I watch the TV series, Elementary, in which a modern day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Joan Watson help the New York City police department solve crimes. Except Dr. Watson happens to be a ‘Sobriety Companion’ for Holmes, who recently completed another in a series of expensive trips to rehab. In a recent episode, Holmes’ former drug dealer, Rhys, arrives from England and begs Holmes for help finding his kidnapped daughter. Rhys attempts to get Holmes back on drugs, even telling Holmes, “you were a much better detective when you were high” and “you are some ghost of you, some pale imitation, you need your meds [heroine].” In a completely unexpected turn, Holmes chooses to borrow $2.2 million from his father so he can end the case immediately by paying the ransom, saying he considered it worth it as a payment for his sobriety. He then tells Rhys in no uncertain terms that he may never contact Holmes again.
What does this have to do with faith? Everything. We all have snares or traps in our lives that impact our faith negatively just as seriously as heroine addiction affects Holmes. Our snares can be habits, people we hang out with, places we go, ideas that fascinate us, or addictions. And as we deal with the big, obvious ones, we can overlook those that are far more subtle, perhaps below our conscious recognition but no less impactful on our faith. Perhaps an attitude, a reliance on wealth or influence, an image we strive to project or pride keeps us from closeness to Christ. Would we be as courageously bold as Holmes to rid our lives of those things that separate us from Christ? For regardless of what snares we have, Christ expects us to send them packing just as Holmes does with Rhys. Consider as sinful anything that separates us from Christ. As it says in Romans 6:16, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, that leads to righteousness?” To what will you present yourself as obedient slave – to sin or to obedience to Christ? To death or to life?