Life from the rear-view mirror


June 6, 2013 | Comment

I’ve been in a job search now for eight months. It’s getting really old and a little discouraging. It’s forced me to take an honest inventory of who I am and what I want to do. Combine that with praying about what God would have me do and then how to keep everything afloat while that’s all percolating. It’s a bit of a daunting task, but one God is well-capable of working in and blessing in.

It’s always in these times when you look back and see the folly of poor decisions, and maybe groan a bit under the pressure they bring now. Some of those situations you can extricate yourself from… but usually at a price. Others you simply have to bear up under.

Bad decision-making is a malady that is not reserved for people out of work. It is a disease that spreads from lack of wisdom and a lack of discipline. It’s both an earthly and a spiritual issue.

If I’m really honest…and if you’ll be really honest…most of the bad decisions we make come from poor discipline.

As I see it…This is the mantra of the undisciplined life:

1) I want it…NOW!… I’ll get it NOW! (doesn’t matter what the “IT” is)

2)  It will all work out…

Delayed gratification doesn’t come into play unless it is forced on us. There is a “none to very-none” chance of  any reasonable solutions like “Let’s think and pray about this” it’s more like…”Can you FedEx it to me?!”

Spiritually… it’s a similar story but the consequences, while sometimes less obvious at first, are far more costly in the end.  It might go like this:

1) What’s wrong with not telling the whole truth…its’ really just managing information…what’s wrong with that?

2) Cheating on my taxes…well…I don’t see it that way..The IRS are crooks!

3) Why can’t I look at that porn? It’s never made me cheat on my wife…

4) Why do I have to love that person after what they said about me

In terms of spiritual discipline…no one tells it straight like the Apostle Paul.  He says things like…I beat my body into submission (I Corinthians 9:27) and… Iay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1) In another place he calls himself the worst of sinners. No spin here.

Paul’s apparent self-deprecation sounds almost manipulative, even a little like bragging,  until you understand how he got to the place where he could write those words…and, until you can discern God’s purpose behind it all for you. We don’t want to look at ourselves as the filthy, rotten sinners we are….ever.  It’s hard to come face to fact with that. It’s harder still to talk about it…let alone write it down like Paul did.  And rarely here in America will we ever have to pay the price for being a Christian with our lives as Paul did. But we need to understand how great the work of redemption for us was, and is.

Do you know who you are?

On our very best day we’re the vilest of sinners. Pretending we aren’t doesn’t change the fact that we are. Not because I say it, but because God’s word does. To deny it is to sin. But yet we’ll try to spin it so we don’t appear to be that bad  so we can fit in.

But.. we have all known people who create this world for themselves and others where everyone is good and well intentioned…and people make “mistakes” they really don’t “sin.”

I try really hard not to be “them.” I really try to live transparently…own my sin…not in the sense that it is precious to me (far from it)  but rather that I am the one who committed it. How about you? When I’m honest about my sin and confess it…then I can confidently claim 1 John 1:9, where God said if I would confess my sin, he would forgive and would cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Unbelievable but true!

So don’t spin yourself up unto a pedestal Christian…it’s a long way down.  Live a holy, humble life before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The only one I care to hear the words “Well Done” from…is God!



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