Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do You Want to Be Healed?

Let’s assume, for a second, that a person could be stripped of every fault her or she possesses. Every sin, inclination towards sin, every temptation – purged forever. Only perfection and virtue would remain.
What rational person would refuse such a process?
But imagine that that process involved purging oneself of all thoughts and temptations leading to evil behavior. Imagine that every bad friend, every sinful haunt, every dirty thought would have to disappear entirely.

Given so stark a choice, many of us might like to think we would choose the honorable path. And perhaps some of us would, if we knew we faced that choice.
But that is exactly the choice each one of us is faced with every day of our lives. And very few of us actually take that path.
The terrible truth is that men and women often do not want to be healed. Evil is familiar to us. We would rather choose the familiar surroundings of our sins than explore the great and wonderful unknown of the virtuous life.
Many of us would rather choose the familiar and tawdry iniquity of pornography and romance novels than experience the joy of a relationship with a real person of the opposite gender. Many among us would rather mindlessly watch vapid television programs and dream of doing great things rather than go out and actually serve God through volunteer work and prayer. We would choose to hang out with our buddies rather than meet new and virtuous men and women. And the list could continue indefinitely.
In order to truly follow Christ, one must make a radical effort to follow Him completely, no matter what holds him or her back from doing so. That often means purging ourselves of things – even morally harmless things – that keep us from loving God.
As Christ says: “If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell fire." (Matt 18:9) 

While our eyes or hands may not directly be keeping us from God, our choice of friends and our familiar ways of life may well be doing so. If it is necessary that we must purge comforts and pleasures to become a virtuous person, than we should – indeed we must – do so. Christ demands our full and undivided allegiance. Will we answer His call?
Christ will offer healing to all who want it. But that assumes we wish to be healed. He will not heal those who wish to remain in their own sin.
Do you want to be healed?

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