Last Sunday my pastor was preaching on the struggles of the Christian faith. It was actually the second part of a previous sermon titled "New Life, New Battles" which explained that along with the new life received for those who place their faith in Jesus Christ come new battles with sinful behaviors that previously may not have bothered you all that much.
Your "flesh" is at war with your spirit.
Sunday's sermon was called "Move the Ball Forward" and came complete with an NFL analogy for which the Eder household was very appreciative, since it's akin to our native tongue.
He explained how advancing towards holiness was rather like moving a football down the field - we will need a strategy, rely on previous training and have lots of opposition. He went on to say that like scoring a touchdown, it's a wonderful feeling to win a battle over a particular sin. Then he reminded us that immediately after you score, the ball is coming right back at you and you better D up! Okay, not exactly his words...he is Scottish after all.
So the rest of the sermon was about practical ways you can intentionally cultivate godly virtues that are contrary to a particular sin with which you may struggle - or to keep with the NFL analogy - what kind of defensive play to employ for the sinful attack coming back at you. To illustrate, he confessed a hidden sin of his own.
Now, I have to admit this took me entirely by surprise. I've worked ten feet or so from his office for the past four years and not once in that time have I ever heard the man complain. About anything. Or anyone. Seriously.
So I guess that's why he called it a "hidden" sin. Not only is it less obvious to those who know us, we may not be aware of it ourselves.
Self pity is not a hidden sin of mine. Nope. I wear self pity very publicly. Trust me when I tell you that no one I work with will be writing about how they haven't heard me complain about anything or anyone for the past four weeks let alone four years.
So I was all ears about the virtue that works against self-pity. Any guesses?
And since it's November and we have a national holiday committed to reminding us to be thankful I'm spending the rest of the month (at a minimum) counting my blessings.
Since today is the 8th I will list eight things for which I am extremely grateful in closing.
1. My father in law is out of ICU, in Rehab and improving every day after brain surgery!
2. The fruit fly traps we set up worked and the infestation in my home is over!
3. Both Maggie & Ryan chose their dad as the Veteran to honor for a social studies project.
4. All the veterans who sacrified so much (and still do) for my liberties.
5. My back hasn't bothered me in almost a year.
6. We are both employed.
7. 69 cent Hamburgers at BK on Tuesdays.
8. No snow yet.