Pat’s Praise: Consider, If You Will…
Published 3:42 pm Saturday, April 9, 2022
Most of us studied sociology in high school.
Well, let me rephrase that: Sociology (an elective course) was a class offered to students in high school when they attended. That is not to say everyone “studied” it. Sociology is a discipline that looks at how humans interact with each other and how behavior is shaped by social groups, communities, and organizations.
Mores is a word that comes to mind when I think of social expectations. Mores refers to the normals we expect in society by our behavior and appearance. For example, it is not considered acceptable to abuse drugs or go speeding through a residential neighborhood at ninety miles per hour. That is where social deviants come into play, as do personal morals.
Consider rudeness to service staff – totally unacceptable. A pet peeve of mine is over-eating or eating in a sloppy way at a fast pace. What if you are consistently late for appointments or work? Or, if you are female, you arrive at work dressed in attire that is highly revealing? All behavior is under scrutiny by others, and no one is invisible.
Perhaps you do not equate all conduct with living a Christian life – maybe you do. It is not enough to abandon sin; we must also actively pursue Godliness. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.” Titus 3:11-12 NIV.
In practice, some sins are totally accepted today. Consider, if you will, the sin of gluttony. The word gluttony does not refer just to food or beverage consumption; it implies an excessive lifestyle. It could be considered our soul’s addiction to excess in all things. Let me give you a little history of “the seven deadly sins.” They are pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Pope Gregory I first compiled this list of seven around the year 600. These are not recorded anywhere in the Bible in a list like this; however, they are validated by Scripture.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV says this: “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
I must ask myself, “do my actions reflect the world’s or God’s values?” Worldliness begins in the heart and is characterized by the cravings of sinful man, preoccupation with gratifying physical desires, the accumulation of things, and the obsession with one’s status of importance. Against these, I must guard. God values self-control, a spirit of generosity, and humbleness.
In my seventy-nine years, I have witnessed much ebb and flow of social norms and human history in
general. I have seen a recurrent pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.
Today, our society is in a significant decline. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve in His image, male and female; He made them.
Nonetheless, progressives now want us to believe there is no gender identity among people. Really?! I choose to accept God’s Holy Word as recorded in the Bible.
There are two phases of the tide – the ebb is the outgoing phase as the tide pulls away from the shore, and the flow is the incoming phase when the water rises again. Like the ocean’s tides, we can expect the Church’s influence to decrease and increase. I would venture to say the Church is now in the “ebb” phase. We are losing our footing against the evils of this world, but then we are not to lose hope.
If you feel down about this world’s current situation, read Psalm 42, especially verse 11. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
We must learn to walk in the Light. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 5-7 NIV.
To quote one source: “Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. Light is also related to truth in that light exposes whatever exists, whether it is good or bad. In the dark, good and evil look alike; in the light, they can be clearly distinguished.”
So, consider, if you will, turning your life around and walking with God. You can’t love God and court sin at the same time.
A retired nurse and published author whose columns appear in many newspapers, Pat Throckmorton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org