“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14)
Many weeks ago, my son received a package that sat in our front hallway for weeks. Eventually, I got tired of looking at it and moved it to his room. Shortly thereafter, he cleaned out his room and placed the package outside his door. It sat there for weeks. No one wanted to mess with the clutter, and it eventually became invisible to us. It blended in to our everyday lives. We accepted where it was as if the box was a work of art. It wasn’t until house guests planned to visit that we finally noticed the box again. Embarrassingly, we tolerated the clutter until we knew others were going to notice. Only then was I compelled to move the box. It had to go!
Let me ask you something. Is there a “box” that you need to remove from your life? Is there something in your life that you have tolerated to the point it feels normal to you but would stand out to others? If other people were to observe your actions or know your thoughts, would they find it strange that you are still holding onto this “box”?
Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Read that again. We are to “make no provision for the flesh.” Paul is encouraging us to not tolerate the clutter in our lives, to remove the “box” that we’d rather others not see.
Maybe the “box” you need to remove is:
- Needing to have the last word
- Failing to offer forgiveness
- Looking at the homeless man on the corner with disdain
- Giving yourself too much allowance while drinking alcohol
- Continuing to live in isolation from fellowship
- Refusing genuine accountability
- Speaking with a sharp tone of voice
- Sharing half-truths and partial confessions
- Mischaracterizing others online
- Demonizing your political opponents
- Hoarding what you have rather than giving generously
The truth is we are all “box” collectors. It’s in our nature to tolerate the same sin in our life that we are quick to point out in others. This is why we need authentic community—loving brothers and sisters in our life who are kind enough to help us see what needs to change and are always willing to lend us a hand.
When I finally moved the box, I thought how ridiculous it was that we left the box in the same place for so long. I was tired of seeing that tired piece of cardboard in our hallway. It felt great the moment I moved it!
Again, what “box” do you need to remove? Why not remove it today?
See you on Sunday,
P.S. Thanks to all of you who joined us for the kickoff of the 5:00 last Sunday. What a turnout! We will have more food trucks available this week for all who want to stay again for dinner.
Blake serves as Elder and Lead Pastor at Watermark Community Church.
On My Desk
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
- Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Paul David Tripp