Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fighting relational sin

At its core, sin is relational in nature. As a means of loving God, we want to love our spouses, our kids, our co-workers and others well, but before we know it, we've said or done something that wounds them all over again. What's the answer to our battle to love others well? Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."

Our daily battle to love others well by walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh is captured poignantly by John Michael Talbot in his beautiful song "Nature and Grace" - the words he uses to describe "Flesh and Spirit". Read his lyrics carefully as you think about how you've been talking to and treating the people in your life today.

Nature and Grace

Deep within me, there lies a true distinction
Between the things I would and what I really do.
I cannot believe I am so unusual.
Isn’t this the common sorrow within me and you?

Nature will seek only its own advantage.
It considers only how another might be used.
But grace will breed a new humility
To comfort those afflicted and to help those once abused.

Chorus: Nature might seek its fair consolation.
But it never offers its help without its price, without reward.
Grace finds reward in another’s consolation
Learning in this paradox the power of our Lord.

And nature will seek to be exalted in authority
To argue its opinion and have all the world conform.
But grace humbly comes in a silent assuredness
Speaking only to conform a man to his Lord.

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