November 24, 2019
Scripture: Romans 7:24
I’m a miserable human being. Who will deliver me from this dead corpse?
Thought for the Day: Can I be honest? I have always loved this passage! The old King James Version has Paul referring to himself as Wretched. Now when I say I like it, it’s not because I believe we should have a negative self image. Absolutely not! Christianity has gone through periods where it has enjoyed self-flagellation. Important side note, flagellation is different from flatulation (as in, flatulence). That was one embarrassing moment in my ministry where a word came out of my mouth before I knew it was out. Back to my point, there have been Christ Followers who believed that self-harm, either to connect with Christ’s sacrifice or as a way of punishing oneself, was important to the life of faith. It’s ok, even important, to keep the ego in check. There have been a few times when I got knocked off my high horse, and though it hurt, it was probably a good. But there is nothing in scripture that would encourage us to intentionally hurt ourselves for the sake of hurting ourselves. Yes, Christ-following requires sacrifice that might include suffering, even death for some. But such sacrifice is done with the intention of love for the other and love for the self. The great saints didn’t injure themselves, but because of their unconditional Christ-like love, the world pushed back. If we are really living the Jesus-life, we don’t need to beat ourselves up. The world will probably do a pretty good job of it.
Prayer: Keep me doing the work of love, O Giver of the Christ. Keep me focused, even when others and society push back. Let the love you have for me allow me to celebrate a love of both self and neighbor. Amen.
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