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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunburn - Or Is It Sinburn?


Last week when our grandkids were visiting I took them to a local pool/water park almost every day. They loved it and I have to admit, Lord, I did too. Just being able to dip into that refreshing water in the sweltering heat was a real treat.

However, the first day out I forgot that the skin on my back and shoulders hasn't seen sunlight in probably 25 years. Needless to say I got a hearty sunburn. My back was very touchy for 5-6 days. [BTW, thank you, Lord, that I recovered from it quickly.]

As a kid I spent every summer running around in sun suits and swim suits all day long soaking up the Florida rays. I guess my skin built up a resistance to the sun, or lost its sensitivity to the sun from repeated exposure.

Now, after years of being covered up and protected my skin is once again very sensitive.

It puts me in mind of how our spirits can toughen up and lose their sensitivity, too, Lord. We can desensitize our spirits, our consciences, to sin. We can expose ourselves to sinful habits and practices so much and so often that we lose our sensitivity to its sinfulness.

We can adjust our moral compasses by continuous exposure to things You hate, Lord, so that they no longer seem immoral to us at all. That isn't right. That isn't good. But we Christians do it in many arenas and aren't even aware of it.

Take profane language for just one example. We hear it at work, at family gatherings, on TV, radio, music, videos, movies, stage productions. We read it daily in almost every book or magazine we touch. This week I took four year old M. to an animated "kid's" movie - The Clone Wars. And the producers had to include at least one use of the word damn. For crying out loud! What did that word add to the story or the action or the value of that film? Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zilch! Zero!

But we have grown so accustomed to hearing filthy and profane words day-in, day-out, that I'll bet most people don't even notice that word as offensive when it's spoken.

Like my youthful skin in the Florida sun, we totally lose our sensitivity to things that insult or offend You. And then, how do we gain it back?

I think that's one of the reasons many Christians tend to cloister ourselves with other like-minded Christians. We can enjoy some of our weekly activities without worrying about exposing ourselves and our children to things that offend You, and should offend us. Without getting "burned."

I don't believe immersing myself in "Christian" activities surrounded by "Christian" people exclusively is the best option. If I live like that then I lose opportunities to witness to the lost and dying people around me, and I lose touch with real life in the real world. So, what's the answer, Lord?


Think about it a minute, Little One. You said your skin returned to being sensitive to the sun because you shielded and protected it for a long time. But, is completely avoiding the sun the only way to protect your skin? What about covering it with light weight clothing when you're out in the sun? What about moderate exposure? What about the marvel of sun screen?

So, for your conscience, what about covering yourself with a garment of praise like I describe in Isaiah 61?

How about moderating your time and activities so that you invest yourself in other Christians AND in the lost people around you?

How about covering your spirit and your conscience with the protection Paul describes in Ephesians 6? You know, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of preparation? And don't forget the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation to protect your mind--the place Satan and sin usually strike first.

Maybe slathering your spirit with some Son screen is the answer you're searching for, Little One. A rich, generous layer of Son screen.