Count the Cost
I've been having a pretty tough time with the pruning.

Realizing there are things I can't justify by any means of my own and yet have been trying to for years.

Through the wisdom of his word we learn what is of the Light as well as what is of the dark and we are to expose all things for what they are.

I've come across some things in the last couple days that have made everything tough. We are not to Love this world or anything in it and there is good reason for it, but it's difficult.

Sports and competitive games are even full of Darkness. We're not to participate in anything that sows factions or Envy or strife... that is the entire point of such things.

The whole goal is to gain victory over the opponent by resisting their efforts through superior skill and tact. Each team and even those watching are all pitted against one another in factions with envy in their hearts to be the one on top.

Yet for there to be a Victor there has to be a loser, someone to defeat.

It's all created to induce tension and Strife. Rivalries and Anger spring up naturally.

Riots even happen as a result of Envy when a favored team loses and the fans allow devastation and frustration to propel their actions. Fights constantly happen in the stands.

People totally forget it's just a game and they're all neighbors.

It says we are to submit to one another in reverence but sports and competitive games teach the exact opposite.

The truth of its nature is right there to be witnessed.

Seeing things as they truly are has made it impossible to enjoy what I used to and I'm left with internal conflict over many things I used to find fun.

I realize I now have to choose between personal interests and spiritual conviction. Between the narrow and broad path.

Jesus said to count the cost and I'm realizing there is a lot more to sacrifice than just the more obvious things.

To be a true disciple and remain on the narrow path we have to give up all the novel and amusing things too to truly be separate.

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:12‭-‬19‬ ‭NIV‬‬
[12] Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. [13] But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. [14] If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. [15] If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. [16] However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. [17] For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? [18] And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” [19] So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Everything in this World seems to be set up in sowing strife. Even marketplaces, the entire economy, is set up for profit. There is no equity in it which is why it will just continue to get worse and more difficult for everybody.

Everything is corrupted :O

We're naturally indoctrinated in and exposed to massive forms of Idolatry. Each led by some principle of Darkness.

And it is our duty as Christians to give it all up and expose the Darkness of it all to give others the truth so they can make the choice between striving in strife for Vainglory or striving for the imperishable crown.

No matter what we choose, there will be opposition.

Unfortunately, because it is by Faith and Hope in what is unseen that we come to Christ most consider it foolish. They can't see the folly in pursuing what only lasts a moment.

The only way we can see all for what it is is by willfully denying our passions and pleasures.

I now see why he says that following him would cause us to be hated by everyone. We all Love something in and of the World and for it to be exposed as Evil robs the pleasure of it.