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“What if, sometimes, there be mists and fogs so thick that I cannot see the path? It is enough that You hold my hand, and guide me in the darkness; for walking with You in the gloom is far sweeter and safer than walking alone in the sunlight!” -Susannah Spurgeon
Part of fulfilling my job as a nanny includes filling these little hearts and minds with books, songs, stories, and words that drive their thoughts, hearts, and affections to the only righteous One. Here are some of my recommendations for doing so. (Link in bio.)
Lilli was praying while coloring earlier and said, “God, I love You when You’re the same and I still love You when You’re not the same.” • This echoes a lot of conversations we have on a daily basis, conversations of how she is loved regardless of her actions and how we “love you when you listen and we love you don’t.” • “Hey, Lilli, want to hear some amazing news?” • She always does. • “God never changes,” I tell her. “He’s always the same.” • “Wow.” • “How does that make you feel?” • She smiled so big. “It makes me feel really happy.” • “Why would that make you happy?” • “Because I love Him and I want Him to come everywhere with me and if He never changes it means He is always with me.” • She’s three years old. • Solid theology is a comfort for every age. Praise God for His immutability.
“Are you not willing to pass through every ordeal if by any means you may save some?” -Charles Spurgeon

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 140 – Do you resist good things? I do.

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I resist good things. 

That’s what I learned about myself this week.
For real. And, yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

It goes back to what I’m finding a lot of things in my life go back to: fear.

I’m afraid I’ll love things too much (more than God).
I’m afraid I’ll love people too much and then God will take them away from me because I love them more than Him.
I’m afraid I’ll find too much pleasure in things that aren’t eternal and somehow dishonor God because if I were really following Him I wouldn’t even desire any of these “lesser” things.

The low-grade guilt over enjoying good things is real.

But I didn’t fully realize it until I started reading The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney. Hear me when I say this: This book is phenomenal. Buy this book. Read it. Slowly digest it. I’d loan you my copy but it’s pretty much highlighted and annotated past the point of legibility.

This book uses the Gospel to address the low-grade guilt that sometimes flares up in us and, oh my goodness, LET FREEDOM RING.

There is so much freedom in the Gospel, you guys.

Listen to this, it’s been wrecking my world this week, regarding idolatry (I know it’s a lot of words, but it’s SO WORTH the time to read):

Given the persistence of this threat to true worship of God, one way to address idolatry is to seek to thin out creation, to hold it loosely like a hot potato, and to be wary of its delights and pleasures. We recognize the potency of God’s gifts, so we tread lightly, sticking to the shallows and refusing to plunge into the ocean of earthly pleasures.

This suspicion of creation can grow into an outright rejection of creation, a call for full abstinence from God’s gifts (or at least certain gifts, usually those centered on bodily pleasures). Paul addresses this type of asceticism [absence of worldly pleasures] directly in Colossians 2:

“If you Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” (vv. 20-23)

To pursue holiness by stiff-arming created pleasures appears wise. Ascetic religion and severity to the body may impress lots of people. But their value in promoting godliness is null. The reason should be obvious: sin is not in the stuff. Sin resides in human hearts, and thinning out creation just makes us thin idolaters. We exchange indulgent sins for ascetic ones, but rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic doesn’t alter the ship’s path.

-Joe Rigney, The Things of Earth

That last paragraph. That last sentence. Oh my word. Yes.

Does this resonate with you? Do you ever find yourself holding good things at arm’s length for fear of committing idolatry? What are some of the things you might be resisting, not because of a personal conviction but because of fear?

I’ll be sharing more from The Things of Earth in the days to come, but in the mean time you should pick up your own copy and work through it. It’s just so good.

“A full look at Jesus makes His gifts come alive.” -Joe Rigney

Other posts about The Things of Earth:
Questions to Identify Guilt from Good Things
Romans 1, On the Other Side of the New Birth

3 comments on “Monday Morning Munch No. 140 – Do you resist good things? I do.

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