Week 5 Day 7
Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Susannah Wesley, mother of John Wesley said famously: “If you would judge of the lawfulness or the unlawfulness of pleasure, then take this simple rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things—that to you is sin.”
We live in times when the idea of following our passions, of “being all in”, a time of extreme endeavor whether it be sports or hobbies or careers marks us as true participants in life. Those who follow a more sedate and contemplative path are unfortunately measured with the same yardstick. I suppose we must look dispassionately, to belabor the point, at our major focus in life. If we are consumed by some thing, person, or activity to the point where we lose sight of Jesus and move Him to the sidelines of our lives then we have entered into the “unlawfulness” which Susannah Wesley so succinctly expressed. I believe that what the apostle Paul, and later Susannah Wesley were saying is that all of our lives should be subsumed in reverence and worship of Jesus our Christ.
Whether or not you are able to accomplish, or rather to allow the Holy Spirit to accomplish this in your life is dependent upon a meeting of your will with God’s will. Desire for this relationship is a primary component, but the commitment to carry through is daunting. The tension that exists between desire and commitment is, I believe the essence of what Wesley called Christian perfection. I know and understand after many years that my part is to continue to move Godward no matter what, and that God will ever and always do His part and keep me close, give me strength, and show me the way.