Have you ever gone to the refrigerator and poured a nice tall glass of milk to enjoy with you cookies only to find when you sipped it that it was "bad"? I think we all have had that rude and insulting experience at least a few times in our lives. Upon tasting the bad milk, what is the instinctive response? We spit it out! When we taste something repulsive, no one needs to tell us to spit it out of our mouths; it just comes naturally because of the putrid taste.
Have you ever had the joy of going to a park or other recreational area on a hot day and needing to use the restroom; only to find out the only one available is the outhouse? Upon opening the door, the stench is so strong without being aware of it, you step back and slam the door shut. No one needs to tell you to do this; it comes naturally because of the nauseating aroma.
Have you ever gone to the refrigerator and found a storage container in the back that hadn't been seen for quite awhile. Out of curiosity, you open it and what you see is a science project grown in your own lab. Whatever was in there is now covered with an ugly green growth that appears to be looking at you. No one needs to tell you to slam the lid back on the container and throw it away; it comes naturally because of the "gross" nature of what was seen.
I do not bring these wonderful things up to be offensive; only to show what we do when one of our five senses is offended by something. We have within us the natural ability to discern between what is good and what is bad when it comes to that which we see, hear, taste, smell or touch. When confronted with something rotten, we are immediately repulsed and seek to get rid of the offending matter.
On the other side of the coin, most of us have had the joy of going to the freezer and getting a tub of ice cream. Starting with the first spoonful and continuing until we have eating the whole container, our taste buds are treated to a little bit of heaven. No one needs to tell us to savor each bite and enjoy the flavor of this special treat.
Haven't most of us opened the door on a spring or summer morning after a rain the previous night and immediately been treated with the beautiful aroma of nature at its best? Whether wildflowers, spruce trees, freshly mown grass or honeysuckle; nature has a way of rewarding us with the scent of paradise. No one needs to tell us to "stop and smell the roses"; for their aroma leads us to them, beckoning us to enjoy their special delight.
Remember the time you saw the most gorgeous sunset in your life? Or think back to driving and rounding a curve to be greeted by the most awesome display of natural beauty ever seen by a human? The eyes love that which is beautiful and no one needs to tell us to stare at and bask in the glory of the beauty we have encountered.
We naturally are attracted to that which tastes good, smells wonderful and is beautiful. We crave to hear beautiful music that melts away the stress of the day. We long to caress the soft fur of a cat or dog for it is pleasing to the touch. Our cabinets are full of items that taste good and we drive all over the country looking for scenes that bring our eyes great joy.
Almighty God gave us 5 senses for the purpose of avoiding and enjoying certain things. We are not to "depend" on our senses, but they are there to help us depend on God and His Word. So many times, especially in the Psalms, we read about things such as "tasting and seeing" that God is good and His Word is wonderful. Senses help us experience the fullness of God. Senses can also deceive us if what they are responding has been corrupted or is not genuine. A counterfeit twenty dollar bill looks genuine, but is not the real thing.
In Romans 12:9 we see a very important verse in understanding hypocrisy and our ability to not be deceived by it:
"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."
The word translated "dissimulation" would be much better translated "without hypocrisy". Putting it in the positive; let love be genuine, real, true and not a counterfeit. Don't pretend to love; love genuinely from the heart and let it be real. Don't act out the role of loving; really love from your heart.
The word "abhor" means to detest with horror or to regard with extreme repugnance. It means to loathe (feel disgust or intense aversion for) and to literally "shudder at". Did you know the English word "disgust" means to cause nausea? If something is "disgusting", it is nauseating and extremely distasteful. This is also what repugnant implies. These words denote a strong distaste for to the point of making one nauseous.
This is to be our attitude toward evil. It should make us sick. When we see and hear the wickedness of this world; it should not entice us, but rather repulse us. When the time comes that evil no longer generates this reaction, a person is in trouble. For if that which is bad is not disgusting, then in time it becomes first "tolerated" and then "acceptable" and finally "allowable". Please look at I John 5:19:
"And we know that we are of God, and whole world lieth in wickedness."
The world is a bad place according to God's Word. It is evil, wicked and contrary to everything God is and wants done. Our attitude toward the world has to be one of extreme caution and aloofness. Otherwise the things of this world become alluring and in time they become attractive.
In I John 2:15-17 we see instructions toward this world:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
As tempting as this world is at times, God's instructions are simple and ironclad. Do Not Love This World. Do Not Love The Things of This World. Can we enjoy the things of this world? Of course, for that was where this post began. We can enjoy many things but we are not to LOVE them. I enjoy electricity but I do not LOVE it. I enjoy my coffee in the morning, but I do not LOVE it. We can enjoy our nice homes and cars and other things, but we are not to LOVE them.
Whatever we love we want more of. Whatever we love, we cannot get enough of. This is why we are instructed NOT to love the world and the things of this world. If we love them, we devote our lives to getting more and more of them at the expense of He who deserves our utmost love-God our Father. The evil and wickedness of this world should be abhorred. The things of this world are to be used and enjoyed. God our Father is to be LOVED.
Back in Romans 12, on the opposite side of the fence from "abhor that which is evil" it said to CLEAVE to that which is good. Very simply, the word "cleave" means to be glued to. We are to be glued to that which is good. God is good, His Word is good, and His genuine people are good. Thus, we are to be glued to God, His Word and His people AND NOT THIS WORLD. Cleave and adhere yourself to that which is good to the point of bonding. That is what "glued" implies. To be bonded to. We should be bonded to God and the things and people of God. If we are, it makes abhorring evil quite easy to do.
If we want to love without hypocrisy, we MUST be repulsed by and be disgusted by the evil in this world. Things such as greed, covetousness, lust, conceit, arrogance, lying, stealing, killing and a host of other attributes of this world are to be avoided like the plague. If we come in contact with any of those things we should get nauseated and spit them out of our mouths. All that the world calls good is really evil and we should avoid it at costs.
All that is good, we should seek to be glued to and bonded with. We should align ourselves with those who are good, honest God fearing believers. We should be glued to those attributes of God Himself. We should strive to be glued to honesty, integrity, simplicity, sincerity, and all that is just, righteous and Godly. Our whole life should be devoted to loving God and His people with the genuine and true love which comes from God Himself. Doing this, we can avoid the pitfalls of hypocrisy and worse yet, loving this world and the things of this world.
One of the things that struck me as I read this very good post is something that God had shown hubby and I some time ago. That everything good that God creates, satan counterfeits. It is everywhere and the sad part is that we become so accustomed to the counterfeit that we reject that which is real. Take food for an example, most food you find in the grocery store is really no longer food but some chemically processed stuff with artificial flavor and color that does not nourish but kills. But we get so used to eating the garbage with all that is counterfeit when we take a bite of real food, we reject it. Or sex, boy satan has had a field day with that one, the context of marriage only, just seems like Greek to many, they reject it. Whereas the real creates life, the counterfeit destroys life. And a perfect illustration that I know I have posted before is that a bank teller is so trained at what real money looks like, feels like, she can recognize the counterfeit. So must we, as Christians be so in the Word of God and in His Truth, we can recognize the counterfeit. If you eat nothing but real food and then go back to the counterfeit, it then tastes like the garbage it really is. Awesome post, again! Blessings! Andrea
Thank you for being one who is willing to bring out such clarity for us all.
No matter where we are in our Walk with Christ, we are never too educated for more wisdom and edification.
I am very happy to hear that you have power restored and are weathering the storm there.