your dirty little…..

February 23, 2016

christ on cross

In your last devotion, hopefully you began to share some of the main areas of sin in your life. Identifying those areas is one step in the process of confession. However, it is critical to move beyond that initial acknowledgment of sin to an examination of the inner dynamics of it.

 

Over the next two devotions, I’m asking that each you talk about how a particular sin issue affects his or her life, using the creative format of a letter from an imaginary personal demon (as in the screwtape letters )as a means of opening communication and increasing vulnerability. This exercise will encourage you to think about how your specific sin operates, what payoff you hope for from the sin, and what habits and ways of thinking from our culture or your personal history the sin stems from.

There’s a key phrase in the above paragraph, one you’ll find few if any preachers ever talk about, “the payoff or benefit” of your favorite sin. There is a benefit to the one sin you keep falling into. I could name them but if I missed one you’d use it as an excuse to think I wasn’t talking to you. But I am talking to you and the sin you love, oh, I get it, you fight it, struggle against it, make vows, count the days in between. It’s like teens never carrying a condemn because they would have to admit they were planning or hoping having sex would happen, but when it did it was an accident, it’s wasn’t something I planned.

It just happened, how many times have you told yourself that.

In his marvelous book The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis used the correspondence between a supervising demon, Screwtape, and his young apprentice, Wormwood, to give a behind-the-scenes look at the machinations of evil. Readers get a glimpse of how evil conspires to work with a person’s strengths and weaknesses in order to encourage moral and spiritual failure or at least to make the person live a baneful existence. The young demon is supposed to manipulate “his” human’s desires and twist his efforts at love and wisdom so that they end up in sin or failure.

 

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. (Galatians 6:1-5)

If you don’t confess your areas of greatest struggle to someone, the secrecy of that sin and the bearing of that sin on your own may be giving that sin even more control over your life. Make sure that someone in your life whom you trust and respect is aware of that sin and can support you in overcoming that area.

The power of a secret is broken, once it’s no longer a secret.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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