Even after the sermon on God’s wrath two weeks ago, I was still “stuck” at one verse; one phrase in particular in fact – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (v18)
The verse is clear that Man suppresses the truth by their unrighteousness – an intentional and wilful action that sees us fall farther and farther down the slippery slope. Hence, I couldn’t help but wonder if most of us are so deep down the rabbit hole that we have lost all awareness of “truth-suppression” and even if our guilty actions stares us in face, we don’t recognise it as wicked.
I most certainly didn’t! When Albert Mohler (in his sermon, “The Way The World Thinks”) shared 14 negative effects the Fall had on the way we think, I found myself horrified that many of these were behaviours I brushed off as ‘normal’ and sometimes even preferred!
Three of the most commonly experienced effects for me are:
A. Distractedness – theological “attention deficit disorder”
I find my mind wandering and unable to focus and concentrate on reading God’s Word or journaling. I think about almost anything under the sun! From lunch, to movie trailers, to football, etc. My soul and spirit is so “all over the place” that I find it difficult to be still before God.
B. Intellectual Fatigue – the depletion in our capacities and mental reserves
After a long day, I find myself being so tired that I sometimes utter the phrase, “I don’t want to think anymore” or “my brain is fried”. Whilst that is understandable, instead of relaxing my mind in healthy fashions, I unfortunately begin to fill my mind with things that are frivolous, and quite frankly, not very helpful at all.
C. Intellectual Apathy – showing a lack of concern or interest for most things theological/spiritual
When readings or articles come before me that are a little more complex to understand, my mind becomes lazy and I label it as “too cheem”, brushing it aside, never desiring to slowly unpack its gems. And a small part of me whispers the line: “Leave this to the scholars and theologians… you don’t need to take pains to understand this!”
I think that we all (myself most of all!) need to take a long hard look at what we’re filling our minds with. We need to think about what we’re thinking about. As Paul exhorts us in latter parts of Romans:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”(Romans 8:5-6)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
By Adrian Ow, Assistant Pastor (YCKC Bulletin 4&5 February 2017)