This past week I was really sick, I mean really sick. Fever, headache, chills, you name it. For days I took pain relievers and the turmoil in my body would ease for a while.. but inevitably, the gut wrenching symptoms returned. Although treating the symptoms of my sickness provided a temporary solution to what I was experiencing, it did not cure it. And that goes for all types of sicknesses. We can treat our symptoms all we want, day in and day out, but until our immune system (the real weapon) kills the virus/bacteria, we are waging a battle that won’t end.
How similar is this to our struggle with sin in our lives, as believers in Christ? Off the top of my head, the major external sins that I wage war against are pornography and smoking. (FYI I’m not trying to label smoking as a sin universally, but for me, it is). For months and months I have been doing everything that I can think of to cease these behaviors… but nothing seems to work. I’ll try not to be on my computer when I don’t need to be, or I’ll make myself not go buy cigarettes, or I’ll try to occupy myself with some other activity to distract my mind from the things I really want to do… the sins I really want to commit. I’ve been trying (and admittedly not as hard I could) to modify my behavior, but is that even the solution? If I impart enough restrictions into my life, to the degree that I’m not externally sinning…am I really any better off? Your first inclination may be to say, “Well yes, Matt, of course you’re better off. You’re not sinning.”… and to a degree, I’d agree. But is begrudging, joy-less, obedience really what the Lord wants from His children? Does living our lives in constant paranoia, fearfully attempting to dictate our surroundings at all times to avoid possible temptation, invoke in us any sort of praise to our Father? If you say yes, you’re lying. That kind of life is miserable. I don’t want that kind of life, and I don’t want anyone else to live that kind of life.
So should we neglect this whole battle with sin? Should we just stop trying? Should we not set filters on our computers? Should we just live in complete license and presume upon the grace of God, doing whatever we want to do, whenever we want to? Read more