“rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways…”

I do not know why I am plagued this season with past memories, but I am.  My good friend suggested I may have a “soul tie.”  I’m sure I’m going to take much of what she said out of context.  She is an exceptionally bright girl and I had to dumb it down for myself.  Here is a bit of her email:

“(The devil) comes thru the legally open door and must be kicked out the same way- through renunciation, which is sometimes required to be accompanied with prayer and fasting.  The scripture basis for this is 2 Cor 4:2 “rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways…”  Through renunciation which is verbal, followed up by the physical act of cutting all ties with the person, as well as any “token” of the relationship, the contract (in the spirit) is made null and void.  We enter contract with the person when we either become emotionally tied to them in a way other than…. through marriage or through sexual contact.

“Of course this whole process of renunciation and cutting of the soul tie is part of repentance and I would recommend doing it with at least one other believer who understands or who operates in this kind of ministry.”

Why is this (and other) guy’s memory hanging around in my life.  I must get something out of it.  I don’t have the ring he gave me.  (A particularly juvenile emerald heart surround with tiny diamonds.  I’m not being snarky.  (Okay, I am.))  I haven’t seen him since 2001.  We don’t email or facebook nor do I have his phone number.  I’ve never met his wife, who, according to my mom is a chubby blonde woman, that looks just like the other girls he dated.  (My mom can be a pain in the ass.)  I don’t know why I know so much about him, but I do.  I never ask about him from mutual friends.  I have fully and completely repented from our physical relationship.  I don’t care if I see him again (opposed to want to see him again, or never want to see him again).  But there is something that holds on, just a little bit.

It’s probably because he was so darn clueless.  I remember one 4th of July when we were at a fireworks show.  He kept pushing me ahead of him in the crowd.  I felt like the front line.  I would be killed or trampled immediately and he was the one that would make that possible.  About an hour later we were driving home.  He pulled over the car and asked if I would marry him.  This was, like, the third time.  Of course I said no.

There are others, but none as ridiculous as he.  I have no ill will against them.  But I believe there is something to these ‘soul ties’.

I think that, in general, men are better than women at letting things be.  I think they are, in a word, less expressively introspective.  Nearly every relationship, at the end, the boy gave me something back.  A stack of pictures, for example.  They want this “soul-tie” broken too.  This whole idea about being ‘just friends’ has never worked for me.  We always ended up making out.  The only way things would go away was to cut all sorts of contact – email, in real life, and gifts.  And still they linger.

As someone with OCD I have just settled my mind on him this season.  I know many of you don’t believe in God, and would prefer to see this through the eyes of mental illness.  These things are not running my life.  They just take up an ungodly amount of my memory these days.  They float in and out.  And I don’t like it.

Let’s look at 2  Corinthians 4, where the “we have renounced secret and shameful ways” comes from.

2 Corinthians 4

“1Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.”

I lead a couples Bible Study.  One of the couples has been married 37 years.  Another has been married four.  (She was a widow and he fell in love with her before he realized she was seventeen years older than he.)  We’ve been married seven and had our share of troubles.  Richer or poorer (Poorer) Sickness and in health (Sick).   I am a terrible housekeeper and rebellious.   Despite this, I, not Mr. M, have been given this ministry.  I don’t pretend to have anything to offer in way of advice to my group members, but I do know how to direct folks in the Bible.  This is mercy.

2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

This verse is primarily about the gospel:. The peddlers of God’s word, utilize under-handed, cunning, and disgraceful methods, and tamper with, i.e. manipulate, the scriptures. They bring the message of “easy believism”, e.g. say the prayer and you are saved. Here Paul is using the metaphor of the “veil” (which refers to the veil Moses had to wear to shield the people from the “temporary” glory).  (Quote from:  http://approvedworkmanonterrafirma.blogspot.com/2009/10/relevancy-of-gospel.html)

I make every effort, however, not to distort the word of God.  I think this is one of the greatest of all transgressions, period.  I pray I don’t use the scripture to back up my own preferences or to discourage those who are suffering, or distort the Word to make it more palatable.

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a]made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

I am a little leery to even discuss this verse, but hope I am fully tackling this section of the Bible for the Bible’s sake.  The evil one makes it so the light of the gospel and Christ and God are imperceptible.  Because of this we must be certain to preach Jesus and be the servants of unbelievers.  This is as willing, kind position, to serve those that cannot see the light.  I want to be the light shining out of the darkness from my heart.

I remember while I was in college I was reading beautiful parts of the Bible.  I came downstairs and a brother told me, “You’re glowing.”  It was one of the most encouraging things I’ve heard.  I felt like Moses coming down the mountain and these Corinthian believers who had the light of God overflowing in their hearts.  It’s rare that I really feel it, but I know there are others who have commented about this.  What a gift from God!  How thankful am I for this gift.

Do you want it, too?  If I were a Protestant or non-denominational pastor I would introduce the Gospel now.  I am not going to do that.  If it interests you, go ahead and do a web search or ask a friend you know that is a Christian.  They will be delighted to talk to you.  Chances are they have been praying vigorously for you for years.   I am asking you to make the effort because it’s to easy to just read it here and make a gentle commitment in something you’re not entirely sure you are willing to turn things around and follow Him.  I hope you do, but I don’t want to make this about me, I want it to be about Him.

Thanks for reading.


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