Thursday, June 11, 2020

Accommodating Sin Is Like The Frog In The Pot

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness ….. and do not give the devil a foothold.”  – Ephesians 4:17-24,27

The Bible is clear about how we, as Christians, are to conduct ourselves.  What we are supposed to embrace and what we must reject. And that, by the power of the Spirit of God in us and not because we decide to live rightly and obey the Word of God because we will try harder and will do our best to resist the temptation to do otherwise.  Living in this world among those who are not born again means that every day we are faced with what that world deems right.  Not everything is wrong, but that is the point.  There is just enough of what seems right to draw us in. To give the devil a foothold in our lives. In other words, to accommodate sin a little bit. And then a little bit more until we are “cooked” living just like we would have apart from Christ. Justifying the way we live and what we embrace as being “OK”. Not really that bad. Yet, in our heart, there is a tugging of the Spirit of God – reminding us of the life we have been called to.

Martie and I like to watch British television.  In particular, crime shows.  Something we have noticed.  As time passes and the series and episodes progress, the profane language and explicit sex and nudity increases.  We cannot abide by it so we stop watching.  Like the frog in the pot, the carnality increases little bit by little bit. The change is almost imperceptible .. like the frog in the pot .. at the beginning, it is comfortable .. not really all that offensive.  Like the analogy goes, if you toss the frog into boiling water he jumps out. But, if you put the frog in cool water and then slowly turn up the heat, he will cook. It is the same way with the temptation to embrace our old nature and what the world deems as right and acceptable.

I recall years ago when our children were small.  Mandi brought a friend home and they wanted to watch a video.  I put the one they wanted to watch in the VCR player (remember those?) and they settled down in front of the TV.  Suddenly Mandi’s friend jerked back and gasped. It alarmed me and asked her if she was OK.  She said she was. The only thing that could have alarmed her was what they were watching. I rewound the tape a few minutes and listened. One of the characters had used God’s name in vain. I have never heard it before even though I had watched the video with the children many times.  That rating would make you think it was safe for young ears, and for that matter Christian ears.

What was the problem? For context, I was in the Army at the time.  I listened to profanity every day. Profane words were part of the Army dictionary.  Although I  did not use them myself, I heard them and then filtered them out so I didn’t hear them anymore. So long as I didn’t use profanity myself, no harm no foul or so I thought.

 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29

So long as I didn’t use those words myself, I was good to go.  That is until my insensitivity tossed my daughter’s young friend into a verbal pot of boiling water. I have not forgotten that to this day. I was responsible for her hearing what she heard. Trivial you think? I had violated her parent’s trust that she was playing in a safe place with a child whose parents were Christians.  Does that seem trivial to you? If so, you should be concerned.

Listen – we all are hammered, day after day, by the influence of the world.  Like water pounding on a rock, slowly, imperceptibly wearing the rock away, day after day. It seems not so bad .. until the water has come to a boil.  We must guard our heart. We taught our children the song – “Oh be careful little eyes what you see, little ears what you hear, little tongue what you say, little hands what you do, little feet where you go” … as if that only applies to children .. it applies to all of us … if we are born again, we are children of the Most High God .. we must not forget!

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight head; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:23-27

Be alert. The Bible is full of these admonitions. God does not waste words. He inspired the writers for a reason. Because we need to hear them – to read them – to embrace them – to heed them. The world says – to prove that you are a “good and acceptable” person you must embrace sin. But God says ….

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 5:8-11

Let your light shine!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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