No thanks, I’m full

I’m leaving for California today, and traveling this week, so I didn’t have time to record the post.

Someone I love asked me if my morality lived inside me or if it was externally mandated. We were circling whether humanity had an innate sense of right and wrong—because sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. I think he leaned toward “yes,” so there was no excuse for pillaging the earth, the animals and your neighbor.

But I waver. You never have to teach a child selfishness. You teach them what is allowed in your house. Most childhood choices toward morality are because of fear of punishment or in search of praise from guardians. Later, the same motivation comes from school, employers and local law enforcement. Somewhere along the way comes the age of reasoning and we discover we have a choice if we can hide it, and get away with it. 

My loved-one challenged that if morality wasn’t part of me/didn’t live inside of me, then: “What is your morality worth, mom?”

The question made me pause. Discerning right from wrong and choosing it are two different beasts. Is either one naturally inside of me?

At the time of the conversation, I was deciding how to deal with remorse over sin I was grappling with. So I could unequivocally answer, “No, my morality does not live inside of me. It is externally mandated.” I would live differently. I would be a little more concerned with protecting my interests than the interests of others if I did not believe in God.

But I answer to the one to whom I have entrusted my eternity. If God tells me that something is not good for my soul, I have to make a choice. And it isn’t just a search for praise or a “good girl” pat on my head. He doesn’t dole out raffle tickets for good choices.

If I choose the item or action that God says is wrong, I have separation from peace internally. I think this is where the cognitive dissonance comes into play that I mentioned last week. You cannot be miserable for long. Any relief is needed, from withdrawing from life…to justification of the action…to “fablizing” God. 

One of my kids told me as a young adult that they’d had a revelation. “We (mankind) can justify anything.” Your mind probably went right to the “culture war.” The world has to skew right and wrong to live with themselves, am I right? We Christians know right from wrong. We’re so filled up with truth, we couldn’t possibly have another bite. 

We bring “that kind of person” out into the noisy square, caught in the act. We remind Jesus that the law of Moses tells us to stone them. But he’s busy
writing something in the dust. So we persist in our accusations.

Only, in this age, he was not sent to condemn.   

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/colin00b-346653/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3104355">Colin Behrens</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3104355">Pixabay</a>
If disconnected, there is no light inside of me.

We are all “actively” sinning. It’s just seems easier to hide jealousy and bitterness, pretending there isn’t a generational legacy. We promise ourselves they aren’t as bad as sex-sins. Because, after all, there is a differentiation for sex-sins in the Bible. So aren’t they more damaging to the culture than bouts of rage and destroying a person’s will to live through exclusion and gossip?

Maybe there is a difference. First Corinthians 6:18 says sex hurts your own body. (It must imply consensual because non-consensual hurts everyone involved.) All other sins are outside your body and destroy communities.

However, this blog is not for those far from God, but the over-churched who have read the writing in the dust. Because sin so easily entangles, we also need periodic enlightening moments. It’s not like we’re so much better at resisting sin unless we practice.

We also have the choice to acknowledge something wrong and give it up, spiral into depression, justify it, or question God. My main prayer, the older I get, is to just give it up quicker. (I had a birthday yesterday…so here’s to faster repentance than last year!)

Be empty, not full

It is Christ’s righteousness we put on. It is his morality we seek. Even though God dwells in me, I’m convinced all of it is outside of me. The process of sanctification is bringing it inside, eating and drinking his body until it becomes part of me. Abiding until then. 

Rather than thinking about those who do wrong outside of the faith, I need to read what our Holy God has written in my heart to me.

And rather than look around at the circle of fellow believers also pointing with me, I am convicted that I should be as quick to turn believers over to God as believers are to turn each other over to Satan.

Since God could break me off for unbelief, I have enough to worry about in my own walk.

When we’re entrenched in the culture war we forget a more ancient and eternal war is already taking place—and it has nothing to do with our culture, 401k, curriculum and borders. And it has nothing to do with how non-believer’s live their lives.

It’s fine to be called to serve in humanity’s wars. I think the problem is when we confuse the two.

And start thinking that all good rises from within ourselves instead of coming down from the Father of lights.

 

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