Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary.  30And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.  31But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”  32And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”  33Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.  34And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

—Genesis 25:29-34 

It is just too easy to shake our heads at Esau’s foolish short-sightedness concerning his birthright—until we consider how often we do the same thing, though maybe not so dramatically.

When I read this I am reminded that every time I sin, giving into the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life, I am despising my birthright.  I am counting the fleeting pleasure of sin as more dear than the reality that I am a blood-bought child of God Almighty.  In that moment I am no less foolish than Esau.

Afterward, I am ashamed.  Sometimes self-condemned (though not by my Heavenly Father).  By God’s grace I confess my sin and plead with God, not so much for forgiveness because I know He is “faithful and just to forgive,” but for a presence of mind in the moment of the next temptation.  I plead with God for grace that not only forgives, but also says “No,” to temptation and sin.

Will I ever be delivered completely from sin?  Yes.  In Heaven.  For now may I continue to plead in prayer, and may my prayers be met with answers that will lead to greater and more frequent victory.