Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 4, 2019
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Should you not rather have mourned, so that he who has done this would have been removed from among you? 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NRSV)
How do you respond when confronted with sin? Do you find yourself open and receptive to the feedback of others, believing that they may see something in your life, family, or community that you don’t, or are you dismissive and defensive of their uninvited intrusion? Perhaps framed another way, do you have trusted mentors that you have invited into your life in intimate and vulnerable ways, giving them permission to speak loving words of correction if and when they are needed?
It is remarkably easy to live life in the shadows. Especially in the digital age, so much of our life is known only to us. This is a remarkably modern concept and would have been utterly foreign to St. Paul and the early Christian churches he founded. They lived life in a fishbowl, with their virtues and vices clearly known by others. Yet whether the sin is held in secret or widely known by all, the ailment and the treatment is the same.
A sign of the Holy Spirit’s work is a consistent sensitivity to patterns of sin in your life and an unease with allowing them to root and establish themselves. I believe this was St. Paul’s fear for the church in Corinth. They had members of the church community living in open and notorious sin, a kind of brokenness that would have been scandalous even to their surrounding pagan, free-thinking culture. And yet rather than feeling sorrowful and mourning how this had harmed the integrity of their community and witness, they shrugged it off as no big deal. Sin had moved in and they were happy to let it set up shop.
Are there longstanding patterns of sin in your life that you’ve allowed to persist? While it may be tempting to find excuses to justify the behavior, faithfulness to Jesus requires us to flee prideful arrogance and instead bring our sin out into the light. Painful as it surely is, this is the only step towards true and lasting health and freedom, trusting and believing that God longs to restore to us his joy, freedom, and perfect love.
Father, thank you that you love us enough to not leave us in our sin but instead tenderly draw us out and give us the courage to live bold and open lives before you and your people. Amen.
What sin patterns in your life do you need to uproot and bring out into the light?
A sign of the Holy Spirit’s work is a sensitivity to patterns of sin in our life and an unease with allowing them to root in and establish themselves. #WisdomHunters #uprootsin
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