The proverbial Slippery Slope seems to be the lesson in this letter. The dangers in subtlety, and how we can land in the middle of a spiritual wreck without even knowing how we got there. And, clearly, the demons understand this better than anybody.
The dude in the story has, not completely unexpectedly, reached a level of 'adequacy' in his spiritual walk. Ok, sure, he has some stuff left to get with God about, and he feels kinda bad about that. But, he still goes to church (when he can). He still reads his Bible (OK, well, it's somewhere in the house). He wrote a check to a charity last month. It's all good (enough). And, like Screwtape says, as long as we maintain the "habits of a Christian", we will think we are one.
So, the demons' plan at this point is to just let the guy slowly slide away from God, totally on his own, just a little at a time. They're going to stay pretty much hands-off at this point - kinda like those videos from 'up North' (Southern terminology) you see on the Weather Channel when a car is sliding on the icy road and the driver takes his (her) hands off the wheel and just lets the car end up wherever it ends up. And it's usually not someplace good.
We all slide, and it's not like we don't know we're 'sliding'. In the car, we'll just ride it out. (I'm not going that fast. And I am wearing my seatbelt. I'll be OK.) Same thing spiritually: As Screwtape says, any "dim uneasiness" (aka 'sliding') we sense in our relationship with God we just deem "temporary and revocable". So, no need to over-react here. "This too shall pass" which, BTW, is not a scripture of the Bible.
And, with all this slippin' and slidin', here's what can happen next: Guilt. Not the kind that makes us fall on our face and ask the Father for forgiveness and mercy. But, the kind that compels us to trade substance for superficial (so we don't have to really deal). The kind of guilt that drives us to sort our sins into 'tall, grande, or venti' in order to make ourselves feel better. Essentially, we end up doing a whole bunch of nothing. And nothing separates us farther from God, than Nothing. And that's true whether you're from Up North or Down South.
Lord, help me to pump my brakes and get a handle on any sliding I'm doing right now. Amen.
Ok. The Kavanaugh thing. Unless you’re blessed to live an internet-free life, you know all about the current big deal with the Supreme Court nomination of this guy and accusations of sexual assault in his past. A major political situation (circus) that gets more and more ugly by the hour.
Look. I don’t know what happened or what didn’t happen in the Kavanaugh case. I wasn’t there. These matters should be left in the hands of those above my pay grade, on earth and in heaven. Yet, as this all relentlessly unfolds and unravels before us on the 24/7 news, I am finding a story within a story that has given me a bit of Christian pause. And that story is Redemption.
Now, hang on a minute. I’m not referring specifically to Kavanaugh here, whether he is ‘redeemed’ or not for what might have happened. I have no way of knowing that and, frankly, it’s really none of my business.
I’m talking here about the bigger picture of Redemption, as a Biblical concept and the basis for what we believe as Christians. I’m talking about a person, any and every person, being forgiven and transformed by God, through Jesus, because they repented from a wrong. Do you believe redemption is possible?
Well, of course I believe that, Abby. That’s Christianity 101 stuff.
All right. But, are you (am I) a practicing redemptionist? (I’m pretty sure that’s not a word). Is a redemptive heart at the core of who I am, what I do, how I think? OR….
Am I a vengeance-seeker?
Am I waiting for someone to admit their wrong to me (or say they’re “sorry”) before I can heal?
Do I consider Truth a judicial concept?
Just a little self-check moment, I’m thinking. Now, back to you in the studio.
They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24 (HCSB)