Friday, April 01, 2005

Spiritual Adultery

You have forsaken your first love

" 1To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. "
- Revelations 2:1-4

Adultery in marriage might possibly be the worst betrayal one can experience. Sure we've had friends betray us before, but to have your husband or wife betray you with another takes it to another level. Since I am not married I can only speculate as to emotions such betrayal might bring about. The emotions one feels when their husband or wife has thrown away their committed love like it was a piece of scrap paper. The act of adultery is not merely physical, but it can be spiritual as well. For those are still happily married and deeply in love the act of adultery has no appeal at all and praise God for that. Spiritually, however, if we are honest with ourselves, then we might realize that all of us have committed spiritual adultery at one time or another.

First, what does spiritual adultery look like? It takes many forms, but the common theme is when we decide to give our spiritual love and our spiritual allegiance to something or someone other than to Christ himself. Quite simply it is when we forsake our first love. Some betray their marriage in Christ with money. Some betray with drugs or alcohol. Some betray with the movies they watch or with the language they use. Some betray by putting their all hope faith in a fallen government. As you can see no one is innocent of spiritual adultery for all have sinned and fallen short.

Second, how might we stop committing spiritual adultery? One way to end spiritual adultery is when we finally see our marriages to our spouses and our marriage in Christ as one in the same. When we treat Christ like we would our spouse. For those who are married, are you free to come and go as you please? Can you still date other people? Can you give your unwavering love and affection to anyone you please? I think not. The same is true for those who were married to Christ in baptism. We have committed our lives to Christ and pledged to put nothing else before our first love. Not a big bank account, a big house, a big car or even a big government. If Christ is truly Lord, then he is before all and that includes our spouses we love so much.

So this week let us reconcile with our first love that we have betrayed by giving our allegiance to things and people who are but a footstool for Christ. We mock Esau, but how many of us have given away our inheritance in Christ for a bowl of soup? We demean Judas, but how many of us have forsaken our marriage in Christ for 30 pieces of silver? Repentance is hard at first, but there is joy on the other side. Like the lost son, it is time to leave behind our spiritually adulterous ways and return to the Father who is now and forever our first love.


Coming Monday: MLK assignation remembrance


ace,  6:32 AM  

Composed very well, great article, Chris! As a committed married person who easily considers physical adultery with no appeal, your article has caused me to want that same 'no brainer' attitude in my commitment to Christ. Although typically it's the Bible's spiritual lessons that I strive to apply to my physical life, through your article, I realized this is a 'flip-flop' situation for me. I want to apply my one-flesh marital commitment to my relationship to Christ.

Rhonda 8:39 PM  

Great thoughts! Thank you!

I needed to read this!!

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