So, the wife of the Pastor of one of the churches that I attend made an offer I couldn’t refuse. She said the church would pay for guitar lessons if I were willing to learn how to play (the goal being my joining the worship team). With some prodding from my wife, and the gift of his old guitar from my younger brother, for my birthday no less, it seemed playing this instrument was part of my unavoidable destiny.

I’ll concede the idea of learning and playing appeals to me. Playing an instrument is not only a practical skill for someone in the ministry, but there is a component of personal enjoyment as well. I’d like to know how to play some of my favorite songs.

That is, until I had my first lesson. For crying out loud, this thing HURTS! Playing looks easy enough, but until you have to contort your fingers and wrist into the positions needed to squeeze the strings, you don’t realize how much of a torture device the guitar is! Not only that, but the smaller strings really bite into your fingertips! If someone else wasn’t paying the price, I would be more than happy to lay this bad boy down and try something else. But this is what the church needs, so, I can foresee more torture in my near future. The man giving me lessons assures me that I will develop callouses and my fingers and wrist will become more flexible over time. Here’s to hoping that time flies when I’m NOT having fun.

There is a correlation to this in the Christian walk. In I Corinthians 6, Paul deals with the serious nature of sin and the fact that one cannot engage in a lifestyle of sin and expect to make it to heaven. In verses 12-20 he deals specifically with the area of sexual sin. Paul says in verse 18 that sexual sin is unique in that it is a sin against our own body itself, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”

The problem of sin is that it is comfortable for us. REALLY comfortable. If we will be honest, we will recognize that it is far easier to live the way we want, rather than live the way God wants us to. That’s why Paul gives us a great reminder about the nature of God’s love and the cost of our salvation. In verses 19 and 20 he says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

Jesus paid the price for our salvation. His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection are what has made it possible to have eternal life. It was a price that none of us could have paid. The great glory and promise of this life is the fact that we have now become the temple of the Holy Spirit. GOD LIVES IN US!! WOW!

He will help us to live the life Paul is calling for in the whole of I Corinthians 6 – a holy life. Be aware, it is not easy, and in many ways it is uncomfortable and torturous to lay down the life of sin that comes so easily to us. However, over time, and with practice, a life of righteousness and holiness will come out of us just as surely as beautiful music will one day come out of that guitar of mine. Don’t give up on living for the Lord, no matter how hard it seems sometimes. Trust me, Jesus paid far too high a price to give up on you, and the Holy Spirit hasn’t “moved in” just to “move out”  again.


Copyright © 2012 John P. King

Verses from the NASB


2 thoughts on “OUCH!

  1. I agree the guitar is a crazy uncomfortable, awkward, painful instrument to learn until the callouses develop, and they do if you don’t give up. This post made me think of this verse:

    “The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19

    Those callouses are like the sure-footedness and confidence that comes with practiced faith,

  2. The fruit of conquering; whether it be chords, or a song, or a melody line of notes, renews the resolve to work through the a for mentioned challenges. Taste and see -that the guitar is hard…but worth it.

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