, 2018 at 6:16 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself

  3. Rhonda Geiger May 29, 2018 at 6:22 am #

    By the power of the holy spirit I can help myself.

  4. Amy May 29, 2018 at 6:26 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself! Amen!

  5. Tracey Clark May 29, 2018 at 6:46 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  6. Stephanie H May 29, 2018 at 7:17 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!!

  7. Elaine May 29, 2018 at 7:34 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!!!

  8. Debra A Logan May 29, 2018 at 7:38 am #

    By the Power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself, amen!!

  9. Kimberly May 29, 2018 at 7:58 am #

    Thank you for this! By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!!

  10. Theresa Miller May 29, 2018 at 7:59 am #

    When I am tempted to act in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord, I declare and decree By the power of the Holy Spirit I CAN help myself!

  11. Rebecca Casey May 29, 2018 at 8:16 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  12. Susan May 29, 2018 at 8:24 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!” Thank you Jesus!

  13. Hilary C. May 29, 2018 at 8:29 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I CAN help myself!!!!!

  14. Melissa Plets May 29, 2018 at 8:31 am #

    This message comes at the perfect time, thanks be to God!
    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I CAN help myself (finally)!

  15. Dodi Bee May 29, 2018 at 8:33 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I CAN HELP MYSELF

  16. Lavonne May 29, 2018 at 8:43 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, help my volunteer situation, let me show grace and forgiveness! Take my angry thoughts from me Oh Lord! Let me show love!

  17. Ellen Schulte May 29, 2018 at 8:57 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself

  18. Sherri May 29, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself.

  19. Elaine Tomasello May 29, 2018 at 9:34 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”
    Praise the LORD! HALLELUJAH!
    AMEN!

  20. Tammy English May 29, 2018 at 9:39 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!” I really needed this devotional today.

  21. Janice Kesterson May 29, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    By the power of the HOLY SPIRIT , I can help myself!!

  22. Jane May 29, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    I am ready to get back to my exercise routine. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!

  23. Cheryl Rose May 29, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    YES! Thank you so much for the reminder the Holy Spirit is inside of us and all we have to do is ask for help!!!!
    We can say NO!

  24. Jacque May 29, 2018 at 10:12 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself! Take angry thoughts and replace with love! Replace sinful thoughts And temptations and replace with your strength lord💗

  25. Brandi Payton May 29, 2018 at 10:41 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  26. Susan May 29, 2018 at 10:52 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can do All things! Deliver my tongue, thoughts, words. Help me help my husband back to you Lord…. I need him to open his heart to You God. Lord help me be a better wife.
    In Jesus Mighty Name Amen!

  27. Tishsa May 29, 2018 at 11:21 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself.

  28. Betsy Bolton May 29, 2018 at 12:15 pm #

    Thank you Lord Jesus for the power of the Holy Spirit and I thank you Lord that with the help of the Holy Spirit I can be controlled.
    quick to listen slow to speak and slow to anger. Amen.

  29. Tina May 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself.”

  30. Carolin May 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I CAN help myself!”

  31. Tosha May 29, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  32. sarah hairston May 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm #

    by the power of THE HOLY SPIRIT i can help myself

  33. Jenny May 29, 2018 at 1:36 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!

  34. Kendra May 29, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    “By the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT, I can trust HIM to help me to help myself. “

  35. Dianne Cox May 29, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

    Your story of Jennifer was about me instead. I’ve fought this weight battle most of my life. I am 75 years old. I’m tired fighting it.

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself.

    PLEASE!!!!

  36. Jocelyn Johnson May 29, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  37. Ann May 29, 2018 at 5:23 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I CAN help myself!

  38. Cheryl May 29, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself.”

  39. Judy May 29, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    By the power of the holy spirit I can help myself

  40. Debby May 29, 2018 at 6:40 pm #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  41. Kimberly May 30, 2018 at 1:02 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!”

  42. Anike May 30, 2018 at 2:55 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself

  43. R. F. May 30, 2018 at 8:42 am #

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!!”

  44. Katherine Swarts May 30, 2018 at 9:35 am #

    Habits can take weeks or months of practice to change, even once you commit yourself to depending on God’s help. The biggest lie we often fall for is that failing THIS time means we’re destined to fail always–that’s where most people give up trying. Remember to “become like a little child” and keep practicing standing upright even if you fall fifty times in a day.

  45. Thoko May 30, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself!

  46. Monika May 31, 2018 at 6:53 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself.

  47. Georgia May 31, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself make good choices regarding my weight and food. In Jesus name!

  48. Blessing Emegha June 1, 2018 at 9:11 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself make good choices concerning my life and family in Jesus Name Amen.

  49. Heather June 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself!

  50. Marce June 2, 2018 at 8:53 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit of GOD I can do all things hallelujah!!

  51. Lori Hurrell June 7, 2018 at 7:32 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I CAN help myself! Praise be to God.

  52. Donna June 7, 2018 at 7:41 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I CAN help myself!

  53. Elise June 7, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I CAN help myself!

  54. Rita Safari June 8, 2018 at 10:41 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I CAN help myself.

  55. Trudi June 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself. Thank you Sharon, for sharing your experiences at LYFE to encourage me that change is possible!

  56. Ana Zamora June 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I know I can do everything through him who gives me strength….

  57. Mary Markle June 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit I can help myself.Oh I struggle with this so much.The lies I tell myself daily.thank you,Sharon for sharing,I so need help.

  58. Melanie October 3, 2018 at 10:46 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself!

  59. Susie Peterson November 28, 2018 at 11:37 am #

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can help myself

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