He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Friday, February 12, 2010 

Feeling Without Acting

The demon Screwtape writes to his nephew Wormwood in letter 13:

The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilizing the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.

Your affectionate uncle,

Haiti, missions, tsunamis, earthquakes, orphans, poverty, the lost, genocide, homeless, hurricanes, disease, hell, war...

How often are we as Christians stirred by events, sermons, images, books, experiences, convictions even, & yet we just stop at that. We never move on to take any action. And over the years, we are less and less people of conviction and more and more people of comfort.

I love this song below by Jars of Clay. When I let my wife listen to it for the first time, she said, "I mean, it's good...but where's the happy ending, where's Jesus at the end?" By the end of the song though, I feel such weight, such heaviness from the burden of a sin-shattered world, that I want to do something. And because Christ has done the ultimate "something," we should be stirred not only in heart, but to action to spread the good news to this broken world and to be good news to this broken world. Instead of just standing around with our hands over our gaping mouths saying, "Oh my God," we who are the hands and feet of Christ should be that tangible reality of Christ in others lives. Jesus acted on our behalf when we were His enemies, dead in our sins. Only by His power & through His Spirit can we repent of our feeling without acting & toil, struggling with all His energy that powerfully works in us, to magnify our God & Savior to a desperate world.

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