Posted by MK | Filed under Theology
That’s a tweetable title for a blog post if I’ve ever seen one.
A couple of definitions today might be helpful. Mortification is about death. Killing sin as violently and as often as necessary. It’s waging all out war against what is contrary to life in Christ. Vivification is more positive. Whereas mortification is about the removal of sin and its causes, vivification is about stirring up your affections for Jesus in a positive manner. It’s about reminding yourself of the beauties and excellencies found in Jesus alone.
These two must work in harmony with each other. Consider, for example, how embittered, dispassionate life would be if all we ever did as Christians was practice mortification. Like those walking around in sackcloth and ashes, we would be devoid of real joy and eternal happiness. Consider, then, for example, how unbridled life would be if all we ever practiced was vivification. Like those who treat sin as a game with no real consequences, we would see the world – and ourselves – through rose colored glasses.
They are two sides of the same coin.
We fight sin. We battle it. We kill it. But anyone who has waged this kind of war will tell you that the removal of any sinful habit, especially one we hold closely to our hearts, leaves an incredible void in its absence. We wonder if we can even go on, for we’ve come to look forward to that sin. We crave it. We think about it and nurture it.
What can fill the void left by mortification?
The void is not only filled, but we find ourselves overflowing. We kill and we fill. We fight and we feast. We remove and we indulge.