Monday, October 14, 2013

Fixing what ails you

Sometimes, in the Christian life, it is easy to get confused. I read my Bible. I see something wrong in my life. I try to make the wrong thing look like what I see in God's Word. It would be nice if that worked, but most of the time, it ends up with frustration and guilt when I try it that way.

Picture taking your car in for repairs to your local mechanic. You walk in, and tell the mechanic that no matter what you do, the car just won't go any fastre than 40 mph. You can stand on the gas, and it just coughs, sputters and tops out at 40 mph. Your mechanic thinks for a moment, and calls to the back to one of his guys and asks them to bring around the tow truck. He tells you he knows the best way to get your car up over 40 mph is to hook it up to the tow truck. He assures you that the tow truck can top out over 80 mph, even with a car hooked up to it. You feel better, right?

The problem is that you brought him a symptom, and he gave you a solution to the symptoms. Symptoms are not meant to be fixed, they are meant to tell you what is wrong. A headache is not a sign of an aspirin deficiency, but it is a sign that something is off. A car that won't go over 40 mph is meant to tell someone that there is a problem (maybe the Catylitic converter is plugged, or another restriction in the exhaust, maybe there is an airflow problem, or a fuel pressure problem (clogged fuel filter, bad fuel pump), or a control system problem).

When we read God's Word, it presents us with symptoms for us to see. For exampe:

"But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth." - James 3:14

The response to having bitter envy and strife in your heart isn't to try really hard not to. It isn't to try bury the strife down deep so it never appears. The envying and strife is a symptom, according to James 3, that your wisdom is coming from the wrong place. How do you fix it? By getting your wisdom from God. James 1:5 says if we lack it, we can ask God and He will give it. James 4 tells us why we might not have what we ask, Proverbs tells us that wisdom begins with fearing God. Envying and strife? Fear God - deepen that relationship, go to Him, dwell om His Word and ask Him for His wisdom.

Fixing symptoms is tiring. Think of all the things I want to stop doing, this should be at the top of my list this week. Fix the root of the problems and the symptoms will go away.

Have a blessed day!