Monday, March 26, 2012
This statement bothers me, but I believe that it's true: "Those who have a loss of character make a choice."Mark is here focusing on the willfulness of sin - a great point, but I want to focus on his correct and traditional use of the term "character."
I know that when I have lived "out of character," opting to do things I knew to be wrong, I was really acting "in character," willfully so. I can't claim that the sins I have willfully or knowingly committed were aberrations. They were expressions of my fallen human nature and so, consistent with my fallen character.
Most people thin that someone of good character follows the rules and vice versa. But note - it is not about the rules - our character is something different - it is, as Mark notes, fallen, but it is also redeemed by God's grace. Yes, sin is willful, but when our character is redeemed, our will falls in line with God's - the need for rules disappears and being someone that "follows the rules" is simply an expression of our redeemed nature.
This means that sometimes the best approach to sin is not to grin and bear the discipline of following the rules, but to focus on Christ and His redemption of us and allow Him to CHANGE OUR CHARACTER.
Prayer, meditation, reflection - these are all aspects of allowing God to work on who we are to the core. Until we allow God to alter our core, we will always make wrong choices.