Sunday, November 4, 2012

"and their foolish hearts were darkened."

This has been a pretty sucky kind of a rough weekend for me. I don't know what you guys do when you have days (or weekends or weeks or months) like this, but lately I've been finding myself opening up a book of the Bible and just kind of reading through it. Not necessarily for answers, mostly for a distraction from Above - but every time I do this, God brings me to a verse (or in this case, passage) that He needs me to see.

Last night, while lying in bed stressing out at 2 a.m., He brought me here:

Romans 1:21-26; 28-32

"21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions...

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."


It's such a sad story, don't you think? Like a horror-story of what can happen to your life when you turn away from God.

These people who knew God - knew all of the great things that He had done and could do - basically turned their backs on Him and ran around doing whatever they wanted. Since He gave us free will, he had to let them go, straight down the rabbit hole into a life of unrighteousness and all that that entails.

Of course, those of us who are Christians know the end of this story - that we have a merciful God who forgives us and takes us back in His arms the moment we repent. But still... imagine how sad that must make our Father? 

A part that especially hit me was the last verse: "not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Do any of you hang out with friends who do a lot of terrible things may not have the same standards as you, but you somehow think "as long as I'm not actually DOING x, y, or z like my friend, I'm okay?" Verses like Romans 1:32 convince me that somehow, this isn't okay either. I know that in order to be a good testimony we must coexist with the rest of the world, but maybe we should try to separate ourselves from certain situations, lest we be tempted by or associated with them. 

I wonder - does this passage stir the same thoughts in you all as it did in me last night? Leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

Thank you Lord, for always leading me to the messages You want me to hear. Continue to stir in me a desire to serve You above all, no matter the earthly sacrifices this might entail. Give me the courage to walk through this world and turn away from the things that I'm learning You abhor. Cultivate in me the wisdom to recognize when a situation is not pleasing to You, Father. In your name I pray, Amen.




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  2. It's a fine line between separating ourselves and appearing to be "better" than others. As Christians, we are definitely held to a higher standard of living. So we do our best to live in obedience.

    It doesn't matter what I do/say or what your friends do/say about this topic. What is the Spirit telling YOU? And that is your answer. If you are being led via Scripture and feel the moving of the Spirit in your heart/life then that is the direction you should go regardless of what others think/say. Just keep in mind that it's easy to lie to ourselves as well - or rather, to believe the lies Satan tells us.

    Truth is Truth. It can only be found in the Bible. After that, the choice is ours.

    Interesting topic!

  3. Great post! It made me think! I'm a youth leader, and I think this would be a great thing to share with them, so I'll be doing that! :)

  4. Visiting from SITS and found the post so thought-provoking. Anthony Robbins has a quote that says "People's lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group." The people you spend the most time with have the ability to hold you back in life or propel you forward. As I've grown older, I've realized that I'm less tolerant of people's behaviors--especially if they diminish others or myself. It's really hard to set up boundaries with people, but it makes a difference in the quality of your life. Jesus may have turned the other cheek, showing us how horrible human beings can be to others (especially someone like Jesus), but I don't know if he meant to show us that we were meant to be martyrs. Schools have policies for bullying and for other types of inappropriate behavior in the classroom, I think that's a fairly good barometer of what you should accept in your life.

  5. Swinging by from SITS. I definitely feel that over the years, I have honed a group of friends who share my values and it is all the better for it.

  6. A long time ago when I was a teenager, I asked my aunt if I looked all right. She said, "If you have to ask..." Perhaps that's where you start thinking. You had to ask, so what is your answer. I think you're already there. Enjoy your SITS Day.

  7. Visiting from SITS, God will always provide our needs in scripture or Holy Spirit.

  8. I had to explain this same thing to my 2 girls during their teen years (you are judged by the company you keep - and the explain that even though it is wrong to judge others, Christians are real good at it). I wish I had come across these verses when talking to them. but most of the time they listened.

    Happy SITS Day!