Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sabbatical #23: The Taste of Sin

I’ve started reading The Confessions by St. Augustine. He talks about stealing some pears as an adolescent simply for the rush of stealing. He didn’t want to eat the pears. He didn’t need them. He just wanted to steal. He had a taste for sin. His discussion on motives is a good reminder that we need to resist sin and be with God in prayer, fasting, Scripture, and the rest of the disciplines that we might cultivate a taste for godliness rather than sin, particularly when good things are used to lead us into the corruption of that good thing, ending in sin. Here’s what Augustine has to say…

Sin gains entrance through these and similar good things when we turn to them with immoderate desire, since they are the lowest kind of goods and we thereby turn away from the better and higher: from you yourself, O Lord our God, and your truth and your law. These lowest goods hold delights for us indeed, but no such delights as does my God, who made all things; for in him the just man finds delight, and for upright souls he himself is joy (31).
It is a reminder of the oft-quoted words that Augustine shares near the beginning of his work, “…you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is unquiet until it rests in you” (3).

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