Tuesday, June 7, 2016

That Which We Embrace

Matilda got a new toy. 
No matter the stuffed animal, she cuddles next to it.

She also rips out its eyeballs.

Like Matilda and her stuffed toys, we are attracted to that which is cute, fuzzy and makes us feel good.  We may even embrace it. 

But not everything that draws us is good for us.  Don't believe me?  Ask me about that "cake for one" thing Chief's supermarket has now.  Yeah, it's a problem. 

I Corinthians 10:23 (that would be "First Corinthians" not "One Corinthians") says - in a variety of translations:

Phillips:  As I have said before, the Christian position is this: I may do anything, but everything is not useful. Yes, I may do anything but everything is not constructive. Let no man, then, set his own advantage as his objective, but rather the good of his neighbor.

English Standard:  “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

The Message:  Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.

What the Message says - "the point is NOT TO GET BY" is key.  We are to be deliberate in our choices, thinking them through, how a choice I make effects others, not just how I FEEL about said activity.

Perhaps you, like me, were raised in a culture that gives the impression that what is EVIL is dressed in red and has a pointy tail and ears, like that which is bad for us would be extremely obvious so of course we would avoid it like the black plague.

But oh no, it is not.  It is topped with chocolate icing, a dollop of whipped cream and stuffed provocatively in one of those plastic clam shell containers.  Did I forget to mention the cherry on top?

Yeah, that's certainly legal.  It is within my freedom to consume it.  But it certainly doesn't help me live well IN THE LONG RUN.  And in a consumeristic "please me now" "feed my emotions" culture, we forget all about the long run.

Before you nuzzle up to that which draws you in, be sure to set aside the "feels" and do the hard work of the "thinks".  "Let us reason together" to see if our choices stand for more than "getting by."

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