Verse: 1 Peter 2:11-12
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Series: 1 Peter

Have you ever been really sick? I’ve been very fortunate and haven’t suffered from any long term illnesses in my life, but I did have food poisoning once…and it was, what’s the best way to describe it, messy? TMI?

Anyway, it was horrible. My body went into full out war against the invasive food poisoning and did everything it could to get everything out of my stomach as fast as possible. I remember after one bout I was literally dripping with sweat and breathing like I had just run a mile.

My body waged war against that poison, as the poison waged war against me. It wasn’t pleasant.

This makes me think of how Peter tells us to be careful about your sinful desires, because they will “wage war against your soul.” I know it’s hard to honestly appreciate the power of this because we can’t see our souls, but sin is to our souls what food poisoning is to our bodies. We so easily get lulled into a false sense of “it’s not that bad” when it comes to sin. We use rationalizations like, “If it makes me “happy” then what could be wrong with it?” Or, “I grew up with church always giving me rules, I’ve outgrown that and have a more mature attitude where those rules don’t bind me anymore.”

I mean honestly we can come with whatever excuses we want, but it doesn’t change the truth: you and I choose to feed our souls poison when we choose to sin. That night I couldn’t rationalize away the food poisoning. I ran downstairs when it hit me and I was like, THIS IS  HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!!! Nothing I could do about it. I was more of a bystander than anything.

This is also true of your and my soul. We can’t feed our soul bitterness, or greed, or lust, or lies, or whatever and expect our soul to “be just fine.” It will show up as angry outbursts, short fuses, unexplainable “down-ness”, negative thoughts, impure thoughts, tiredness, lack of joy, and more.

The encouragement today is to honestly evaluate what we are feeding our souls. And when we realize that something is waging war against our souls, let’s run from it! You know that restaurant I ate at all those years ago? NEVER. GOING. BACK. Never even going to visit another one in the chain. Rational? No. Don’t care. That’s how determined I am to not get food poisoning again. And that’s just my body! Shouldn’t we be even more careful with our eternal souls?

Show me how to better care for my soul God, and give me courage to take the steps I need to take to protect myself.

Author: Christian Dunn