Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Destructive Mind-Set

People don’t like to think, talk, or hear about sin. What is “sin”? Is that one of those old-fashioned thunder-and-damnation concepts?

Nope. It’s very modern. Sin is anything that keeps us from having a close personal relationship with God. Not counting the obvious mistakes of the flesh like pornography, drug abuse, and murder, we are besieged by obsessive resentment, stubborn self-reliance, deceit, anger, fear, intimidation, cynicism, anxiety......on and on, endlessly. Even if we are Christians.

In Jeremiah 8, God says people always turn away—they cling to deceit, refuse to return to him, don’t say what is right, won’t repent of their wickedness. They pursue their own course. They don’t know about God, and they don’t try to know. They aren’t taught the truth. People act like their wounds aren’t serious. Verse 11 says, “’Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

He was talking about the ancient Hebrews, but it sounds a lot like us, doesn't it?

Those are sin-sick souls—people who are for some reason separate from God, not coming to him for the peace and comfort he offers. By “sin” I mean anything that separates us from God—keeps us from seeking him.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers talks about maladies of the spirit. He says that when we come to the point where we believe in Jesus Christ, his mind comes into our minds, through the Holy Spirit, and we begin to see things the way he sees them. The temptations we face become different than before, designed by Satan for our new mind-set, which is the Christ-in-us instead of the way we were before we knew him. Because of Christ, we may no longer be susceptible to sin involving the body, so he tries to hook our minds on destructive ways of thinking. And he does a pretty good job of it.

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest. Urichsville, OH: Barbour, 1963. Sept. 18 entry.

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