Thursday, November 13, 2003

Bad Replays

Do you you seem to make the same mistakes repeatedly? Whether you you do it, or you you have to interact with someone who does, you you know how frustrating that can be. Why do we duplicate bad behavior or make the same bad choice repeatedly?
Sometimes we fail to see the mistake as a mistake or failure. I’ve known some who have been in multiple marriages who do not recognize that moving from relationship to relationship, household to household, is catastrophic – for themselves and their families. Selfishness can blind you you. Poor teaching and examples can blur your vision regarding right and wrong. Even when you you are told what is right; you you may still fail to believe it.
Sometimes you you know something is wrong, but you you keep thinking the failure is a result of something that is not actually the cause. A man was driving down the road. He passed a traffic camera and saw it Flash. Astounded that he had been caught speeding when he was doing the speed limit, he turned around and, going even slower, he passed the camera. Again, he saw it flash. He couldn't believe it! So he turned and, going a snail's pace, he passed the camera. Again, he saw the camera flash. He guessed it must have a glitch , and home he went. Four weeks later he received 3 traffic tickets in the mail, all for not wearing a seatbelt.
Maybe the things written here resonate with you you. Maybe you you repeat bad behavior or bad decisions for some other reason. I believe that part of the solution, regardless of the reason for the problem, is (1) constant exposure to the Word of God so that truth is repeatedly in front of you you; and (2) careful self-examination specifically designed to cease the foolish behavior or decision.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (2 Cor 13:5).

Monday, November 10, 2003

What Do You Call tomorrow?

If our prayer, "Even so, come Lord Jesus," is answered with Christ coming in the clouds tomorrow morning, his coming is a gift from God. No more tears, suffering, or wondering; no more need for those godly traits like patience and perseverance. Hope will have become reality. Faith will have become sight!
But if Jesus doesn't come in the clouds by tomorrow morning, what do you call tomorrow? Would you call it a gift? At the end of one day, G. K. Chesterson wrote this short poem:

Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands,
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

Tomorrow, if it comes is a gift. If you've used today, wisely, knowing it was a gift from God, count tomorrow as a bonus. Do it again. If your choices today have been poor, if the time has been taken for granted, treat tomorrow as door number one - a surprise from God, and step through that door with better vision than today. That's Life at Work!
We Have the Key

In the Eagle’s song Already Gone, there is a confession and observation:

Well I know it wasn't you who held me down
Heaven knows it wasn't you who set me free
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

One of the first steps in getting free from the chains that tie us down is quitting the blame game. When we’ve done that, and even Don Henley knows this, our eyes are open to finding the key. Are you chained in an unhappy home, a load of debt, an unsatisfying job, an out of control lifestyle, or a barren spirituality? Have you been blaming others to make sure that everyone knows you are not at fault? Blame like that accomplishes little. Even when you have blame outside yourself established, which is rarely exact, you’ve still got to solve the problem. In most instances, the problem can be solved without spending so much time determining who should carry the greater guilt.
The key to having everlasting freedom is in hearing and doing the will of Jesus. When his teachings are taken to heart, and wisdom leads to proven solutions, then you’ll develop the happy home, dump the load of debt, cultivate contentment, practice self-control, and richen your impoverished spirituality.
You know the one who holds the key. Are you ready to quit fixing blame and ready to fix the problem?