"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Self-pity, the seductive sin.

... for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23b KJV) When I sulk or otherwise feel sorry for myself, I demonstrate that I don't trust God's work in my life--my reaction is without faith in His sovereign love for me. The simplest scriptural connection imaginable leads to Romans 14:23, and its conclusion is inescapable. Self-pity is ingratitude. Unthankfulness, the King James word for ingratitude, is listed prominently among the attitudinal sins of 2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, ... Vs. 2 is part of a larger indictment of "church sin." Vss. 5-7 place these sinners within the church by inference: 2 Timothy 3:5-7 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The nominally religious have a form of godliness, and we can find them in virtually every congregation, from the most liberal, main-line denominations to the non-denominational, evangelical congregations. "Creeping into houses" suggests drawing "silly women" aside from the recognized leadership. Women aren't the only ones who are easily drawn into illicit, splinter loyalties. This speaks of any partisan spirit within the church body. Vs. 7 speaks of "Bible-study junkies," who take great pride in their Bible knowledge, yet resist the Holy Spirit's conviction about their prideful attitude. Is there a more accepted sin within the church than self-pity? An accepted sin is the most lethal kind, because no one comes against it. The opposite of self-pity is contentment. 1 Timothy 6:6... but it is great gain--the piety with contentment ... Contentment is a principle of godliness, and the analog of gratitude.

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