My husband & I were talking this morning about some of the clutter in our house. I’m nowhere close to being a perfectionist since my childhood had the steady tension between my dad with his clutter & the purges my mom would occasionally conduct. So I grew up in a spectrum between clutter & tidy.
Now as an adult, for me the problem with clutter is that it seems to have a creeping nature & before I realize it, there are piles & stacks of clutter that can be easily overlooked.
Sometimes sin is like clutter. It can creep & sneak along the edges of our thoughts & desires leaving little splotches & specks, easy to overlook. But if we allow these specks & splotches of sin to accumulate, then soon our souls become cluttered with sin & we lose of focus on Jesus.
Let’s endeavor to regularly allow the Holy Spirit to work holiness into our souls so that the clutter of sin doesn’t contaminate our affections or attention 🙂
Hebrews 12:1b, “let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
In our modern world, outage is common & I think even expected sometimes. It seems like we can get massively incensed at almost anything: driving infractions, mistakes on paychecks or bills, government shortfalls, moral failures in Christian leaders, etc
But here’s something to consider: if sin is the common human experience, why do we allow ourselves to be outraged when people sin or make mistakes? Wouldn’t we be more constructive to celebrate the moments when humans don’t behave sinfully? What about when a driver makes space for you instead of cutting you off? That’s noteworthy! What about when a government does something positive that exceeds your expectations? This might not be often, but that’s exactly why we should celebrate it! And when a Christian leader has a moral failure, let’s not be so much outraged as we should pray for them & have sincere compassion because we identify with our own shortfalls.
Let’s aim for less outrage & more celebration 🙂
I just had a plantar wart frozen, round two. I’m hopeful this time the freezing thing works, as these things aren’t pleasant. The problems with a wart on the bottom of one’s foot include:
It grows if you don’t kill it
It’s on the bottom of your foot so it’s easy to forget – not visible
It’s contagious & silently spreads
It can make a problem with walking
Seems to me that the wart thing is a lot like sin. It’s insidious, subtle & invasive. If we tolerate little pieces & nuances of sin, it’s like the plantar wart of my foot. Pretty soon it’s a whole lot bigger than what we thought & our ability to be effective in our day to day living gets compromised.
Let’s remember that Jesus came to help us walk successfully without the debilitating affects of sin!
I’ve got my kids at the dentist for their regular checkup. We’re all hopeful for a no-cavity report, but that’s a stretch with 3kids & 96 total teeth (I think). We do this wonderful appointment twice a year & we cross our fingers, hoping for good outcomes.
Sometimes, people treat church like the dentist – a twice yearly visit, hoping for painless, quick & uplifting. Alas, dental hygiene is kind of like spiritual hygiene. Weekly visits, daily Bible time & occasional retreats often yield healthy spiritual growth. If plaque is like sin, then steady prayer & Bible time would be like daily flossing & brushing. Let’s stay the course until Christ be formed within us – Galatians 4:19!
Lice, fleas, chiggers, parasites, viruses & mosquitos are a few examples of little bugs that can range from annoying to lethal. I know about many of these pests from first hand experience & I don’t recommend engaging with these critters in any way except in all efforts to kill them. When I think about these little bugs, it baffles me how something so small & even unseen can fell thousands of people, creating deadly epidemics that can elude our highest technologies & savy immunization strategies.
Sin can be similar to these little bugs. A little sin can poison an entire lifetime, to say nothing of the contagious quality of sin. With the help of the Holy Spirit, ever vigilant to convict the world of sin, may we never tolerate the sins that can so easily beset us. Let’s not allow sin in any form to reside in nor influence our hearts, emotions, thoughts or conversations. No little bugs!
Lice, fleas, chiggers, parasites, viruses & mosquitos are a few examples of little bugs that can range from annoying to lethal. I know about many of these pests from first hand experience & I don’t recommend engaging with these critters in any way except in all efforts to kill them. When I think about these little bugs, it baffles me how something so small & even unseen can fell thousands of people, creating deadly epidemics that can elude the our highest technologies & savy immunization strategies.
Sin can be similar to these little bugs. A little sin can poison an entire lifetime, to say nothing of the contagious quality of sin. With the help of the Holy Spirit, ever vigilant to convict the world of sin, may we never tolerate the sins that can so easily beset us. Let’s not allow sin in any form to reside nor influence our hearts, emotions, thoughts or conversations. No little bugs!
This morning I read how Joseph resisted the invitations of Potipher’s wife. Potipher was Joseph’s employer & Joseph didn’t want to dishonor his employer nor sin against God by giving into the wife’s seductions. In some respects, it might have been easy for Joseph to cave: Joseph was away from his family, he was a slave, maybe they could’ve kept their trist a secret & maybe there was some appeal to his flesh, on the most basic level. Nonetheless, Joseph kept his integrity & consistently rejected the wife’s efforts.
In my thinking, Joseph should have been rewarded for holding the high ground but instead, he was lied about & then thrown into prison. So now he’s not a slave but maybe worse, he’s a “convict”. God rewarded Joseph in prison & previously under Potipher by giving Joseph favor & leadership positions.
But the immediate imprisonment result wasn’t the optimum outcome for maintaining a high level of integrity.
Here are a few things to consider:
Do the right thing even if the immediate results seem to backfire
Keep pure motives to serve & be a blessing
Make sure your forgiveness stays fresh
I think all of this was practice for the real work of keeping a nation from being eradicated from a severe 7 years famine along with rescuing his entire family from starving to death 🙂
Have you ever waited to acquire something you wanted? It seems to me that waiting & wanting go together like peas & carrots, almost complementary. Things that I’ve waited for & wanted include: a new coat, a camera lense, opening nightcare in India, surgery on my shoulder & lots of other stuff.
Recently, I read about sin waiting for & wanting Cain in Genesis 4, related to the tension between Abel & Cain about their respective sacrifices. God confronted Cain in verse 7 and told him, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Sin was waiting for & wanting Cain but God told him that he needed to master sin & not be mastered by sin.
I honestly think that sin also waits for & wants us as well. Sin wants to control us, creating chaos & destruction in our lives if we cave in to it’s desires. Cain surrendered to sin and lived a vagrant and tormented life. Let’s learn from Cain’s downfall & master sin rather than let sin master us. Indeed, Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” Just because sin is waiting for & wanting you doesn’t mean that you have to be it’s victim. Let the Holy Spirit strengthen you on the inside to overcome the seductions of sin!