Do you know why most Christians don’t get any better or why you don’t get any better? It’s because you’re doing it wrong, dummy! You are obsessed with sin and your faith has become another ‘system of laws’ whereby you feel guilty and try and try and try to do better. It doesn’t work, never has worked, and never will work…
If I had this freedom thing down pat I wouldn’t bother writing about it. But I want to breath it with every gasp of air I have left before they box me up and stick me in some stuffy cemetery.
A few days ago I returned from a weekend away to see my oldest daughter graduate from high school. It was exhilarating and frightening all in the same swoop. Maybe you can relate to my feelings—she’s my first-born and makes me one proud dad. Anyways, I woke up the other morning and headed into the bathroom after putting my morning coffee on just to be greeted by a big red spot on the tip of the end of my nose (and for those who haven’t seen me—I don’t have the smallest beak in the world). The thing was irritating and it hurt too. Figures Id’ get one—my dad gets the pesky buggers every once in a while and I make fun of him. I thought by the time you were so close to forty these little ego deflaters would be history for good—let alone a man in his mid-sixties. I suppose I have something to look forward to besides streets of gold.
Nobody likes zits, or least no one has told me any different. Zits are like sin if you ask me—although those of you lucky enough to never get a zit can’t say you never get a sin. Sadly, some times it seems like I hate zits more than I hate sin. I also got to thinking about the fact that I didn’t touch my big zit—not once, and it disappeared within a day (to my satisfaction). Sin is like that I have found, and although my sin nature hasn’t taken any extended vacations lately to my dissatisfaction—my sins do seem to have a way of being less of an issue when I don’t obsess about them but rather trust that God meant it when he said he forgives every last one of them.
13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:13-14, ESV)
I think the idea here is to starve the flesh—my sin nature has trouble surviving let alone prospering when I don’t feed it. Like my big zit, I have this thing for obsessing about things that are better left alone and I am slowly but surely learning that it helps to stop thinking about my sin and start focusing on the one who has delivered me from it’s penalty.
Temptation has a way dissipating when it isn’t messed around with.