Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Easy Answer

I saw this status update on Facebook recently from a page I follow called Marriage Works!

Getting married does not make you blind to attractive people.  Still, it's imperative to honor God, yourself and your mate with your eyes & thoughts.  Share how you practice this.

Intrigued, I started reading some of the top comments.  The majority of the ones I read boiled the solution down to being "totally in love" with your spouse, because then you won't be tempted to let your eyes and thoughts wander.  I have to be honest with you about what I think about those comments.

They are a bunch of B.S.

That's the easy answer.  In a lot of circumstances, the answers the Church gives are the easy ones.  We don't get real about what is truly happening in our hearts.  Jesus never gave easy answers to the questions in our lives, especially dealing with temptation.  His answers are hard and make us think about the cost of choosing our way over His.  The enemy likes easy answers because they are full of us and not Christ.  Yes, today you maybe madly in love with your spouse.  Yes, today you might not be tempted to have a beer.  Yes, today you might be capable of resisting the urge to smack your kids when you are angry.  Yes, today any temptation that comes across your path is something you can handle by yourself.

But tomorrow is a different story.

Tomorrow something might hit you in the sweet spot.  There could be something or someone who turns your head away from the way of holy living.  Jesus knew it.  He told us it would happen!  He knew it firsthand because He lived a life like ours.

That's what it is all about.  It's not about what is possible in your own strength.  It is about what is possible in Christ.  We can't just say, "Oh yeah, I never struggle with ________."  We have to be honest and say, "You know, I struggle with that.  I've struggled with that for years.  But I have a God who has given me the strength, courage and power to love Him more than I love ________.  It's hard but in Christ, all things are possible."

I'm still struggling to be free from things hold me back.  I'm still at war with my flesh in a lot of ways.  For crying out loud, even the Apostle Paul, who had seen the Risen Christ face to face, still did the things he hated.  But I have a hope in me that things will not always be this way.  One day, my heart, mind and body will be on the same page.  One day, my flesh will be as willing to love Jesus over the things of this world as much as my spirit is.  Until then, I have to be on my guard and I have to confess my failures when they happen. 

We in the Church have got to start being real and acknowledge our weaknesses.  It is in those weaknesses that others can see the power of the Lord. We can't just give people the easy answer.  We need to be giving them real ones.

There is very little that is easy, on our own, about following Christ.  He never promised it would be.  He did promise an abundance of grace, mercy and forgiveness to cover us whether we are succeeding in faith or failing at it.  He promised He would be with us and would never turn His back us, no matter what.  He promised we would always be in His care and He would come back for us.  He promised He would send His own Spirit to connect us to Him, The Father and other believers so we can experience the maximum joy He died to give us.  He promised us eternity and all that goes with it.

And He keeps His promises.

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