Something really important clicked with me last night when I was lying in bed thinking. I was musing about how there are times in my life when it’s easy (or easier) to be a good person; times when temptations seem to hold very little power and I’m able to sense a stability about my life that makes me feel very happy. Then there are times when I feel like I’m way too close to becoming a different person; when I’m dealing with all kinds of secret thoughts, fighting off temptations left right and centre, feeling quite unstable and quite depressed about it. Why does this happen? What causes a person who wants to please God lose his way so easily?
I got thinking about King David, when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, then arranged for her husband’s murder, to cover up the fact that he’d got her pregnant (2 Samuel 11). What a mess! And to think this was the same David who was once a shepherd boy who had enough faith in God to stand in front of a Philistine giant (Goliath), armed with nothing but a slingslot.
There’s something important about David’s life, when he committed adultery. The first verse of 2 Samuel 11 says: In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. David was a king who had gotten lazy in his duty, and it was his undoing: One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her.
I remembered that as Christians, we’re supposed to be different from others in the world. We don’t think the we they do; we don’t tolerate the same things they do; we don’t accept things the way they are just because everyone else is doing it. We’re part of the kingdom of God, and we do things the way God wants.
So, the big question is, are we living too close to the world? Are there things in our lives that need to change? And is this why I’m having so many problems struggling with sin? Yes, it is. I get lazy as a Christian and I start tolerating things that I know are wrong. Before I know it, I’m on a downward spiral. At some point I always manage to pull myself out of the hole, and slap some sense into myself, but now I have finally clarified why I keep falling in in the first place.
This is really important for me because a year and a half ago I moved away from my parents and got my own house. It’s all mine, and I can make any lifestyle change I want without consulting anybody. For many, that means the freedom to party, but for me it’s an opportunity to create an environment that’s free from temptation, where nothing bad exists; a place where I can rest and feel the presence of God.
It’s up to me now to stop getting lazy in relationship with God – to stop tolerating the little sins that keep wanting to worm their way back in, and to make whatever changes I can in my life to tempation as far away from me as I can.