Friday, September 08, 2006

Struggle and Sin

It has taken too long for me to rightly develop a theology of struggle. I have spent too many years equating the two, assuming that my struggles themselves were sinful. But I am slowly (and I hope not too late) understanding that life has two great teachers, the Holy Spirt and struggle. The writer of Hebrews points out (5:8) that even though Jesus was "a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered."

A lesson of Jesus' humanity is that he was in the same spiritual situation as me -- fully human. But when he was led (Matthew 4:1-11) by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil, he did so without sin -- being tempted is not a sin. He was tempted, absolutley tempted as I am, but he showed me that through the Spirit, resistance is possible. I need to take this truth and bury it deep inside me.


Cami said...

I'm thinking, "yoo hoo" at this one, Prof! Temptation builds strength for our spirits the same way body-building builds strength for our muscles; by resistance.

I mentioned this to my son the other day: We know some people that "have it all" in this world. Somehow they are able to skirt any acknowledgment of struggle by buying their way out of thinking about it. And I said to my son, it makes me think that God doesn't love them; He allows them to get away with this. After all, "Those Whom He loves He disciplines." I thank God that He allows all the struggles in my life, whether temptation or trial; it means HE LOVES ME!

I.I. said...

It's not that we are in favor of temptation, but we do recognize the power that overcoming it has!