Paul says a lot of great things. Like this:
Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? (Galatians 3:3)
This “stupid” is a harsh rebuke, referring to one who does not see reality. And, isn’t this our internal cry to ourselves every time we become aware of our sin? Why did I do that? I know better! UGH!
But how easy is this, if we are not vigilant against the temptations of the culture in which we live? Everything we are exposed to tells us that we are to indulge. It’s not about liberty, but license, with the small caveat that your license does not harm or interfere with certain other’s rights.
In my baptism, I died to sin and rose to new life in Christ. Why then, do I still fall? Why do I still see things as harmless or fun or appealing even after having a new heart created within me and God’s own Spirit dwelling within me?
I think it’s because I am stupid. I do not clearly see the reality that is before me. If I truly understood, I would be different. But as it is, there is something like blinders on. I have that tendency to sin, that limp in my walk that makes me prone to tripping.
Ask my mom — ask anyone — I have this rebellious streak in me that likes to test boundaries; I think perhaps we all do to a degree. And it is so easy to rationalize things and lead ourselves into increasingly greater sin.
It starts with the smallest things. A glance, perhaps. A flirtatious smile. A change in posture. You feed off the response of the person you are engaging. Maybe now some double entendres. Suggestive speech. Slightly dirty jokes. Harmless, right?
But even right there, we need to stop ourselves. Just in the beginning, we need to see what we are doing and where it is leading. Why am I flirting with this guy? Do I really want to try and attract him to me? Or am I just doing it because it’s fun to elicit a response? Where will I draw the line with my suggestive speech and behaviors? Am I leading this other person into sin?
I’m playing with fire, and now I’m not only sprinkling myself with propellant, but also you. Trying to see how long we can play with the flames before we get burned. Objectification of another person comes swiftly and insidiously. I may not think it’s a big deal. You may like it. But it isn’t consonant with our nature as humans. You deserve better. You are a precious gift. And so am I.
The point is not that we are so bad. The reality is that we have been made so good and need to learn to live as such.
When I objectify you or myself, I am making you (or me) into something less than human — a thing, a toy. My vision isn’t narrowed when I turn away from the norms of the culture; it’s widened and clarified.
Help me, Lord, to learn to be authentically human and to love others with Your love. Please send me Your Spirit to help me see clearly.