I came across an article of John Piper’s recently in which he listed five besetting sins with which he struggles.
I chuckled bitterly. If only my list were that short.
Not that Piper claimed only five besetting sins, but I don’t even know how he could tier them. Mine certainly don’t lend themselves to such stratification.
They cling. They bite at my heels. They relentlessly pursue, like a dog who will not yield the chase, or the zombie who knows nothing but the taste of living blood.
I am not rolling over, mind you. One could say that I am winning more skirmishes than I used to. But something in my heart refuses such encouragement. Total eradication is the goal. If I content myself with less, I will accomplish less.
And there are days in which I do indeed accomplish much less. Days that seem dominated, marked, headlined by sin.
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hang in there 🙂
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I kind of diverge a bit from Piper on a few issues, and this is one of them. One problem with focusing on our sin is that we are once again focusing on ourselves. We need to focus on Jesus instead, to see His grace and mercy, to see how we are made in His image. When God looks at us,He doesn’t see our sin, He sees the righteousness of Christ within us. When we can perceive ourselves the way God does, sin tends to just fall away, not by our own effort.
In addiction, eating disorders, things like that that plague us, one of the worst things we can do is to try to will it away on our own. Our own will is generally what causes our afflictions in the first place. With addicts,one of the first things we want them to see and grasp is that they are powerless, their lives are now unmanageable, and they cannot control their addiction. It is often in that surrender of will, that letting go, that healing can actually begin. Often God either can’t or won’t try to fix what we have not willingly given to Him, placed in His hands.
Sin in parts of the Christian world can be a bit like that,”I have to control my sin, I have to will it away,I have to make it happen myself.” But of course if we actually had that power ourselves,then we would not have needed a Savior in the first place.
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I dunno, those things sound very much like things Piper would say, don’t they?