I had come to the end of my rope…
“I just can’t do this anymore,” I said sheepishly looking at my husband.
I had just reiterated (for the fiftieth time) my current struggles in life coupled with my feelings of inadequacy, and the proverbial “banging your head against your wall” that happens to us all when a Christian begins to experience sin and temptation in all it’s resplendent false glory.
My husband listened, nodded, sighed heavily a few times and lifted his head to look at me. “I don’t know what to do,” I said.
He shrugged. “Nothing.” He replied as if reading off of an item on my grocery list.
Wait a second… I just told you that I was struggling with temptation, and that I felt that I was drowning and your response to me was that I should do nothing?
“Nothing,” he replied again. “You need to keep putting yourself in it’s face.”
If your head didn’t just explode, stay with me.
How often in our Christian walk have we heard, “Run away from your sin…” ?
A few years ago now, I was struggling with an issue, and I sat down to talk with another woman about it. She shook her head and said, “You need to run… you need to run away from that right now.”
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I believe that there absolutely is a time and a place for running. If you feel yourself giving in to REAL temptation, then run. Run right then.
But, for some of us… those temptations are not as easy as “put down the bottle and walk away” because they’re less …physical.
The truth of the matter is that running sounds like the logical choice…
But wait a minute. If we run from temptation, what happens the next time we encounter it? Oh sure, we might not run into meth in our every day life, so resisting it once might sound really easy because heck, who knows when the next time we’ll encounter it again will be. Maybe never. Run once, and you won’t even have to look at meth for twenty years maybe. That’s simple!
But, alcohol… that might be a bit harder to always run from…
Porn… Even harder…
What about just old fashioned unforgiveness? … hitting a nerve there…
What about gossip? Having something against your brother? YIKES!!!
I’m not sure that you can always “run” from those kinds o things… and quite frankly, I think that this is one of the reasons that we start to lose people in the church. They can’t “handle” their own sin and have been told to “run from it”…
You know, I don’t think that the verse is “Run from your sin, and it will certainly, absolutely, never ever ever follow you at all…”
I’m pretty sure that ACTUALLY the verse is “RESIST the devil and he will flee…”
What what?!?!? SAY IT AGAIN! “RESIST SIN?! RESIST??? Not RUN FROM!!??”
Funny, I never really thought about this verse until my husband told me to continue to put myself in front of my “issue.”
I stewed over it for days until God reminded me of that very verse, and continued to point it out to me.
I wasn’t supposed to “run” from this sin because firstly that’s not what the bible says to do, but secondly, my sin is an issue of my heart not outright action, and BECAUSE of this running from it will only mean that it’ll chase me. That’s the nature of sin. Sin is in the heart and if you run from it, it’s still there. It’ll make another object, person, image, or drug the focus in no time flat.
This might sound nutty but it hit me like a ton of bricks.
A few nights later, I glared at my husband, “Everyone’s theology is flawed…you’re the one who’s right…” I smiled. He nodded at me, “I know,” he replied with a small smile. Then we talked about that verse.
You know what’s interesting? Since that revelation, I’ve felt stronger in this.
The idea that I can RESIST and not “run” actually gives me hope, and strength. I can stand up against my own selfish and foolish desires… and maybe I can have Victory.