Monday, September 7, 2015

Tangled Up and Torn Down - Martin Wiles

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

How could something so carefully wound and neatly tucked away become the tangled mass I held?

Christmas lights are an anomaly. Regardless of how carefully I wind them on something made to keep them untangled, they knot anyway. Helping my wife put them on the tree means periodically stopping and unthreading knots that have somehow mysteriously tied themselves while lying hidden in a dark tote for nine months. 

Pre-lit trees ended my fight with tangled lights. When the tree is erected the job is done. No more untangling or wondering how the knots got there in the first place. Just a more pleasant Christmas experience. 

The writer imagined tangles too, but ones more devastating than snarled lights. 

God’s forgiveness untangled my initial knots, but that doesn’t mean I’m free from future self inflicted twists. Paul gives a list of common entangling problems: quarreling, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfishness, backstabbing, gossip, conceit and simply misbehaving (I Corinthians 12: 20). 

I’ve been wound up by all of these at one time or another and known a host of others who’ve been knotted with me. 

Fortunately, I don’t have to stay in knots or be tied down by any of these sins. By claiming God’s promise he won’t allow any temptation to be stronger than I can endure, by recognizing my weaknesses and praying for his strength and by avoiding situations making these and other sins more enticing, I can be victorious over entangling sins. 

Give your tangles to God and let him straighten them out.

Prayer: Merciful Jesus, remind us no sin is greater than Your ability to deliver us from its tangle. 

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