I have had conversations recently with an elderly person who has dementia. This means that she frequently forgets basic information such as where she is, what year it is, and even sometimes who she is. This condition means that she does not believe people who remind her where she is, etc. Even if you manage to convince her of the truth of what you say, she very quickly forgets that she agreed with you, and goes back to believing it’s 40 years ago and asks where her husband is, who died over a decade ago.
It occurs to me that many people living today, both Christian and non-Christian alike, suffer from the same spiritual disease: they believe lies. The woman who believes that she is good enough to get to heaven on her own. The man who thinks he can cheat on his wife and get away with it forever. The teenager who thinks that life is not worth living. The person who believes that sin is preferable to th path that God wants them to walk.
Every choice we make, every word we say, every course of action we pursue should be processed by the question is this right? Is this what God wants me to do? And if the answer is anything but yes then we should think long and hard about whether or not we should do what we are about to do. If the answer is a definite no then it is the height of insanity to choose to do that which is bad for us.
A cactus is covered with spines. Most of us would shake our heads at someone who would willingly run into a cactus. Like a cactus spine, sin is never a good thing. To paraphrase Randy Alcorn’s “The Purity Principle” “sin is always stupid.” Every time you have the opportunity to do right or wrong and you choose wrong, it’s like you’re choosing to walk in a patch of cacti instead of a smooth path. And then you get upset when the spines hurt, make you bleed, and possibly even stop you from walking.
I tell people how they can be saved but they don’t believe what the Bible says. I tell them avoiding sin will give them a better future, but they deny the danger they are in. I beg them to stop the self-destructive cycle that they are in, but they just keep right on thinking that they know better than God does.
I think we all have a little bit of dementia.