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Posts Tagged ‘sin’

“PLEASURE”?

As I’ve been trying to overcome my “need” for the pleasure of addiction, I found the following description of pleasure from C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters on point:

[This is a fictional elder demon writing to a younger, less experienced demon]

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s [God’s] ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is [God’s] invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever-increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula…. To get the man’s soul and give NOTHING in return–that is what really gladdens [Satan’s] heart.”

That definitely sounds like addiction to me: “an ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure.” Selling my soul and getting nothing in return.

It is good to remember, however, that pleasure is not the problem. God created pleasure for our enjoyment. It is seeking pleasure in the wrong ways–from drugs, acts, and things as opposed to affection, love, and people–that is the problem.

We were made for pleasure.

Addiction robs us of this gift.

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I crawl to you
With ten fingers smoking
From turning the pages of sin

With my spirit choking
From earning the wages of sin

A bridge away from justified

A step away from whole

Restore my soul!

+ Steve Hindalong/The Choir, “Restore My Soul” (Circle Slide – 1991)

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John the Baptist
John the Baptist

Heard John the Baptist preaching,
“Make way for the King!
… but if you want to recognize him,
you gotta tell me all your sins.”

+ Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love, “Welcome to Struggleville”

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So I stole down to the waterfront
to escape the desert heat
Oh what on earth you gotta do around here
to try and get yourself a drink

Heard John the Baptist preaching
“Make way for the King
But if you want to recognize Him
you gotta tell me all your sins!”

+ Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love, “Welcome to Struglleville” (1994)

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O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord God of hosts;
do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me, O God of Israel.

+ Psalm 69:5-6

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I chose the better part, and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it.
– Dr. Henry Jekyll

 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

+ Philippians 3:12-14

 

This is the holy tension of the Christian life: we aim for that which we know we will not attain in this life.

+ Luke Gilkerson

 

There is a marvelous discussion of the battle against sin over on the Breaking Free blog. Luke Gilkerson is writing a series of reflection on John Owen’s book, Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers. In Part VI of Luke’s reflections, he spends some time discussin what things are not truly the mortification (or killing) of sin:

  1. Mortification is not the utter destruction of sin
  2. Mortification is not merely outward behavioral change
  3. Mortification is not having a quiet and sedate personality
  4. Mortification is not the diversion of sin
  5. Mortification is not occasional and superficial conquests over sin

Luke takes some time to explain each of these points and draws in a wonderful analogy from the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To read Luke’s blog entry, go to:  Mortification of Sin (Part 6)

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ADDICTION

I am the adulteress
and the penitent man
I’m the cunning culprit
and the little lamb

and I love all God’s creatures

all but one:

this
Chameleon

—Mike Knott, “Chameleon” (Life of David – 2001) (Painting also by Mike Knott)

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