Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Romans 8:5-6

"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
Romans 8:5-6

In thinking about this verse today, I wonder if we too often assume that we are a certain way, and that we can't change.  We are spirit and body, but all too often we think that we're all body, and that our bodies dictate everything that we do.  I hear things that amount to "Evolution programmed me to be like this, and so I have to be that way."  ... I don't think that is true.  In the first verse here Paul talks about flesh and spirit, and from one perspective it could sound deterministic.  If you're of the flesh, then you think about that, but if you are of the spirit, you'll think about that.  But I don't think that is what he is saying.  I think he is saying... what we think about becomes who we are.  And the second verse makes that clearer.  We get to choose.  Between the flesh and the spirit, between God and Satan, between good and evil... we get to choose everything: what to have for breakfast, and what to think, and what to feel, and who we become.  And God's suggestion to us is, think about spiritual things, long-term things, rather than being ruled by our bodies or letting our flesh control what we think and what we want for ourselves.  Instead of buying everything that seems shiny, we can control ourselves and save up for a trip or get out of debt.  Instead of relieving ourselves in the street, we can control ourselves and make it to the nearest restroom.  And the same goes for everything, to a greater or lesser extent.  We have to learn to let our spirits have the upper-hand over the flesh, to govern our emotions, to bridle our passions.  Letting the flesh have control isn't romantic.  As it says in the second of these verses: it's death.
Today, let's work on enriching life and gaining peace through working on our spiritual-mindedness.  Let's make sure we're on the same page with God, and make good choices based on what our spirits want.

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