Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a Costly Sum of Adding All the Parts

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2a.  Half of my first memory scripture verse of 2011 (if you want to join in this activity, let me know, I have some cute giveaway spirals to hold your verses). 

Pattern of world:  CS Lewis in The Screwtape Letters captures a conformed to the world mind:  "it does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing.  Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick."

Paul's point, contrast in Romans is my thoughts are fitting comfortably into the pattern of the world or changed by renewal--one of the other.  Lewis paints a picture of how that quilt of conformity is stitched together, though "small sins."  

What is a small sin?

If sin is anything that is independent of God, any separation from Christ (which Scripture points to is embracing "the world"), than what are the small sins:  cards in Lewis' world.

In considering the immediate past, I came up with three categories--a pattern--that I fall (jump?) into.
1.  Careless words
2.  Worthless reading/TV consumption
3.  Selfish Posture

  • I do not think before I speak.  Pray and pursue the pause button.  Use words to make relationships better/stronger.
  • Worthless reading/TV consumption--garbage in.  I underestimate the influence of exposing my mind to trash.  I must seek out entertainment that has some value I can point to--distraction and boredom are not enough.
  • Selfish Posture:  how do I feel, what is my conclusion, I am right.  Me as a theme.  I need not be my first consideration.  Intentionally think about others, and not, "what are they thinking?"

In thinking through this, its obvious to me how the small sins add up to a destructive conformity--why, because it is comfortable to continue on that path without feeling its cost.

Looking at this, I am starting to see the cost and the great gift, the valuable gift of a renewed mind. 

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?