The meme went like this:
DEFINITION OF “LIBERAL” AND “CONSERVATIVE” . . .
CONSERVATIVE: “LEAVE ME ALONE.”
Galatians 5 says it. There always has been a struggle between ‘want’ and ‘ought to’. We’re reading the last of Genesis 2 when “Psst.” We do what we usually do when absorbed by something we’re reading. Raise the right shoulder slightly, an irritated frown on our face, with eyes still on what we’re reading. I mean, what’s a more dazzling, stunning event than Creation? Right? How did God pull that off? And how’d He—-
“Psst. Hey. So God says ________. Really? And you’re buyin’ that? Let me tell ya how that really goes . . .” And the sworn antithesis of everything and everybody good, decent and holy, The Adversary formerly known as Lucifer, Satan himself thus began it. The consummate deceiver started what amounts to seducing Eve away from what her husband had said, braiding God’s truth and deadly lies together like a just-baked, still-warm cinnamon twist so it seemed just as tantalizing and delicious and reasonable.
“Eve, God said no. It’s poison.”
“Oh, but hunneeee, it’s so sweet… and just look at it. Doesn’t this look just divine?”
Poochie lip: “Oh, you spoil everything! Coom oon–joos woon widdow booyt.”
You know what happened next.
Each generation somehow believes it was the first to plant its flag atop Mt. Evil. I’m not sure God rolls His eyes, but if so this repetition would qualify. It’s amazing how little time it takes us to learn how to stomp and holler, “NO!” at God’s rules for His world. Learning that’s like taking a series of painful shots, for along with learning willful disobedience comes its consequences.
Paul wrote the Galatians list like this. “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion: paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on…” (5:19-20, The Message)
No one would knowingly choose such. Some choose the opposite, either having wearied themselves of that level of living, or observing others doing so. These are they squaring their lives away, letting God help them clean up their act and live good lives.
Paul writes about them, too, saying, “What happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” (5:22-23)
Those choosing to live in verses 19-20 hate being shown by those choosing to reside in verses 22-23 that it’s not only possible, but rewarding. So they, the God-noncompliant, are unrelenting in their insistence that all 22-23ers bend toward and accommodate their morals, views, preferences. Such is, of course, never reciprocated.
The Dark Side will never leave you alone. You can and should resist his pastries. Just get this, though. The deceiver formerly known as Lucifer will never stop trying to lure you away from God.
You ought to be pretty good at defending, dismissing his advances and moving on, since that’s the case. Right?
Practice makes better. Keep at it!
© D. Dean Boone, July 2016