I have heard before that one can’t simply remove oneself from sin or push away from evil. It is necessary to replace the sinful behavior or beliefs with others that are more valuable or good. Christ’s parable of the man cleansed of an evil spirt suggests that this is the case, too. The spirit returned and found the man’s soul swept clean and empty. Absent anything beneficial that had taken its place, the evil spirit simply returned, with a team of cohorts, so that the man’s condition, in the end, was worse than before.
Today in our women’s Sunday morning study, we were talking about the 7 deadly sins, specifically gluttony, in all its manifestations (hoarding, covetousness, avarice, overeating, excessive drinking, etc.) As we talked it occurred to me that with all sins it is the same. And, given the necessity of fleeing from and pushing away such behaviors, I asked myself what is the replacement? It seems to me that much of gluttony is born out of a lack of trust in God’s faithfulness to provide for us. If we can come to trust His good intentions toward us and His faithfulness to meet our needs, then we can be grateful, generous, and content instead of covetous, hoarding, and excessive consumers.