Skip to main content

Don't, Don't, Do!

“…’Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’ … Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom … but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. … Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 2:21-3:2 NIV

I grew up in a church with a lot of don'ts: Don’t dance, don’t wear make-up, don’t play cards, don’t drink tea, don’t go to movies, don’t eat pork. I have don’ts in my life now too. A big one is Don’t feed my fantasy life; don’t make contact with Pearl; don’t do anything that would stir up my desire for her or for any other woman.

There is nothing wrong with rules; we need them to have an ordered society but do the don’ts above stop me from doing what I shouldn’t? Do they stop the desires? Not really. Those come unbidden. In fact, when I first walked away from Pearl and tried to follow those rules I could not. Instead, I found my desires increased. It seems to be human nature to want what is forbidden and I’ve had that in big doses.

So what is the solution? How does one restrain oneself from the things she knows are wrong? How do we do what is right when all that is wrong is so appealing? “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

The more I focused on overcoming my sin, the more I fell into sin. But when I began to make Jesus my focus, when I stopped worrying about what I shouldn’t do or have and instead began to continually bring my thoughts onto the things of God, my life began to change. It didn’t happen overnight but, gradually, what was important to me shifted and instead of teeth-grinding determination to stay away from that which is wrong, I found myself more and more in God’s arms, resting and at peace.

No, I don’t have it all together yet. I still struggle. I still kick myself for doing what I know I shouldn’t. I’m still in process. But I think I’ve found the key: “Set your minds on things above.”

Father, I want to be so wrapped up in you and your presence that nothing on this earth has the power to pull me away from you—not even my own desires. Remind me of this when I forget and keep me focused on you alone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.















My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…