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.

2 comments:

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!