Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Sermon of Offense

I keep thinking about the sermon on Sunday. It's kind of lodged in my brain like a sliver of glass, piercing the meninges and irritating my cranial cap. Or maybe it was more like this - the normally placid waters of my soul have been disturbed to tsunami levels. It's not so much that the sermon offended me. It's more like it made me think and that's a terrible thing to do to someone that's trying to sleep between classes. Maybe I did not understand it as it was meant to be understood, or worse, maybe I did understand it and that's why it's eating away at me.

We are at the start of a sermon series from Colossians. The preacher was talking about sin. He said something about how it's possible to get close to perfection, eliminating sin from our lives and he also said that Christians spend way too much time worrying about sin and it's why we never get to the point actually of doing ministry.

Maybe I was not listening properly, but these ideas seem contradictory to me and maybe wrong. Or maybe I am in denial.

First, I do not believe it's possible to not sin. We are a sinful race with bodies broken by the selfish  desires of sin. I do think that the Spirit helps the believer to say 'no' to sin. We become less self destructive because of His presence in our bodies. Not to put too fine a point on it, but He helps us manage what once ran riot in our bodies and in our minds. We will, however, never be sin free, at least not until we are dead.

Sin management is something that Christians do. I will not say that it's the correct way to live, but it's what we do to stay out of deeper troubles. If we can minimize the effects of sin in our lives, we feel like we have achieved something. We feel better about ourselves and even though we still sin, we feel good when we approach God for some discussion.

There is also what goes on in the mind. I will speak only for myself here, but my mind is not always under the Spirit's control. Sometimes it's not even under my control. My mind and my moods are all over the place and I am finding, especially now, that I am having problems with desire. When I was freed from the burden of my secret awhile back, it set some other things loose that would probably be better left in the cage of my heart.  Spiritual freedom is a two edged sword. The more involved one becomes with people in terms of ministry and being ministered to, the more one has opportunity for sin. That sounds awful, but it's true. I knew this would happen if I began reaching out to people and making friendships. It's why I've spent so much of my life withdrawn from others. Desire creeps in when I let people into my life.

I have a fear of losing control of the monster that has lived in me since I was 12. It would be easy for me to say that I will let the Lord handle it and plow forward with abandon into some kind ministry or whatever I am lead to, but I am afraid. It's risky living.

What if I lose control? What if I fail to let God control things? I do not have a good record here. I'm a man with weak knees and a stubborn spirit.

Therein lies the problem.

Risk is something I'm not good at. Even so, I will have to risk and I will have to trust God in faith if I am to be loved and love others as He would have it be.

I still have walls. I seem to be using them now for a different purpose; to keep me in. They need to come down I suppose.

Just thinking out loud here people. If you have a different perspective, I will be glad to listen. I'm not sure I have a ministry beyond what I am doing now anyway. I enjoy teaching. I am as transparent as I can possibly be without offending people (;^))))) I will try harder, but I don't think I will ever be sin free. Sorry. Going from a closet case to an uncaged man is difficult. One does not always know the bounds of appropriate social behavior and so I do nothing.