Excerpted from a discussion of besetting sins on a theological chat page:
After a recent discussion of a listmember fighting back from drug addiction, can we talk about drawing protective rings around ourselves (self-government) to keep ourselves out of our own besetting sins (maybe that is an old-fashioned term, “the sin which doth so easily beset us” in the KJV)?
In what ways, if any, do those rings we draw around ourselves affect others?
We already hit on the idea we all have *different* rings. One man draws a ring around himself keeping all drugs at least two neighborhoods away; another draws a ring around himself keeping himself out of all bars; a third draws a ring that even excludes restaurants that serve alcohol.
My ring(s) include a rigorous observance of Weight Watchers, planning for everything I eat.
I eat dessert once a month–a sinfully huge piece of cheesecake “imported” from the Carnegie Bakery in New York City. I am having it today, matter of fact.
I can see two possible scenarios playing out with my dessert, both of them with different endings.
If I were to be at Route 58 Deli (where I get the cheesecake) with a friend who was 200 pounds overweight and had just started Weight Watchers, I would just skip my treat, for her sake (or get it later on another occasion).
But let’s say I was going to have my monthly piece of cheesecake at a church potluck dinner and I was aware there were half a dozen new Weight Watchers members there. I would probably still eat it (just not right under their noses). It seems that in such a large group, we can maybe not be as meticulous about keeping our “rings” from interacting with the “rings” of others.
And, certainly, it goes without saying that I would *never* make myself the dessert police and go interrupt the Christian liberty of another person, fat or thin, by telling her she should not have cheesecake at that church potluck! Simply none of my business, that!