The previous post introduced a medically proven dietary supplement, Slimoso, guaranteed to keep your weight at an ideal level regardless of what or how much you eat. Of course, Slimoso is not for real, but like one of the many fads advertised on television.
That post also made reference to spiritual Slimoso, approaches offering similar quick fixes at the spiritual level. Are you struggling to overcome some sin in your life? Just “let go and let God.” Stop trying to do it yourself. Just let Him do it. Remember, “It’s not in trying but in trusting.” Trying conveys a lack of faith, human effort, and therefore is a detriment rather than an asset to becoming a godly person. Stop trying and start trusting and God will give you the victory.
One problem with these concepts is found in the many passages of Scripture indicating that no shortcut exists to overcoming sin and becoming a godly person, but rather doing so requires discipline and endurance—engaging in the fight.
Consider this passage:
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:25-32 ESV)
This passage and the many others in the New Testament containing commands reveal that God doesn’t plan to do the work for us. He provides resources such as Scripture and prayer, and He empowers us of the Holy Spirit, but these resources do replace but supplement our engagement in the fight.
In addition, we find passages in the New Testament clearly asserting that we cannot merely turn over our pursuit of godliness to God, but rather that we play a pivotal role. For example, 2 Corinthians 7:1: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Significant in this verse is the term “cleanse ourselves,” which is expressed explicitly in the Greek text. God assigns this responsibility to us. God expects us to use the resources He has placed at our disposal, but, again, they are a supplement to our involvement, and not a replacement.
Yet other verses make it clear that fulfilling the commands cited above and others cannot be accomplished by employing some spiritual easy button.
Paul calls us to “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:3) Both James and Paul stress the need for developing endurance, suggesting that the Christian life is not especially easy and comfortable.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:2-3)
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about endurance; and endurance, proven character; and proven character, hope…. (Romans 5:3-4)
Therefore, Scripture in various passages and in differing ways accentuates that no spiritual Slimoso exists, but that the Christian life constitutes a battle requiring hard fighting.
But what about those people who give testimony to the experience of a Christian life above the fray, who seem to have discovered spiritual Slimoso, and it appears to be working for them? I plan to address that issue in my next post.