Limits of Logic

I just subscribed to "Stuff Christians Like" in my blog reader. This is a blog that keeps your spirituality real, not jargon or surface stuff that enables self-deception. Here is a taste.

“If Christian men knew what porn does to the women in their life there would be no more Christian men addicted.” On the surface, that’s not a big deal, but what it really says can be pretty dangerous. Here is the core of that thought: “If men knew how they hurt people with porn, they logically would choose not to look at porn.” Or stripped down even further: “Logic can beat sin.”

I wish that were true. I wish that in the battle of sin vs. logic or sin vs. rational action, sin always lost. That would make life so much easier. When faced with a dilemma, you could just pull out some algorithm and avoid sin altogether. “Should I gossip about my friend? That might get back to her and really hurt her feelings. Logically, I should avoid the drama that would come with that. I won’t gossip.” Or, “Should I cheat on my wife? The minutes of pleasure are certainly not going to be worth the possible years of hurt that causes. The value of cheating is far less than the value of growing my marriage over the long run, I’m not going to cheat.”

But life doesn’t work that way, does it? Men across the planet know their wives will be hurt by alcoholism. Dads around the world know ignoring their kids through workaholism is wounding them. People everywhere know that buying things they can’t afford with money they don’t have isn’t the smartest financial decision in the long run. But we still do it, don’t we?

Why? Because sin is bigger than logic.

I can’t think my way to a pure heart. I can’t logic my way toward sanctification. I can’t will myself to redemption. Sin is bigger and meaner and more powerful than everything in the world except one thing, grace. Only grace can beat sin. Only God’s love and power can defeat it. Porn or gossip or lying or anything else sin entices you with will crush you if you put your trust in your logic.

When we try to beat sin with logic, sin says “That’s adorable.” On the other hand, when we surrender, and admit like Paul that we keep doing the things we don’t want to do, grace has room to step in. And grace can win.

Grace and grace alone.

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