21 September 2018

This 'n' That

The dentist always asks me if I can open a bit wider. And
everybody says I have a big mouth!
Have you ever bitten your tongue? It hurts! Now, have you ever bitten your tongue while it was numb, for instance, if you were at the dentist? I have. When this happens, the novocaine acts as both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it prevents you from feeling that initial painful chomp. It's a curse because once it wears off, wow, does your mouth hurt! In addition to the sheer pain you're experiencing, you suddenly realize just how much you actually use your tongue, and what a necessary member of your body it is.

There are a few routes we can go with this illustration, but I'm just going to select one. Sometimes we sin without pain. We sin, we know we have sinned, we feel guilty and repentant about our sin, but beyond that we may not see immediate effects of our sin. When I bit my tongue under the effects of novocaine, I didn't feel a thing, I only heard the crunch. It wasn't until I could look in a mirror and see the aesthetic effects that I was able to be mindful of how carefully I must chew until the numbness wore off. And it wasn't until the numbness wore off that I was fully aware of the painful effects of my action.

Depending on the sin, it may be years before we see the true consequences of what we've done. That is why it is essential for us as Christians to be in an ever-repentant state of mind, so that we do not slip into the deceitful, numbing ease of sin. That is also why it is a blessing that God, in His goodness and grace, allows us to see in ourselves both how we have grown spiritually, and where we may still be immature. What Christian cannot say that she becomes more aware of her sin as she grows in Christ? This is because, as He grows us into maturity and more into His likeness, we become keenly aware of how unChristlike we are, and how dependent we are on Him and His grace. And yet He continues to sanctify us by the enabling power of His Holy Spirit. He does not leave us to pull up our own spiritual bootstraps and fix ourselves. Best of all, when we do sin, which we inevitably will daily, through His Word He reminds us that we are already forgiven.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If we have been saved, we have already been justified before God in Christ. We confess and repent of our sins in time that we may reap the benefits of His forgiveness and continue in sanctification, growing in the grace and the knowledge of the Son.

That's all very good news, isn't it? I think it is!

I'm a little short on links this week because I'm weary of hearing about social justice and politics and would prefer that we all go back to what matters: God's Word. So with that, why don't you grab a snack (and watch your tongue while you chew it!) and enjoy your abbreviated week in review (kind of):
  • How do you reconcile depression and the Christian faith?
  • Wow, we just keep spiraling downward. I don't understand people who think this world is getting better.
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • An interesting article: "The Bible teaches that our desires—all of them, voluntary or involuntary—are morally implicated."
  • This looks like a good read.
When we believe that we ought to be satisfied, rather than God glorified, we set God below ourselves, imagine that He should submit His own honor to our advantage; we make ourselves more glorious than God, as though we were not made for Him, but He made for us; this is to have a very low esteem of the majesty of God. —Stephen Charnock

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