I recently found a hand-written 3X5 card with two sets of 4 (Steps to Sin versus Sources of Peace), one on each side of the card.
The image of the mirror with each set reflecting each other is both, a source of anxiety and contentment all at the same time.
The 4 Steps of Temptation that Become Sin is a progression.
- Notice that sin begins as a thought that I allow.
- Then my sin nature starts to take over and I begin to imagine what it would be like, taste like, feel like, if I carry-through with the idea.
- Sin feels good (for a while), so I sense pleasure at the idea and start to enjoy the fantasy. This is when I really start to deceive myself, because the negative consequences of this action never (or hardly ever) enter my mind.
- Lastly, I engage in the evil action assenting to my urges.
Unfortunately, the consequences of my sin come later because of the sin, by the hurt I cause myself and / or others.
Also note that this side of the mirror is all about ME! MY pleasure, MY independence, MY greed, etc.
When I focus on and implement The 4 Sources of Peace, they are the antidote to the Steps to Sin. It’s no longer about me, but about God and others; I put others before myself.
- I strive to do another’s will rather than my own. (God’s will)
- I always choose to have less than more.
- I seek to the lower places (positions, stations?) in life, dying to the need to be recognized and important.
- Always and in everything, I desire that the will of God be completely fulfilled in and through me.
Consider Jesus washing the disciple’s feet at the Last Supper as an example for them and us to follow. (John 13:1-20) If their Lord and Master can serve them by stooping low to wash their feet, then surely, I can serve others in whatever way He leads. This lesson teaches me to serve other people humbly, lovingly, and sacrificially.
As I focus on these Godly sources of peace, the thought of sin, and its consequences will increasingly become reprehensible to me, and this is one way God is conforming me into the image of His Son.