Friday, December 20, 2013

no excuse

Been thinking a lot lately...about things we use as excuses. We all do it. We "excuse" what we do by saying, I can't help it; this is just the way God made me. To coin an old phrase - Hogwash!

Perhaps I can explain in a "gentler" way. I'll use something in my own life as an example of what I mean.

I am a diabetic. People often ask me questions about diabetes and how, at the age of 53 I could be diagnosed with this disease. No, I am not overweight. No, it does not run in my family. No, I don't really know why I have this disease. What they really want to know is "What can I do to make sure I don't get it?" It kind of brings to mind the story of the man that Jesus healed. Everyone around wanted to know did this man sin or his family. Neither - but it was allowed so that God might be glorified.

Now, I'm not sure why I am diabetic...I just am. I could use the excuse that this is how God made me and dive into the disease with abandon. I could eat lots of breads and sweets...I do love chocolate. It calls my name. At times, I am not exaggerating when I say it is all I can think of! If it is in the house, the temptation is greater than my inner strength to abstain. But since this is "how I am made" why not just give in to the temptation. Why? Because it will kill me, that's why.

Remember the scene from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? The white witch temps Edmund with the Turkish Delight. Once he has tasted it, it calls his name. He can think of nothing else. Yeah, that's what it's like.

So, did God "create me to be diabetic" or is this the result of sin? Well, I guess since God doesn't create something that is imperfect, it must be a result of sin....of sin in the world. The flaw in me was dormant for over 50 years, but then life happened. And yes, I admit I helped it along with my choices.

I can go long periods "thinking" I'm okay - then I'll slip and eat the sweet - it's pretty much downhill from there. I can convince myself it doesn't affect me - my sugar can get QUITE high and I don't FEEL it - but it effects my body and little by little it destroys. I may "feel" fine...but this insidious disease is working to steal away my life.

Sin is a disease. Like diabetes, it is carried in the blood...and it destroys. There are lots of sins listed in the Bible that are now "politically incorrect" to believe....but it doesn't change the fact of what they will do. Sin still kills. Sometimes it does it slowly, sometimes at hyper speed...but it still kills.Whether it's gossip or adultery or drugs or lying or gluttony or any of the other sins listed...all will kill. They destroy.

So, do I just give up and do what I want? Do I try the excuse that this is just the way I was made? No. God did not make me to be a diabetic, but I am one...and my choices can kill or give life. Yes, He loves me just as I am...but it won't change the fact that the disease within me will kill.

Maybe it's time we gave up our excuses. They don't really change the truth, they just give us permission to keep on doing what is killing us. None of us is perfect, but facing the truth goes a long way toward stopping the enemy of our souls.

Romans 6:14-18

The Message (MSG)
12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

What Is True Freedom?

15-18 So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!

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