Refusing Treatment Pt. II

By Jonathon Hubbard

The last time we spoke, we talked about this malignant sinful nature… this desire to do what is right, coupled with the hunger for poisonous thoughts and activities.  We’re sinaholics… each and every one of us… but there is a balm in Gilead!

Previously, we also talked a little bit about we ourselves being our own worst enemies.  The fact that more times than not; we convince ourselves that giving up is ok… that we’re too tired to go on, or my personal favorite… we have everlasting access to forgiveness and God knows our hearts.  In that moment of weakness, we trade short-term relief, for long-term pain.  We trade momentary pleasure for lasting hurt.  Some of us have been doing this for so long that we don’t even have to lie to ourselves anymore.  We know that this time isn’t different… that the more we give in, the dimmer that glimmer of hope that we are not bound to this sin gets.  We know that… but our inability to stop has turned into an inability to care.  We’re all too familiar with the process… the way pleasure fades to numbness and numbness indicates that a very visceral pain is yet to come.  It’s not even about the momentary pleasure being worth the self destruction… we know it’s not… yet still, we can’t stop.
To understand sin, I think, is to understand the tipping point.  The tipping point is defined as the level at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable… the threshold… the boiling point at which good intentions fall victim to ill will.  The truth is, we live in a very colorful world.  Decisions are seldom made considering the black and white… most times there are multiple shade of grey.  However, for the sake of conversation, let’s talk about the black and the white.  The clear “do’s” and “don’ts.”  No need to get terribly specific… I mean we all have our vices, it’s part of being human.  However, how many of us are taunting the very grip we know we can’t get out of?  Even now, I’m starting to think to myself, how many times have I put myself in losing situations?  How many times have I convinced myself that I’m much stronger than I truly am… told her it was ok to spend the night with the greatest of intentions, just to see those intentions dwindle as this disease takes over.  I mean… any given night I could be strong enough to make the right decision… I’ve done it before.  Then again, any given night I could make a bad decision… and I’ve been there before as well.  Understanding that trials and tribulations are a part of this life, why test myself?  Why not leave placement of the tests up to the teacher?  I fail to remember a time when it was appropriate to walk out of a midterm explaining to my professor that I already tested myself and passed with flying colors.  I guarantee you the professor wouldn’t care… because it wasn’t his test I passed (wow, please don’t miss that).  Furthermore, who better to know when we are ready, than the teacher?  You see, a lot of us are going around prematurely testing ourselves and suffering substantial setbacks, only to fail the big one.   If only we had waited until we were ready…
On second thought… are we ever really ready?  If we treat sin as the malignant disease that it is… the genetic predisposition that I described in church… then it doesn’t go away.  For that matter, we are always liable to give-in to the temptation of the flesh.  Maybe Joseph wasn’t as morally strong as the bible suggests.  Maybe he just knew his tipping point and stayed as far away from the edge as humanly possible.  In Verse 39 of Genesis it says that Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife when faced with sexual immorality.  He even left his cloak in her hand when she grabbed a hold of him.  The verse doesn’t talk about Joseph kickin it with Potiphar’s wife after hours and having the strength to walk away after a few glasses of wine.  Joseph was a man of tremendous integrity… why are we asking ourselves to do things that possibly Joseph couldn’t even do?  Maybe we are every bit as strong as we all think we are… but then again, the possibility that we aren’t should be reason enough not to test the limits.  The older I get the more I understand that true strength is a lot like true wisdom.  The wiser you are, the more you understand that you really know nothing at all.  Perhaps the stronger you get, the more you come to realize how weak you truly are.  Maybe the strength, much like the wisdom, is in the understanding of the depth of the spectrum, not necessarily where one falls on it.
Peace & Love,

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