Binge. Purge. Repeat.

Our culture is one of excess. We binge and purge. Everyone. There is really no exception. I’m not just talking about food. I’m talking about entertainment, spending, leisure, sex, social media, the list goes on. If you think you’re the exception then you can stop reading right now, I suppose I’m not talking to you.

I’m talking to people like me.

For example, someone might say (myself included), I don’t watch a lot of TV. Well, that’s nice. Neither do I. BUT when I find a show on Netflix that I like, I will watch it until there is no more to watch. Binge. I will deprive myself of sleep, I will shirk responsibility. When I have a bit of free time, guess where it’s going? And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get your spouse in on the action and you waste your lives together. What does it matter? There are only a limited number of shows you can watch, so eventually you will come out of your entertainment induced stupor and once again embrace the light of day.

But after I’ve wasted all my time with that, and finally walk squinting into the sunlight, I feel like I’m covered in some kind of film. Like there is a layer of crust on me. I feel like I need to take an ice-scraper to my soul. And I don’t think, “Man, that was fun. I should do that again.” I feel like I need to repent. Repentance is essentially changing my mind about what I did and deciding that what I had deemed as acceptable behavior is unacceptable and ultimately not glorifying to God. Therefore to engage in this type of behavior is unhealthy and sinful. It’s that simple. But then, reason creeps in and I start to make excuses. Do I really need to repent? Was what I did really that “bad”? So instead of repent and subjecting myself to really feeling any kind of grief over my sin, I just decide I’m not going to do it again for a while. Purge.

But that’s not the point. Our minds, if we let them, will reason from a fleshly angle. That is the default. They will always look at things from a human perspective, from a limited one. We have to make the conscious decision to see things the way God does. And He’s not looking down from heaven shaking his head or wagging His finger. He’s weeping. Because He sees that we’ve made the trade. We’ve decided to trade in the potential of abundant life for the momentary passing pleasure of self (aka sin). We binge and purge. We manage our sin to feel a little better and we definitely don’t call it sin. We hide it away, in the dark, and we tie a neat bow around it, because we’ve dealt with it…until next time.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. This is the first commandment.
— Mark 12:30

For me, this is one of the most convicting verses in the Bible. I don’t think about it a lot. And when I do, I don’t think about it for very long (that needs to change). But lately it keeps popping up. I can’t ignore it. I can’t just make it go away because it makes me uncomfortable. I hear God saying, “Love me with all of you; with all of who you are. And there you will find satisfaction. That is where the binging and purging ends, because there is no longer any need.”

…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us.
— 1 John 1:5-10

Walking in the light is not about living a sinless life, it’s about living every part of your life exposed to God. Jesus can’t forgive us of sins that lay hidden in the dark recesses of our hearts and we can’t love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength unless we expose all of ourselves to who He is. That means that we expose the parts that we’ve taken for ourselves. The parts that we’ve made excuses for. The parts we’ve “dealt with” because we decided it wasn’t sin in the first place. We cannot be trusted to define our own parameters for life. We have to trust the One who has given us life to define the parameters.

And that means we have to let God show us what is and isn’t sin. But we’ve become so sensitive to that word. Some people say we shouldn’t acknowledge sin because that’s “sin consciousness” and we are the “righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”. If Jesus has saved you, you are righteous, but that doesn’t mean we ignore sin because we don’t want to feel bad about ourselves. That’s like saying the kid who peed in the corner should still get a gold star because if he doesn’t he might feel bad (This is a HUGE issue in today’s society. Is it possible that the same mentality has crept its way into the church?). Am I saying we should walk around like, “Woe is me. I suck”? Nope, not that either. We wind up in a ditch with an excess of both of these perspectives. What I am saying is that instead of focusing on how our sin makes us feel (like poo) we should focus of Jesus’ ability to handle it, no matter what it is. I feel like I could write a book on this topic, but I digress.

Just imagine how far we could come, how beautiful life would be, if it was all surrendered to God. I know this is a process, and while I’m on this earth I will never “arrive”. But that also means there is always farther yet to come. There are always greater depths to plumb in the reality of God’s presence and the in the knowledge of Jesus and what He’s done for me. So, no more hiding. Because hiding has never done anyone any good. Yeah, feeling exposed is uncomfortable and when I allow the Holy Spirit to expose my sin it hurts. But it’s a good hurt. It’s a healing hurt because He doesn’t leave me hurting. He heals me, he binds my wounds.  And in the end, when all is said and done, it is so worth it. 

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Tweet this - "Walking in the light is not about living a sinless life, it’s about living every part of your life exposed to God."

Tweet this - "Instead of focusing on how sin makes us feel (like poo) we should focus of Jesus’ ability to handle it, no matter what it is."

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