July 7 / Proverbs 7 / Matthew 7

iphone_addiction

Proverbs 7:10

The woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, and guarded of heart.

“Guarded of heart” here, as the Hebrew suggests, means that this woman does not give herself emotionally or spiritually. She offers herself physically though. In that way she is very open indeed, but holds back in any truly intimate way. Therefore, it will cause a rift, a tearing in the mind of both, as it goes against God’s design for our sexuality.

This is what neurotheology is showing us more and more–the dis-integrated mind. More specifically, the pre-frontal cortex, which is where integration and emotional health are to take place.

Giving yourself to this extent physically, but holding back emotionally and spiritually will quite actually tear you apart. It will foster dis-integration, double-mindedness, making you unstable in all your ways.

You can extrapolate what tearing must go on with regards to pornography as well. There, you are giving yourself physically to a picture, a computer screen, where there is not even a real chance of intimacy at all. All you’re really screwing is your mind.

To have a full sexual relationship with somebody is to give physical expression to what is meant to be a covenanted relationship–that is, stable, faithful, permanent. To say physically, “I am giving myself to you,” while emotionally and spiritually holding back from covenanted commitment is in fact to live a lie–a split in the personality which is ultimately stressful and destructive.

-David Atkinson

Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

A friend emailed me last week that she was listening to K-Love and they asked the question, “Could you go a day without your i-Phone?” And the consensus was “No. No, I could not go a day without my i-Phone.” Even the DJs agreed. Is this what we’ve come to? As Christians in 2014 America? That we must follow the masses? That we must “keep up”? Keep up with what?

Matthew 7:13 was my friend’s answer to her own rhetorical question. If the masses are doing it, chances are it is the mind-numbing, “sheep-walking” road to destruction. Not the mere possession of an i-Phone, mind you, but the having to have one everyday at all times to get by mentality is what we’re looking at here. We don’t have to do anything the world would have us do. The only thing we have to do is listen to Jesus (Luke 10:42), to seek first God and His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). When you think about it, and you should definitely take the time to think about it, there’s not many things we have to do, just a few–love God, love others, listen to Jesus, golden rule–and the rest of life will take care of itself.

The road to life is hard because it is lonely in the grand picture of the world. This is why we must daily encourage one another on this narrow road we travel. We must remind each other of where it leads–to life, and life abundant and eternal.

And “sheep-walking.” That is Seth Godin’s term. I find it more descriptive than “sleep-walking” through life. Just turn off your brain and follow the masses–all the way to destruction. Even preaching or performing miracles can end in destruction (21-23) if done without truly knowing God, without obedience to His will as directed by His Holy Spirit. How one can perform miracles without true belief is hard for me to comprehend (perhaps it refers to people who are all outward with no inward commitment to the will of God). Nonetheless, Jesus tells us it is possible, and we therefore must heed His warning, for He was and is the revelation of God, of Truth.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd that we can and must sheep-walk to. We would be wise to build our house on Him (24-29):

The concluding parable makes clear that  Jesus has been offering the disciples a solid foundation of teaching on which to build their lives and ministry. But it is up to them to put His words into practice. Otherwise, they are like the fool described so often in Proverbs, who is not the intellectually challenged person, but rather the person who lacks good moral judgement. It is not common sense that Jesus’ wisdom calls us to, but rather a Christian sense, which only makes sense in the context of a Christian vision of the world, a belief system attested to by ethical commitments and behavior.

-from The Renovare Spritual Formation Bible

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