A few days ago, Sam took the Wonder Dogs for a walk. When they went to the barn, Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy (on the right) found a big chicken feather. She carried the feather in her mouth all the way back to the house.
After they returned, she stretched out on the floor, held it between her paws, and licked the feather for hours. She held the feather. Carried the feather. She adored the feather. She still does.
Maggie the Wonder Dog knew about the feather and she wanted it, too. When Mamie put the feather down, Maggie took it, held it between her paws, and licked. She adores it, too.
They haven't fought over the feather, but they're both dedicated to it.
The feather smells like a chicken. Maggie has grabbed a chicken by the neck with her mouth (when she got to the barn before I did), so the feather probably tastes like a chicken to her.
The feather is more than a play toy. The feather is a reminder of their past and their wicked ways.
Maggie and Mamie are chicken-chasers at heart. If truth be told, Maggie is a chicken-shaker-and-killer at heart. Mamie would like to be, but she's not quite big enough to grab a chicken. Her size is the only thing that's saved her from chicken-killing.
Since we take them to the barn on leashes now, they don't have an opportunity to grab chickens. Their enforced abstinence hasn't stopped their longing for it, though. I think the feather reminds them of the old ways and feeds their desire a little bit.
Keeping a reminder, just a taste, of a past sin is probably not a good idea.
I've found that, if I want to get a certain sin out of my life, I need to get it out of my life completely. Sever all ties with the old ways. Turn 180 degrees from the action I want to stop.
It's called repentance, and it's more than saying we're sorry. If we're done with sin, we stop carrying a "feather reminder", turn completely around, and head in a new (sin-free) direction.
An alcoholic can't keep alcohol around and expect to stay sober. A pornography addict can't keep copies of risque magazines around and expect to stay away from them. A glutton can't keep cakes and cookies and expect not to eat them. A gossiper can't keep track of other's business and expect not to indulge in secrets.
When we repent of sin, we choose to let go of that sin. 100%. If we want to stay free of it, we hold on to nothing of our old way. Even holding on to a tiny scrap of seemingly-insignificant-sin will trip us every time.
The worst part of "feather-holding" is that it robs us of the best part of repentance: Times of refreshing.
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Acts 3:19 NIV
Having our sins wiped away is a wonderful gift from God, but the times of refreshing that comes from repentance are just as precious. That godly refreshment is worth all we give up in the form of sin and reminders.
So let's let go of our sin and our "feathers", take up our cross, and follow Jesus with all our hearts.
Here's a link to the FREE ebook: The Clay Papers (Free from 6/3/16 through 6/8/13. Don't miss it!) I hope to give thousands away, so please share with all your contacts.
In case you missed it, here's the link for yesterday's post: The Incredible Kindness that Broke My Heart
#repentance #disciple #freeebook