The last post could leave the impression that the flesh is bad. On the interpretation I'm trying to articulate, flesh in itself is not bad. Christ became "flesh" -- the same Greek word the NIV translates as "sinful nature" most of the time in Paul's letters.
What I'm claiming is that flesh itself is neutral. Flesh can be trained or "programmed" to be a positive or a negative in our lives, because it is so capable of sustaining habits (see earlier post on this). The issue is that given the tendency to sin that we've inherited and given the fact that we exist in a very fallen culture which encourages the development of certain habits, the "flesh" for most of us is something we have to overcome when we become Christians.
The point of the spiritual disciplines, then, is to retrain the flesh to sustain positive habits. This is what Jesus did (WWJD). His flesh was a boon to his spiritual life, rather than a bane.
More to come...
(this bonus post for the day is brought to you by the fact that Red Sox are on TV again and I'm sitting here with the laptop!)