Beware of an overly ascetic viewpoint…. I have written much about the dangers of the “flesh” and about denying the “flesh…. and you might conclude that I am one of those radical “ascetic” Christians that go to the other extreme of self-denial and a severe outlook devoid of love…. and this is certainly not the case.
John 6:63… Jesus says, ” It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing.” ….. the real meaning is that nothing of Eternal significance is achieved by the flesh…. we are not supposed to despise our flesh….. or treat it badly…. but only to be aware that since it does not accomplish anything eternal, we do not not need to spend all our energies caring for it or pampering it.
You need to read Luke 7:31 – 35…. the hardest thing for humans to do is have a BALANCED viewpoint…. about the flesh…. and about any other matter of spiritual significance…. like reconciling judgement and love…. for every scripture verse there is another one to “counteract” it….
Matthew 5:42 “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” …… HAS to be tempered by COMMON SENSE and the PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF IT by the circumstances surrounding “what is being asked for” and who it is doing the “asking”…. and indeed also, the motive behind the “asking”…. and depending on the circumstances, OTHER verses of scripture could easily be found that would ANNUL your obligation to “give” unconditionally in every instance as this verse “appears” to be suggesting.
We cannot just “grab verses” and apply them “across the board”….. and yet, this “simplistic approach” has been at the root of much doctrinal error…. has spawned various “sects” within religion…. and brought the entire Bible into disrepute among the heathen “observers”.
LOVE is the central them of Apostle John’s writings……. LOVE is the reason Christ came to earth and suffered and died…… the fact that God will judge the world and condemn various people to hell in NO WAY annuls His Great Love…… and humans just cannot fathom this…. because humans cannot love and condemn at the same time…. we are not God and we are not able to judge the world in our “human” condition.
BALANCE in the Christian life…. Enjoying the good things of the flesh WITHOUT allowing them to become OVERLY important…. Putting God first and loving our “fellow man” with the correct perspective at all times and in all circumstances …. is a very daunting (impossible ?) goal…
We have the Holy Spirit to enable us….. the Saviour to forgive us when we fail…. and the LOVE of GOD to encourage us onward to another day.
Abandoning the “Way” in order to enjoy the pleasures of a fleshly life….. or abandoning the flesh entirely in search of a “super spiritual” existence…… are BOTH equally wrong extremes.
Maintaining a BALANCED approach to life while interacting with the people around us…. JUST AS JESUS DID while in His body of flesh…. is what is expected of us each day… and with His help it IS possible…. even if we fail occasionally…. thousands of saints who have lived before us have done it…. and we are not any different from them.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Hebrews 11:32 – 34
Prayer for Today:
Loving Heavenly Father, Thank you for another day in your world…. bless us, heal us and help us today as we live ever midful that You are watching over us…. knowing our thoughts and observing our ways as we go about our daily business of living for You…. in Jesus Name …. Amen.