The struggles of life continue, regardless of how virtuous we try to live or not live; troubles seem to come in life. As I’ve evaluated my own life I see that most of my struggles come from three primary areas.
First, is my own unique stuff. We know that everyone has issues, sometimes stemming from our past, sometimes in our present and sometimes because of worries about the future. Regardless of where they come from, it’s inherent that we as believers continuously work to deal with the stuff of life.
Secondly, my struggle, which seems to be common in the present day, is regarding religion versus freedom in Christ. For example, in the Old Testament, leprosy was a dreaded disease with no known cure. There were specific requirements which were placed upon a priest to deal with the fear of the spread of this dreaded disease. This was highly understandable given the knowledge that they had regarding the disease in that day, and the lack of appropriate treatment. Thus, it is assumed that, given the difficulty that one has in understanding a disease that seems to be incurable we should simply throw our hands up and assume the Old Testament stance of simply trying to protect ourselves from potential harm.
In the New Testament, a different perspective is presented. That is the perspective of Christ himself, who would, when encountering lepers simply heal them by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. In my mind, I need to be, as the writer of Ephesians stated, trying to find out what pleases the Lord. What pleases him is living in the freedom for which Christ has made us free, not in the bondage of Old Testament rules, regulations, and shame. Christ was not ashamed of himself, the stories about him (virgin birth, right…run to Egypt, right, Nazareth, ah come on) nor of people that God created in his image and likeness, even if temporarily marred by sin, sickness, or disease.
Thirdly, and perhaps most profoundly are my fears. All of us have fears. Some fears are related to the past, some to the present, some to the future and some are simply irrational fears that we’ve held onto since childhood. I know my mind needs to be renewed, as presented by Paul the Apostle in Romans Chapter 12. For right-thinking leads to right living. But of course, it starts with knowing who we are.
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