Friday, September 4, 2015

Great steaks and a clear conscience.

I really enjoy a great steak. Everyone has their own opinion on how to prepare a great steak but most people agree that the first step in cooking a great steak is to SEAR the meat. Heat that grill or griddle up, slap it on and listen to it sizzle. It’s beautiful music to the ears of every carnivore!

Merriam-Websters Dictionary defines SEAR as to cook the surface of quickly with intense heat. But it also defines it as to burn, scorch, mark, or injure with or as if with sudden application of intense heat or to make withered and dry. Good for a nice ribeye but not great for your conscience.

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” - 1 Timothy 4:1-2 NIV

I want to point out of few things in these two verses -
  1. It is talking about people who once had a vibrant relationship with God. It seems to me that you have to have something before you can abandon it.
  2. It refers to them as hypocritical liars. A hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does something else. It actually says that someone who once served God has now become a hindrance to Him and a help to the enemy!
  3. It says that their consciences have been seared or burned, scorched, marked, or injured with a sudden application of intense heat rending it withered and dry. This is what I would like to focus on.
First let me clarify that in context this verse is discussing the freedom we have in Christ and not campaigning for more rules/regulations/religion. However we need to understand that Jesus has set us free from sin. He has not set us free to sin. There is a line! Now I’m not going to give you a list of do’s and don’ts because it is truly the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to guide us into righteousness. But here is the kicker… the more we ignore Him the easier it becomes. A seared conscience is one that has spent too much time too close to the fire. A little compromise here and there and before we know it we find ourselves in a place we never thought possible. Sin is a slippery slope and the question is how much is too much?

If you are reading this and you feel ‘a little heat’ (pun intended) don’t despair. That is proof positive that the Holy Spirit is still working in your life. Start by asking God to define the lines for you. Sometimes you have to take some radical steps to break free. I know a young man who was struggling with a pornography addiction that took a hammer to his laptop. By the way he is in full time ministry today. We often know what to do we just lack the conviction to walk it out. We need our behavior to match our beliefs. Are we willing to not see the latest movie, engage in gossip around the water cooler and refuse to cheat on our taxes? Other than going to church on Sundays (or at least most of them) are we really any different from people who don’t know Jesus? WE ABSOLUTELY ARE AND OUR LIVES SHOULD REFLECT IT!

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