We know better, but we still skirt as close to the line as possible; then we whine to God when we cross it…
7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. 8 He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house… Pr 7:7-8
In our “maturity,” we think that we have the restraint to stop when we want, but the reality is that once we are into something, we commit mentally to it. Also, we become subjective and, therefore, cannot be objective. In other words, we can’t see the forest because of the trees.
The young man in the chapter made a choice to go down her street. We, too, make a conscious decision to “go there” when we continue to flirt with sin.
What is there in our lives that draws us away from the throne of God and back into sin? Is it a physical place? An old neighborhood can lure some, or a specific bar. Is it a person? Some friends simply are not good for us. Is it our thought life? Porn of any kind takes us to a bad place (tv is now as bad as movies, especially now that movies are readily available on the internet).
But, it’s not just about getting rid of the things. We must replace them with holy things, beneficial things, in order to gain ground in our quest to be like our Savior. Let’s look at what the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 3:
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power.
This is the TRUE reality.
2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.
Deliberately think about His reality: read the Bible, Christian books, listen to Christian music, watch faith movies, talk about Him often, meet with other Christians and discuss His truths, PRAY!
3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
We have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20).
4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
We will be like Him! See 1 John 3:2.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for [lust after] the good things of this life, for that is idolatry.
We still have a lot of idols in our lives…
6 God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things.
This wrath is reserved for those who persist in rebellion. Let’s make sure we don’t!
7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world.
But, not anymore!!!
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds.
This is the putting off…
10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.
Our transformation, our sanctification.
11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free [male or female-Gal. 3:28]. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
We all have been given Son-status!
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
We are responsible to do these things. Our choices MATTER.
14 And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace.
Love and peace: two vital And wonderful ingredients to Christian living.
And always be thankful.
16 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
Christ’s words put to music is the best way to remember them. Our praise is our best weapon against the enemy, especially if we are singing His words!
17 And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father. Col 3:1-17
People are watching to see if our deeds match our faith. Let’s make sure it does.