Do this: Stand in front of a large mirror. Now hold a hand mirror so that you can see the reflection of the hand mirror in the large mirror. If you aim the hand-held mirror a certain way, you will see an infinite series of mirrors reflected in reflections of reflections of reflections or reflections . . . .
That is life without God.
Like the reflections of reflections, our habits are formed to serve the self, the self, the self. We become slaves to the self.
Pastor Aaron at Living Word Community Church said our choices are driven by the desire for pleasure that isn’t real, isn’t lasting. How long does the pleasure of a glass of wine last? 20 minutes, max?
He said our choices are driven subconsciously by old tapes, old messages from our childhood. We were wounded by what someone said or did, by a wrong done to us, so that even today, whether it’s appropriate to do so, we act out to try to prove that person wrong. I can think of too many instances when I’ve acted like a tough guy in response to a parent berating me years ago of being “too sensitive.”
Our wounds make us sin. Where sin is unacknowledged, the pastor explained, there can be no grace.
In “The Shack,” William Paul Young wrote that we are slaves to “…family genetic heritage. DNA, metabolic uniqueness, quantum stuff. Soul’s sickness that inhibits and binds. Social cultural influence. Habits that have created synaptic bonds and pathways and paradigms.”
There is a saying that during the first part of our lives, we form our habits. For the rest of our lives, our habits form us. That sounds like slavery, to me.
The pastor said we need to be rescued because we CANNOT free ourselves. We need Jesus. Only Jesus can rescue us from slavery to self. And He’ll rescue us again and again and again cuz we’re human. Imperfect.
Without my habits, without my reflected mirrors, what will I do? Who will I be?