Exhaustible Will Power

will power

Recently read The One Thing by Gary Keller. Keller cites some studies that have proven that our will power is exhaustible. That’s not the way we typically think. We’d say that some people have lots of will power while others don’t. The reality is that we all have will power, but only a certain store of it. As we apply our will power, the store is draining until it’s gone. When it’s gone, the studies show, we will revert to our default decisions.

So for years you’ve smoked a cigarette, but now you’re trying to quit smoking. You’ve been successful for two months in applying your will power to not smoking. But let’s say you have a hard day at work on very little sleep. You go home, feeling stressed, and you … smoke a cigarette. Why? Because you have no will power? Well, sort of. Because you have no will power left. Your will power tank had enough in it on previous days, but today you exhausted it.

So – how does this apply to areas of sin and temptation in your life? Knowing this, how could you live differently to make sure you do the things you should do, and don’t do the things you shouldn’t do? How should you restructure your life?