Saturday, June 21, 2014

Morality: Paul Tripp

I’ve really come to appreciate Paul Trip’s work over the years. Recently I came across something that I’ve found incredibly worthwhile from a series he was doing on Psalm 15, looking at the standard of holiness that God calls his people to. In the previous article on Psalm 15, he wrote about how the Psalmist considered a God-honoring way to live with our friends and neighbors. Then he moved on to looking at how the Psalmist continues to list the Lord's standard of righteousness, looking at Psalm 15:4, "Who shall dwell on your holy hill ... [the person] in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord."  Please read this, and be challenged. 

Trip writes: 

This verse reveals an unshakable moral commitment to what is right. The person described has such a deep allegiance to God that he or she is revolted by sin as much as the Lord is. 

I don't know about you, but there are times when my heart is seduced by evil. It may only be for a moment, but I catch myself chasing after - not despising - vile things.  
I don't want to come across as legalistic, but I think it's my job to draw an uncomfortable line: what do you need to give up that has the potential to make evil look beautiful? 
There are television shows that you might need to turn off. There are books and magazines that you may need to put down. There are movies and websites that you may need to stay away from. I'm concerned that the body of Christ is losing its edge. I've found that we're too willing to expose ourselves - in a fairly consistent manner - to things that are dangerous and polluted, that dull our moral sensitivity, and that present evil in a seductive manner.  
You see, here's what you need to admit: as long as you're still breathing, you have the capacity to find vile things beautiful. Even as a child of God, you're not free from corrupted desires. Are you willing to admit the depth of your spiritual need? And are you willing to sacrifice some of your entertainment and leisure preferences for the health of your soul? Maybe it's time we fight a little harder for our morality. 
I would encourage you to reconsider your lifestyle, but know that your hope for change won't be found there. Your hope is in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He gives you the power to say "No!" to vile things and gives you the ability to see beauty where God sees beauty. 
God bless, 
Paul David Tripp
  1. What are some forms of entertainment - TV, books, magazines, websites, social media - that are consistently promoting vile things?
  2. How does entertainment mask those vile things in "beautiful" ways?
  3. Why does your heart buy into those masking lies?
  4. Why won't turning off the TV and disconnecting from Internet solve your ultimate problem?
  5. How can you commune with the Holy Spirit and find the power to say "No!" to vile things?

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