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For too long, I justified myself with the excuse that dancing with the devil was justifiable if I didn’t slow dance. I’d edge as close to overt sin as I could without stepping over the line. Close enough to get some pleasure, but not too close to get trapped, to have guilt overwhelm the good times.
In high school days, how much physical contact with girls was acceptable before it became sin? That became more subtle as an adult, how much information could I withhold, without actually lying, to give myself an advantage? Or, while remaining a nice guy, what balance should I strike between serving others and using others to serve myself? These are just a few of all those cases I could list.
That was fast dancing with the devil. Some distance between us, no direct contact as in slow dancing, but I moved to his beat.
Evil isn’t found just in ISIL and its growing list of beheadings. Evil is found in us. Evil is found in each thought, each act, that moves us away from God. We choose evil or we reject evil. God’s nature is righteousness, Satan’s is sin.
Pretty stark, isn’t it? Personally, I need a bit of clear-cut starkness, or I rationalize that it’s not that bad, that if I don’t get caught it’s OK, that God’s grace is abundant. Yes, it is, but “shall we go on sinning that grace may increase?” (Romans 6:1. For more on this, read Romans 6:1-23).
This reflection is changing me. From now on, when I’m in the devil’s dance hall that is this world, I want to be a wallflower, not even tapping my foot to his rhythm.
Kick Starting the Application
In the metaphor of dancing, are you slow or fast dancing or a wallflower? In what areas? How does the fact that you’re a wallflower at times, a fast dancer at others, and sometimes a slow one, allow to do still do some dancing?
How evil have you thought sin to be, and how has that perception impacted your thoughts and actions? Any changes you need to make?