When I was a little kid, I used to think because I didn't commit this or that sin I was a better or holier person. Because I hadn't killed anyone physically or stolen millions of dollars I was a relatively decent, okay kinda Christian.
Which as I got older set me up to compare myself to the public sins of other people I noticed quite easily.
I've come to learn whenever I am dangerously close to seeing the splinter in another eye without seeing the freaking beam in my own, it never ends well. ever.
I love the Church and there are a ton of things we do really well. But sometimes there are things I wish we would talk about more.
I love me some good food and drink (on occasion). For most of my life, I have a somewhat unhealthy relationship towards and with food. I have used food as a crutch, a way to numb myself, and sadly as a way to reward or "treat" myself with a weight loss. Gluttony is one of those seven deadly sins I think that gets easily overlooked or downplayed.
Is gluttony equal to lust? Well no, at least I don't personally think that.
Gluttony is really a heart issue; its a deep craving for excess. And gluttony is something that tries to fill the voids that only God can really fill.
I was well into my late 20's before I had a priest (lovingly) call me out in the confessional for using food in an unhealthy way just as a person could use drugs or sex in an unhealthy manner. It really helped drive home the point that anything in excess is never healthy for us.
I wonder if more people saw gluttony as a problem would that foster a deeper awareness to those who don't have enough food to eat? Would it challenge us to be more conscious of our own consumption or see how much food we waste?
For me, actually naming and seeing when I am gluttonous has helped remind me of the other things in my life I can use in excess or try to fill with instead of God.
I was the kid growing up if I tried to lie to my parents, one of three things would happen. The truth would be written all over my face or twenty minutes later I would come back to my parents telling the real truth or I would immediately get caught. I suck at lying.
As I got older, at times I would try and justify things like little, baby "white lies." You know the kind. When you actually don't want to see that person and let them know you're not feeling good. Or saying "something suddenly came up." I don't live here in this reality regularly, but over the years I have told more my share of "white lies." I have rationalized my actions or reasons for doing so. On some level, I am sure we all have.
I have come to realize though that when I have caught or experienced people lying to me, it is awful. I feel unsafe, threatened, and wonder if this is a really trustworthy person. We all know how it feels when someone breaks our trust. It is awful.
The older I get the more I see I cannot rationalize my poor choices. If I except someone to be 100% truthful and honest with me, I have to hold myself to the same rigid standards. Living in that reality is hard, but for me it has also been a freeing reminder to really treat others the way I want to be treated.
The quickest growing addiction in our culture is pornography and sexual addiction.
I am 31 years old. I have heard 2 pastor's speak publicly on this.
I get that it is very, very difficult for a pastor to publicly address. I get that is so tricky when you have families with children at church on Sunday. Marriages are falling apart and dying from this (mine did). People are trapped in deep, painful addictions. For the mission of Jesus to truly be effective and life-changing, we have to go to the messiest, most painful places with individuals and families.
And this is one of the most broken places where both men and women are today.
We know our culture doesn't have a problem with porn. But the Church has to get MUCH deeper in the trenches. Over the last year or so, I have become so personally convinced of this because I experienced it first hand. I know God wants to use me in some way to help witness into this.
I certainly do not know exactly what that will look like or have all the answers. But I am convinced I'll somehow play even a small part to minister to others and the wider community.
What do you think we as church need to do a better job of talking about and facing together?
What are the unsaid things that need to be talked about more?