My End of the Deal
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
When my wife and I got married, we entered into an agreement, making vows to love and care for each other. Unfortunately, at the same time, my addiction to opioid pain pills began to blossom. As it grew, it slowly but surely consumed more and more of my life. In my addiction, I didn’t keep up my end of the marriage deal. I stayed in the relationship, but my behavior made it clear that I loved the drugs above all. In the end, we nearly lost everything to my addiction as the consequence piled up and tore our lives apart. I entered the marriage agreement, but I did not hold up my end of the relationship.
Now, in recovery, as we’ve put our marriage back together, I’ve had to learn to keep up my end of the deal. I’ve had to learn to live, not constantly pursuing my appetite and desires, but rather pursuing the good of our marriage. How would this affect my wife? This means not following my impulsive, self-destructive nature, but rather, working daily to abandon it so that I may pursue a healthy relationship with my wife, keeping up my end of the marriage.
This is an apt analogy for my relationship with God. Today’s passage reminds us that God sent Christ to die on the cross, paying the eternal penalty for our failures. Because of this, I can daily wake up, thanking God for my new life. The first thing I pray daily is to thank him for saving me from myself. The second thing I pray for though, is for my suitable response to that salvation. God saved me. Now I must respond appropriately. We were healed so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
In entering a relationship with God, we’re saved from ourselves. Our appropriate response though – and our end of the deal – is that we are to daily identify with Christ’s death on the cross, killing the old self, so that we may follow him. We often wrongly assume this is automatically done for us. To be sure, we’re not left alone in our growth, but it would be a spiritually fatal error to think that we have no responsibility in our own transformation. Daily, if we’ve entered a relationship with God, we must go to him asking what it is that he wants us to abandon and what it is that he wants us to do. Then we must do it. That is our end of the deal.