Crusty leaves crumble at the slightest touch. Once green and fragrant, the citronella plant sits by the pool, rusty-brown and lifeless, its Miracle-Gro potting soil hardened into a pot-shaped ball.
The reason? Neglect.
Colossians 3:5 says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
“Put to death” flashes images of CSI, NCIS, and The Mentalist. Death can be violent and Paul challenges us to show no mercy to our sin nature. Yet, death doesn’t have to come through a bloody gunshot wound. Neglect, as with my citronella plants, serves as an effective weapon against flesh. And dead is dead.
When flesh begins to whine about spending time in God’s word instead of ___________________, ignore it.
When flesh shouts, “I want ________________, NOW!” get busy doing something else and give thanks for what you already have.
When flesh says, “Me first.” remember grace and yield the right of way.
It’s a matter of survival: God’s life in us or the life of the sin nature. As the flesh withers, the life of the Spirit flourishes. Focusing on sin only increases its hold on us. Kill it by neglect and shift the focus to godly things. Practice some contributory negligence.
Questions for the Week:
1) Paul gives a list of struggle spots in Colossians 3:5. This list is not all inclusive. What’s on your list? It can range from a sin that seems to have your number or an area in which you would like greater discipline.
2) What will your new focus be? What verses of Scripture or worship songs speak to your new focus and will point you to God and away from the struggle spot?
3) Are there times you are more vulnerable? How can you protect yourself?
4) What are the benefits of putting this sin to death?