Over the last several weeks I have been dealing with a series of rather nasty viruses or maelware (still not sure of all of this terminology) on my home laptop computer. Somehow these intruders invaded this computer and at times seemed to take over- randomly popping up all kinds of websites including porn- and I had no control over this. Since this is the computer we let our six-year old use to play games on PBS Kids and Playhouse Disney this was even more alarming.
The computer did have an anti-virus program that turned out to be totally useless against this stuff. It even recognized some of the viruses but told me- “no action has been taken”. Of course I am wondering, why is it even on here then! lol
It got so bad that I stopped using it for a few days and had decided that it would have to go into the shop until a friend suggested another anti-virus program. So far, this program has done the job (still holding my breath though). It identified a couple of dozen bugs some called “trojans” and others identified as “tracking” and zapped them- I guess.
All of this reminded me of a phrase I heard years ago- long before our computer age. “You don’t have to go looking for sin, it will find you.” Just imagine checking out your fantasy baseball league and all of a sudden pornographic images flash before your eyes and bombard your senses!
This week in preparing for my sermon I revisited Romans 7: 14-20. This is the text in which Paul confesses his struggle with sin (and the law’s failure to help overcome this sin). Here he speaks of the “sin living in me” or his “sinful nature” and how when he does the things he “hates” it is not him, but this sin doing it.
Could it be that sin is like these viruses on my computer? It gets within us and entangles itself in our values and before we possibly even realize it- it pops-up, engages us and off we fall into it’s trap. Like Paul, we want to do the right thing and are doing it, but then “the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions.” (7:19 The Message)
The answer- virus control! We have to arm ourselves with God’s armour (Ephesians 6). Paul actually asked, “Who will rescue me..? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”- was his answer. Through him we can identify and take care of the sin within us. (See Paul’s continuing discussion in Romans 8 )
Anyway, hopefully my virus problems are under control. Hopefully, we are all letting Christ control our sin problems.
Just for your information:
- John Eldridge in his book Wild at Heart explores the idea of “sin living within us” that is very interesting. I recommend reading this great book.
- My buddy John Dobbs and his youth minister Jason Barnard do an “Internet Awareness Seminar” which you might want to consider hosting.