August 5, 2011
The Aligned Heart
by Katherine Britton, BibleStudyTools.com Editor
“Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” - 1 Corinthians 5:6
I wish I could say I hurt my back while jumping from a runaway horse or belaying down a mountain. But I don’t have a good story – or any story at all – accompanying my recent injury. All I know is I had the audacity to wake up and couldn’t get out of bed properly, nor could I stand up straight. At best, I managed a lopsided shuffle from bed to couch, with much grunting and groaning. Moving up and down stairs took an eternity. And most of all, it hurt like crazy.
After a couple days of doing the zombie shuffle, I got desperate. I couldn’t cook dinner, I couldn’t clean, I couldn’t comfortably drive anywhere, I couldn’t even watch TV without wincing at the smallest movements. I popped ibuprofen like candy. I promised God that I would never, ever, EVER make fun of my father again when he complained about back trouble. I began to imagine the rest of my life with chronic back pain, always careening to one side and never being able to stand up and look friends in the eye. That’s when I broke down and went to the chiropractor.
A few cracks and pops later, and I knew how the lame beggar must have felt when Peter pulled him to his feet. A few disks and joints back in proper alignment and I was almost back to normal. I felt like belting out an Hallelujah Chorus or two. I felt whole again.
God created the human spine to support the rest of the body. So when even one of our 26 vertebra slip out of alignment, the whole body suffers. The pain doesn’t stay isolated; as I discovered, it affects every moment of my day. That’s bad. Really bad.
Paul makes a similar point to the Corinthian church, as they had accepted various and apparently insignificant problems into their lives. But Paul knocks them over the head and says, “Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” (1 Cor. 5:6). His point was quite simple – living with sin will affect every part of you. A full life depends on a heart fully aligned to Christ’s desires, because there is no such thing as a little sin.
Intersecting Faith & Life: In Romans, Paul warns believers not to think grace gives them the freedom to continue in their old ways. “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2) Rooting out sin is about more than condemning a behavior or an attitude. It’s about aligning our hearts to live life more abundantly.