How, for years could I read Romans:
Be transformed with the renewing of your mind
So that you understand what is the
Good acceptable will of God?
Don't be conformed?
Be renewed in your minds routinely?
These are not theoretical constructs
They are active
They are prescriptive
They are to be experienced in the real life!
Yet I read the words in chapter twelve for years
With an tragically closed mind
Doomed to be complacent and "blessed!"
How could these challenging concepts
Be doomed to be a "blessing" worthy of a public testimony
When I had no intention to undergo
The metamorphosis of my mentality?
(The Greek term metamorphosis is translated
Be transformed to express the change of form!)
Passive reading does that to you!
It relieves you of the responsibility to ACT
Immobilizing the thinking process
Rather than change or desire for transformation.
Experientially I can safely predict that comfortable Christianity
Promotes a passive participation to progressive purity
When I engaged in private prayer with reading of Scripture
My primary or secondary goal was not transformation
Or the creation of the hunger
To be conformed to the image of Christ!
My life remained aloof from the direct penetration of the Word.
Somebody said: "This book will keep you from sin
And sin will keep you from this book"
The present suffering of my private word of thoughts and lusts
Did not keep me from reading it dispassionately
Or sharing about it to other believers
(Can you believe the bravado of such an act?
Of course millions of believers
Swim in this category!
It takes one to know one!)
It is cosy to be comfortable in the "blood of Jesus"
For comfortable Christianity is our lot!
It takes much effort to be different.
Now I realize with freshness the call to obedience
I sense the urgency for routine renewal of the inner frame
A daily transformation of heart and mind
For now I sense that the Word was written
To inform about the urgency for transformation
Providing such inquisitive answers for "how" and "when"
I am amazed at the indicative focus
Of descriptive accounts and events with intent
"It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction
For instruction in righteousness
So that the man of God will be thoroughly equipped
For every good work"
With amazement I realize the simplicity
Of the difficult task to be implemented
As stated in the Imperative:
"Prove yourselves doers of the Word
And not hearers only who deceive themselves!"
For a man who deceives himself
(this is me all these years of reading passively!)
"Is like one who looks into the mirror
Goes away immediately forgetting
What he looks like.
The one who looks intently (gazing thoroughly
As one does to examine thoroughly -
Parakupto in the Greek!)
Is the one who looks into the mirror
And gazes for a purpose without forgetting
What he looks like –
"Will be blessed in what he does!"
James one presents my antithetic response
For I looked into the mirror of the Word daily
Prayed superficially, only ritually
To maintain the habit of Christians.
I forgot my thoughts, desires and attitudes
I did not see the depravity
Nor the disparity
Or the irony of seeing the images in the mirror
Immediate response - to forget!
Go away having been "blessed" by the Word
When all along according to James one
I was deceiving myself
The blessing is contingent, dependent
Conditional on active response to the Word!
The Greek word for 'deceiving oneself'
Is much broader in implication
Paralogizomai is a compound expression
I am "alongside, (para) to reason or think!
It is "beside the point to reason"
Which is false reasoning that results
From a "false security of knowing when one is forgetful
Or ignorant of personal experience"
Demanded by the passage of Scripture.
Never lose sight of the fact that "forgetting"
Is the indicative action of the mind
It is a "psychological" dysfunction!
The mind is not in the prepared state to receive
In order to change towards the process of transformation
Be doers of the Word and not hearers only
Who deceive themselves!
Paralogizomai, as the word formation indicates,
Is a process!
The reader, in a particularly frozen
Mental state of passivity,
Emerges from the reading of the Word
Having been "blessed by it"
Sometimes even the prayer preceding the preaching
Is to this effect that
"May the reading of the Word bless our souls!"
Listeners are merely going through the motions
Or religious exercise
Hence at the close of the sermon
They will feel obliged to utter the automatic chattering
Which is customary: "Thank you so much
For blessing our souls!"
What was the sermon about?
Love one another!
How could you be "blessed" by a sermon
That demanded to be "done"
When the blessing is the outcome of doing?
James one says only the one
who gazes intently (Parakupto)
Not forgetting what he looks like
Doing the Word
Will be blessed in the process of doing it!
Let's consider the sobering realities
My relationship with the Word of God was defective!
It didn't matter how much of the Bible I read daily
For the dysfunction of the mind and will
Remained an insoluble problem
That enjoying the expose in dutiful cooperation with God
For I was like a blind man of First John Two
Who: "Walks in darkness being surrounded by it
Not knowing where he was going in the dark!"
What a vivid description of cohabiting with sin!
Take the account seriously
Do not be a victim of paralogizomai
By deceiving yourself through false reasoning
That you know and understand the account
When all along the volition is clueless
Having never been habituated to act upon the Word
By creating ways of doing It!
By creating the environment to perform!
Here is the believer who is in darkness
Due to habitual sinful conduct
To be continued