When Two Plus Two Equals Two Times Two
Posted on April 18, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Freedom Fighters
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?” Proverbs 23:29 (ESV)
I kinda make it no secret that I spend my Monday nights attending Garden State Bible School. Anyone who is on my social media feed sees my captioned photo of what is on the agenda for the evening. This includes what I snack on while classes are being taught. Maybe if they woulda let me have Bugles and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups while I was in high school, I may have been more attentive to what was being taught in class… (nah…who am I kidding)? Anyway, the topics we study peak my interest and have shown me that I still have no clue into why God is God and its just best to leave it that way.
But then every so often I attend seminars that I find out about through the ministry of Addictions Victorious. I’ve been affiliated with this ministry since 2005. With that said, members of the AV network were all invited to take part in the Foundations Christian Counseling Services’ Addictions 2019 Conference at Berean Bible Fellowship Church way up in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. I say “way up in” because my drive to there literally began at the edge of Atlantic Ocean and went up from there, with a lot ear poppin’ along the way.
Now even though these are two separate events they both hit on the same topic within the same week…the effects of sin. Now our Bibles are full of the cause and effect of sin in the lives of many Biblical characters, but if we look at Proverbs 23:29-35, we’ll see that there are some real truths here to understand, especially if you’ve been on the addicted side of living.
But before I dig in here allow me to share with you something that author Mark E. Shaw (The Heart of Addiction) redefined as sin in the heart. “The persistent, habitual thoughts, words, and actions associated with excessive pleasure-seeking which are known by the user to be harmful and physically enslaving, sinful, and willful choices to disobey God (whether one acknowledges it or not).”
On Monday nights, our last class has done nothing but go over the topic of sin in its various different angles in our lives but the effect of sin in our lives is something that impacts more then just doing a bad deed and casting it away. As Pastor Sahl explained there are physical, emotional and spiritual effects to consider. Both Mark Shaw and Pastor Sahl would take Proverbs 23:29 and tear it down.
Who has woe? The one whose life is reckless and impending doom is on the horizon.
Who has sorrow? The one who is unrepented, hurt, angry and carries bitterness
Who has strife? The one who always has relational problems that leads to loneliness.
Who has complaining? The one who is ungrateful and is falling from grace.
Who has wounds without cause? The one who physical fights with others or is klutzy.
Who has redness of eyes? The one who carries hopelessness and a hangover from the night before.
Now ya can’t just stop here and think you got this in that nutshell on the top of your shoulders. As always the case with Scripture, the next verse clue’s you into what the previous verse is about. “Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly” (Pro 23:30-31). Ah-Ha!! Those of us who’ve been addicted know this well but you could replace the word wine with something that you struggle with. And notice the sensory things here. Its pleasing to the eye, maybe the sound of fizz as it sparkles, the taste of it as it goes down. All the things that makes sin seem like its not really a bad thing but in reality, you’ve already gone too far, spent too much resource and are spending too much time with it. (Now, can you hear it say “GOTCHA”?)
There is also another passage in Scripture that has a warning that also touches and agrees with the sensory aspect of ourselves, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16) Hmm…
Well, I’m running outta time today, but I do have more to share with you about the effects of sin in our lives. Until next time ask your something that we’ll cover in the next verse. “Can I list the ways my pleasure of choice has bitten back at me and has been harmful to me and those around me?” I pray that you have a short list. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. This is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.” — A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6