Welcome to the Jungle, Part 5

Christ’s followers will spend their lifetimes attempting to overcome the curse.  It is appropriate that we do so for in such strivings we are confronting the effects of sin.  Our efforts are not always fruitful but are never futile.  Since we are all fallen, our best attempts are incomplete and our worst inadequate.  That we do not know where to begin, in some cases, does not excuse indolence as we are fitted for the battles by our Commander.  In the end, we will find that not all aspects of the fall are amenable to redress though this fact does not mitigate the aberrations.  The biblical Old Covenant explains the fall and shows us the seriousness and scope of sin, and the New Covenant reveals to us that salvation and grace are adequate for debts incurred.

Disease and disability are defined as departures from health.  Now, there are parameters of good health, and some deficiencies are longstanding or incurable.  Though there are problems, we do not cease efforts to make life as bearable as possible.  If we cannot overcome the curse, we can contend with it.  This charge was given to Adam in Eden after the fall.  Difficulty is a part of life, and, in a strange way, adds flavor to living.  The effects of sin are so great that some defects in the physical realm are confusing and damaging to the life in extreme ways.  This is not because God is not good.  Sinfulness is the reason that people live in imperfection.  These iniquities are both impersonal and personal and ensue from our deeds and our race.

We do not think as we should.  Some mental dysfunctions are clinical in nature though these exist on scales and may not always be formalized.  Our mental states are fallen, and this includes recognized disorders, specific predilections and the unruly nature of our thought lives.  Because we have thoughts doesn’t mean they have merit.  Paul said we are to bring them captive to Christ.  If our thoughts do not conform to the revealed Word of God, they are wrong and need to be changed.  It is fairly common for people to believe they cannot control their thoughts, but this is not biblically correct.  We are to strive against the effects of the fall on our mentality.  Many believers have not learned the difference between God’s will and their own. 

Emotional involvement in any area can place us in great danger.  Feelings are fine things, enhancing our lives, yet they carry a fair amount of blindness no matter the intentions.  People tend to believe that, if a feeling runs deep, it is God-given, correct and beyond examination.  For some this leads them to counter reality on the basis of feelings.  While we do not deny feelings, we make them subject to reality and divine revelation.  There are, indeed, some men who feel like women in certain ways, yet this does not make them actual women.  The explanation for such beliefs (and there are others) is found in understanding the scope of the fall and the curse of sin.  That we are sincere is not evidence that we are correct.

In the end, the primary struggle is with the sinful nature we all received as a consequence of the fall.  The aspects of battle are complex, encompassing the physical world, issues of health, quality of life concerns, mental stability, emotional well-being and actual deeds.  The tendency to do the wrong thing is ever with us, whether it is to abuse others or to authorize sinfulness in our own lives.  As we attempt to correct faults outside ourselves, let us address the faults within ourselves.  We will never be free from the effects of sin, but we can limit its influence in our lives.  The standard of judgment is not internal.  Truth exists outside our selves.  Fortunately, it is revealed and accessible.  Those who seek, find, and those who knock receive admittance.

Sterl

 

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