I feel that one thought that is worth adding to the mix is a word of wisdom from my old friend Thomas. Thomas would always say "watch out for less disguised as more".
One time when I was eighteen, some friends and I went to Valentines (an all you can eat restaurant in New Zealand). I quite like oysters and quickly I ate about twenty without thinking much of it - it's all you can eat and they are usually expensive!
Some of my friends started to notice what I was doing and started cheering me on. Then one friend, whose name was Graeme, challenged me to eat fifty oysters and if I did he would pay for my meal. To a skint eighteen year old who loved oysters this was a dream come true! So I proceeded to eat another thirty oysters.
I had some doubt of my internal capacity but I hit the thirty oysters mark without blinking, and soon after the fortieth oyster slid down my throat. At the forty first oyster I began to struggle however. I had found how many oysters my stomach could hold. But only my stomach was full and I still had my whole neck to get another nine oysters in, and I was pretty keen to get my free meal.
What followed felt as if I was stacking the oysters up in the little tube containers that oysters often come in. At forty eight I was feeling grey, like an oyster... At forty nine I felt a hint of reverse gears starting up. As the fiftieth oyster made the small decent the table cheered. As I opened my mouth to cheer, what came out was fifty mushy oysters, and a handful of chips.
So shortly after I had to start my meal again, with slightly less of a desire for food, and feeling a little like a glutton...
On the weekend I was talking with a friend who does not share my faith and the conversation turned to our own personal philosophies on sex. For him, and I think our whole culture, sex was like a buffet and it was his right to eat from the buffet anything and any amount that he pleased.
His only problem was that it was not really working for him; so it seemed to me. What he described to me sounded like his desires for choice were essentially making him unable to be with one person without wanting something from someone else.
One thing that you notice about any buffet restaurant is that while all the food is nice, the flavours don't necessarily compliment each other, and what you end up with is all the flavours mixing together to get an average flavour; you might even end up puking up fifty mushy oysters.
Less disguised as more
What emerged in the conversation with my neighbour was that he had been fooled by 'less disguised as more'. I think all people get fooled by 'less disguised as more' in some way. Essentially this is my understanding of sin - it is 'less disguised as more'.
In other words it looks like you are getting more, but you are actually getting less. Unsatisfied you are left only with a greater longing.
One of the main reasons people seem to not want to follow Jesus is because they will have worse sex, and less of it. Maybe this is true. Or maybe it only appears to be this way. To be honest I cannot know without doing something I do not want to do. I don't and cant know, but I'm okay with that.
It's the old story of a little bit of self denial leading to liberation, self denial which is more easily done with a belief that it will actually be a better thing; even though it appears to be less.
I suppose that my hope around this subject is that we would be people who are on the watch out for more disguised as less...
Something to think about.
Jared Diprose is a graduate from Carey Baptist College in New Zealand. He has been a youth pastor, and currently is working as a freelance contractor. In his spare time he makes surfboards.
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