Friday, February 07, 2014

For That Is Dissipation

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5:18 NAS

How often do I waste energy and time on things that don’t fit with my personal goals? How many ways do I water down life and cause it to be less impactful, purposeful or powerful?

If you were to ask a Christian what that verse is about they would tell you it’s about drinking alcohol. Duh; don’t get drunk with wine. Today I was thinking about my own behavior and it occurred to me that the crux of the verse is right after the piece about getting drunk---“for that is dissipation.”

Webster’s dictionary defines it thusly: the process of slowly disappearing or becoming less: the act of using all or a lot of money, time, etc., in a foolish way: behavior that shows you are interested only in pleasure, money, etc. They also define it as wasteful expenditure.

Being “baked” and wasted with wine is visible and obvious. Daily dissipation isn’t quite so obvious. I have days when I don’t talk to God. It’s an easy slide; easy to get going and forget (not “Let go and let God,” but letting go of God completely.) I can get angry and fed up with people so as not to give a rip! Dissipation is so subtle.

So yes getting drunk is dissipation. So is endless pursuit of exercise or to much television. The point isn’t to get us thinking about those horrible obvious sins. The point is that we easily miss the mark. That’s why the rest of the chapter calls us to rely on the Spirit and in fellowship with one another. Sometimes it takes a fellow traveler to say, “Dillo you’re dissipated!” It’s a thousand course corrections and employing all the help we can muster to keep us focused. Waste happens. We just can’t stay there when it does.

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