Have You Burned Any Houses Lately?

fireA strange question, I know, but stick with me here.

First a little history. In ancient times, when a band of warriors would conquer a group of people and take them captive, they would often burn the homes and the fields to insure that the new captives would have nothing to come back to should they try to return home.

We have an idiom that reflects the same idea… burning our bridges behind us. The imagery is that we have made an irreversible decision, and there is no turning back. It brings to my mind the Paul’s admonition to the Romans to

…make no provision for the flesh,
to gratify its desires.
Romans 13:14

And it is the Hebrew word picture for “repent.” The pictures formed by the letters say “Destroy the house – leave nothing behind.”

The teaching I’ve heard on repentance has primarily focused on the act of turning away from something and moving towards God. But the pull of my sin is strong, stronger than the good intentions of my heart. And unless I take measures to insure that I won’t go back, my ability to persevere in my decision is iffy.

For example, I can determine not to eat cookies anymore, but unless I throw that half eaten sleeve of Oreos lurking in the cupboard away, I am “making provision for the flesh” in case I decide I want to eat them later.

I’m sure you can come up with your own examples.

So the question remains… Have you burned any houses lately? As you look back over your recent repentance, what have you done to make sure you don’t return to your sin? What bridges have your burned? And if you haven’t taken steps to help you persevere, what does that say about your commitment to change?

I’m not asking you to reveal intimate details here, but I do want you to consider where you might have a house that needs to be burned.


Have You Burned Any Houses Lately? — 6 Comments

  1. Great post Susan,
    My “own examples” are legion. It is important to be reminded and learn tools to keep moving toward God. Really though, using cookies as an example…could that be called burning down the toll-house?

  2. You just HAD to bring up cookies, didn’t you??? LOL

    And Lois had to bring up ice cream. I’ve been putting coffee flavored ice cream in my coffee. YUM! But, I’ve been increasing the amount and so it is getting to be a little coffee with my ice cream sometimes.

    This flesh dies hard! :-0

    Great post, Susan. Thanks for writing it!

    • I told you there was plenty of conviction to go around! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a thought. Wish I had some chocolate…

  3. I’ve burned several bridges thru the years and many are still burnt!! Like throwing out all the Harlequin books when I got saved in 1989..nothing even like them has been in our house since! Now, on the other hand, I keep giving up my nightly ice cream but if you asked Dick he would tell you that most of the time I still have it!!! I have even used the excuse for some things that if I was perfect I would go up like Enoch did and I still have work to do!! Isn’t it amazing the things we can think up???? My desire is that we work on the really important ones and stick to it and have compassion on those who, like us, haven’t got it all together yet! God bless you….Lois

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