Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dueling natures

As Christians we really like to talk about our dueling natures, how our flesh and our spirit are at war. We talk a lot about feeding our spirit more than we feed our dead sin nature. This sin nature tends to be far more alive and present than we would like to admit. Many of us, myself included, wind up implementing a failed policy of appeasement when tempted. Trying to feed our fleshes desires with substitutes that are either not bad or at least a lesser of two evils. The problem is this doesn't work, even if it prevents one failure it only make the next harder to avoid and the desires more frequent. The moment we do this we have already lost ground.

Fundamentally all spiritual battles are over one thing, your thoughts! It's over mind-shares that are measured in units of time. Salvation is the gradual renewal of the mind via maintaining a focus on a higher calling. We become a slave to whatever it is that steals our focus. Be it desires of the flesh, a negative situation, or simply dwelling on our own guilt and failures. We have to acknowledge them and many of them are not inherently evil. However, all of them will lead to sin and hurt the moment they become the focus. We are best off sticking to small, direct and consistent responses that require as little conscience thought as possible. The simpler the better!

The fleshly nature will never be fully satisfied, however the hunger is actually reduced more with moderation than it ever will be with excess. We just have to remain focused on our purpose rather than our ever changing physical and emotional state. Taking it one small step at a time and sticking to the same course regardless of how we happen to feel. In fact we must do this especially during the times we don't feel like it. We can either take charge of our emotions through choosing our thoughts and actions or have our thoughts and actions controlled by our bi-polar and inconstant emotional states.

This is something I have been struggling with most of my life. I have heard seen and even, at times, experienced the difference a little mental self discipline can make. The specific balance of our choices and actions require consistent self corrections that must be guided by consistency of focus. We will always get off course one direction or another, the key is making sure that we remain single minded and focused on the spiritual callings first. This is much like driving a car, you never have the wheel pointing exactly the right way to remain on the road, yet focusing intensely on the wheel would be just plain stupid. Even dummer still would be to get all bent out of shape every-time you had to make a small correction on the wheel!

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