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Wednesday, May 19, 2021 5:35 PM

A Double Consciousness

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 5:35 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 5:35 PM

Romans 8:1-9

W.E.B. Dubois spoke of a double consciousness that Negros lived with in America. One, of what it meant it to be an American, to live in a land that supposedly valued democracy. And, two, of what it meant to live in that reality as a Negro limited by one’s color. There was no way of getting around living with the dual consciousness of both realities.

Dubois was not the first person to speak of a double conscious reality. The Apostle Paul had the same thing in mind when he wrote to the Romans. Paul was aware of the effects of sin in the human condition and how sin should always be resisted and submitted to the will of God.

He told the Romans about the good that he wanted to do and that he often could not do it with the level of consistency he desired. The evil he did not want to do is what he found himself doing too often and the cycle of wanting to do right but choosing to do evil handicapped him and kept him from being the person he desired. This was not just Paul’s life but everyone’s life--until Paul says he found the key to liberation from the human dilemma.

Jesus Christ and the power of forgiveness in him has freed us to start over again each time we fail. In fact, the power of forgiveness means there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. To be in Christ is to know the potential for life to be lived differently.

For Paul, the measure of being in Christ was to no longer be ruled by the flesh but to be guided by the Spirit. Those in the flesh are guided by their personal desires. Those in the Spirit are guided by God. The challenge to being in the Spirit is to be willing to submit to the power, plan and purposes of God. When the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are able to yield to the claims of God and allow our lives to bear fruit for him.

During the pandemic we had to learn lessons of submission such as wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and limiting the size of crowds we were exposed to. Our willingness to submit played an important role in reducing infections and preparing us for a return to a pre-pandemic world.

Submission opens the door to renewal and a fresh start. As we prepare to re-engage the world, let’s not forget the lessons of submission we learned and the blessings that can come when we yield to those who know best what works for our good.


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