Sunday, February 10, 2008

Twisted

As part of my profession, I regularly listen to other people preach. I do my best to listen to a variety of different kind of sermons and switch between them as time goes by. Not too long ago, during one of these rounds of professional (and personal) upkeep I heard an idea that has stuck with me. This particular orator touched on the idea that only God can create and He only creates good things. Evil and sin come into the picture when blessings from God are twisted into something that He never intended them to be. The sermon then went on to elaborate on how this relates to the topic of love and sexual relationships. God gave them to people as a blessing for a particular purpose, but they have been twisted into something else.

I'm a big fan of this idea and I think that this rings true for any of a number of sins. I've spent some time pondering this idea in relation to possessions - culminating in a better understanding of the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-15).

Now, I want to know what you think. What other sins can you see as perversions or twisted forms of God's blessings? Some I've thought about but haven't delved deeply into are drinking, freedom, guilt, the environment and justice. I'm looking to write a sermon series that focuses on a number of these, to help explain God's original plan for the topic, how society views it and how it got twisted. I'd love a couple of other people's views on the topics I mentioned or maybe some other ones. (If you're feeling industrious I'd even be open to some scripture references.)

Thanks for your help


3 comments:

CS Sweatman said...

I, too, listen to sermons from various ministers--yourself included. :-) And I, too, have thought about this very thing, and also was struck by something I recently heard. I was struck because it brought back to mind a struggle I had a number of years ago, which relates to your query.

God's mercy and forgiveness--or, the exploitation thereof. My struggle was me taking advantage of the fact that I knew God would forgive me no matter what. Now, my sins were nothing truly heinous in the world's eyes; but, even if they were, they were not the problem. The problem was that I was using the reality of God's forgiveness and mercy to justify my actions, thoughts, feelings, etc., which I knew were not what God desired.

This struggle affected other areas of my life as well. My prayers were more like Jacob's prayer in Genesis 32.9-12 rather than the prayer of the tax collector in Luke 18.9-14. Jacob's prayer, while seemingly open and honest, was completely self-driven; whereas the tax collector's prayer was driven by what he realized about himself. For quite some time, I was (spiritually) Jacob.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of this one, write another one

cassandra said...
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