Life and Death at the Grocery Store
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Today’s passage makes it very plain – following our own sinful nature leads to death and destruction. Following Christ, however, leads to eternal life. It isn’t complicated, and it makes me wonder how we screw it up so often. Why would anyone pursue those things they know will lead to misery? It’s particularly easy when looking at someone else’s struggle. Why would you do that? It’s is so simple. Just stop it. Paul’s words today do make it very clear – If we desire life instead of death, we must follow Christ. If it’s so obvious though, why do we still struggle with pursuing our self-destructive nature?
I was pondering today’s passage as I ran to the grocery store last night. I walked in needing one thing but was immediately distracted by the boxes of donuts lined up near the entry. I was suddenly aware of my problem with today’s passage. Though I know exactly what’s right, healthy, and good for me, I still desire that which is wrong, unhealthy, and destructive. The grocery store was absolutely filled with things that I wanted, but which would be very bad for me.
If this was just about one box of donuts, it wouldn’t be a big deal. The food addict that dies from heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension though, didn’t die from one box of donuts or one bag of chips. Ten thousand chips were consumed, one little chip at a time, with each chip representing a little bit of death that the food addict consumed, inviting destruction into his life.
This is how sin works and it’s why we struggle, even though Paul’s words are so obvious. Yes, we know sin leads to death and that following Christ leads to life, yet still, we want just one little chip. Of course, it’s not just about the chip or donut for all of us. We’ve all got our own struggles and we’ve all got those things in which we indulge that invite death and destruction into our lives.
The eternal life offered in Christ isn’t just something we receive after we die. Eternity is now. If we want to stop the misery and destruction in our lives and if we want to know true life and peace, then we must daily do whatever it takes to abandon those things that lead to death, embracing the life Christ offers.