We went out last night and got home late.  Thankfully my super son had a three hour nap in the afternoon and was up to the trip to catch up with a friend who is in Melbourne for a conference.  When we got home we put him in bed and tried to get him in a state more suitable for a night’s sleep.  He said “I just want to go to bed.”  Which is where he was but it was where he thought he needed to be.

Reflecting on this, considering what to blog about today, and thinking through a number of scenarios I knew of I realised that there was a common thread.  1 John 2:16 talks about “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.”  I want to consider how the lust of the flesh is conceived into sin like I did on when I mentioned the lust of the eyes earlier this week.  See an article here for more details on research in this field.

The lust of the flesh is not fed by looking at things, sin is not birthed in having flesh but giving space to the flesh.  The traditional response was to deny the flesh, through things such as fasting, or other extreme forms of mortification.  The reality is that these work when you are dealing only with the beginning of the issue.  The problem is that many of us, through what we watch, see and hear believe that if we give our flesh what we feel we need then everything would be ok.  The problem is that this is now giving birth to the sin.  The problem is the conception.

I am starting to think that our desire to indulge the flesh is not because we are weak but something has happened previously to us that lets us say, if I give in to this I will feel better.  Mortificaiton is about denying what is there, psychological pain about a situation can easily open room for lust of the flesh.  It is not birthed by thinking, hey that seems interesting may its ok but by the fact that I am hurt and if you make me feel good through my flesh I will feel better.  To me this explains some of the scenarios I know of – abused girls entering into sexual relationships to feel better about themselves, people drinking to excess to bury pain and taking up destructive behaviours of drugs or food related illnesses such as overeating or annorexia.  If the psychological pain can be relieve through the flesh it is.

Healing, in this case is not done by removing the source of the problem, drugs, food, sexual activity, or even stopping thinking about it.  Healing is brought about by God, through Jesus Christ, dealing with the pain.

At the end of the day when we realise we are in psychological pain the response sometimes is “I just want to go to bed” and indulge the flesh in one way or another.  In the end we need to realise we are where we are and that the pain needs to be dealt with.

So what pain may be motiviating your flesh?

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