Friday, 6 May 2016

My Sinful Old Shirt

"I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! 
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." (Romans 7: 21-25)
I have an old tee-shirt. When I first received it, it wasn’t particularly comfy. Yet over the years, with hundreds upon hundreds of washes, its threading began to decay.  It became thinner, softer, almost silky … analogous to a woman’s nylons. It feels like a satin epidermal layer on top of my skin. It actually seems to breathe, is exceptional on an hot summer day, and almost transparent at parts.  Most shirts are thrown out long before this, yet this one, for whatever reason, has managed to survive.  Lately, it has started to develop some holes, and some seams have formed bumps and runs. It doesn’t look as good as it once did, and is now only worn on exceptionally hot days in the back yard.  It takes years to make a shirt like this, and I do not wish to end this relationship, this engagement, with it. Women may roll their eyes and contemplate male insanity, yet I love my old worn out tee-shirt.  If you have such a shirt, you know that your mother, girlfriend, or wife will hate it. So find a good place to store it, so it doesn’t mysteriously disappear one day.

Sometimes I wonder if sin is like my favorite old tee-shirt. That there are particular vices that we have contended with for so long, that we have actually become complacent with them. A familiarity has set in with it, not so much a pulling temptation, but perhaps a simple act of habit, or boredom.  You have worn it for so long, and are so comfy with it, that you now accept it, and almost enjoy its comfort. If I wear my ugly, hole ridden shirt enough, I become desensitized to seeing it in a mirror.  Could some sinful vice, which should have been thrown out long ago, have morphed into a comfy soother. Does sin cling to you like a comfortable shirt? Truly Paul speaks the truth:  "What a wretched man I am" to hold onto something which should have been thrown out long ago. Throw that metaphorical old shirt out, and cover yourself with the blood of the Lamb. It feels far better and looks great.

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