CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

April 13, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Sloth #5: Cutting Corners


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

SLOTH #5

CUTTING CORNERS

Monte W. Holland

INTRODUCTION

     The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays).  Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.

     Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.

     This year I  chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.

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THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

GREED, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY, SLOTH and PRIDE.

THE ASPECTS OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ARE:

#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law

#2 Defying God or rebelling against God

#3 Acts of violence to others

#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship

#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)

SLOTH #5

CUTTING CORNERS

SCRIPTURE: 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?” (John 4:28-29 (NIV))

Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7b-10 (NRSV))

DEVOTION:  I‘m a corner-cutter. I don’t want to put any more work into a task than necessary. When I travel on a curvy road that is free of traffic, I don’t follow the lane lines. Why make all those bends when the straight path is shortest? Why take all my tool boxes out of the trunk of the car if I’m not sure I will need the extra trunk space? Why clean out the closet as long as there is room to jam in the clothes I wear? Why neatly fold all my underwear before putting it in the drawer?

     That’s who I am. These approaches to life are usually invisible to other people. After all, do you really know or care whether my underwear came out of a neat drawer?

     These matters may be of little consequence, but the matter of godliness is a different matter. Paul instructs Timothy to train himself in godliness. This is primary, basic, essential training. Physical fitness is good, but spiritual fitness is better.

     The trouble with this to us corner-cutters is that to be spiritually fit we must

toil and struggle. There are no shortcuts. It isn’t as simple as some would lead us to believe—Just give your life to Jesus and everything will be okay. Giving our lives to Jesus is essential, but it also only the first step. Giving our life is one thing, but truly living it is another.

     The Samaritan woman at the well is a favorite example of mine. She left the bucket (the mundane) and headed for the people who hungered for a savior with a message of hope (her spiritual calling.) She cut the corner on her water-hauling job and shared the best news she had ever heard.

     There is no room for neat underwear drawers and closets if our spiritual life is undercut, if we don’t  respect all peoples. After all, this great evangelist was a foreigner and also a woman. She was “undocumented”—unacceptable to socialize with and not credentialed to do evangelistic work.

     Are we toiling and struggling in the faith to reach out to all and to be reached out to by all?

 PRAYER:  God, it is not good to be a corner-cutter, in our physical lives, and even more so in our spiritual lives. May your Spirit work with my spirit to give me the will to toil and struggle to live a life that zealously follows Jesus.  Amen.

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To start at the beginning of this Lenten study on the Seven Deadly Sins, click on: Ash Wednesday: Intro to Lenten Study on the Seven Deadly Sins

To read the previous devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Gluttony #5: Being Spiritually Nourished

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Pride #2: Making Our Own Idols

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Returning to life in the past lane

While Doing Adoption Home Studies: Part 1

JOCHEBED & LUCY: STORIES OF ADOPTION AND MOTHER’S LOVE

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/category/adoption-2/

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/category/1790s-background/

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