01 Jan It’s a matter of life and death
Are you alive? If you are reading this then you must be alive, at least physically. However, the Bible has an entirely different qualification for being alive. You see, there are many people who may be physically alive but they are dead according to the Bible.
The Scripture says, “she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives” (1 Tim 5:6).
What is self-indulgence? The original word that has been translated to our English Bible means, someone who allows herself every indulgence, live an easy and luxurious life. This kind of lifestyle is unchristian, and she who lives in this way is living a sinful life.
Of course self-indulgence is a relative term that could mean different things to different people.
For example, for a student, self-indulgence could mean someone who has no care to study, spends most of her time on trivial things, partying and shopping, and spends her allowance carelessly on many personal luxuries.
For a single professional, self-indulgence could mean someone who is lazy or someone who is living for himself, showing no care for others. He may work hard, but spends most of his income only to satisfy his own desires. He takes, but he gives not. He does things only if they bring any benefits to him. It is all about him.
For a married couple, it may look rather similar to single people. If it was all about him, now it is all about the two of them. 99% of their time is spent on themselves. Now that they have double income, they would also double indulge themselves. They ask questions, “What’s in it for us?” As opposed to: “How could we be more generous to others?” It is all about the two of them.
For parents with children, self-indulgence can be a lot scarier. They have no room for others in their lives. Their schedule is filled with endless routine that has nothing to do with other people or the community. They live for their family.
How is your living? Are you living an easy and luxurious life? Are you alive or are you dead?
How to be alive? Self-indulgence is not living; it is death. The Apostle Paul writes, “you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6:11)
It is either you are dead because of your sin, or you are alive because of Christ. There is simply nothing in between. Since we can only be made alive in Christ Jesus, the cure for self-indulgence can only be found in Christ, not in repenting often, nor serving better, nor giving more and certainly not trying harder.
Is this not sound rather familiar? After we sinned, we are determined to try harder and better next time, and yet failed again?
Dead people cannot bring themselves back to life just because they are determined, no matter how hard they try. We do not need more techniques or determination; we need Jesus!