Monday, August 10, 2020

When You Want To Be Who You're Not

Do you ever wish things were different?

I think that, at one time or another, we all wish things were different, but we know that we cannot magically change the world. So, let me ask instead, “Do you ever wish things were different about YOU?”

That’s a different question altogether, isn’t it?

That question is not about things going on around you that you cannot control; it is about the ‘you’ inside, the one thing you can control.

Now, here are a few things we must all understand. First, our world is broken. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, sin entered into the world. Before that, everything that God had created was good, good, good. Paul refers to the brokenness of our current world when he writes about the creation being
“set free from its slavery to corruption” (Romans 8:18-22). So, we should not be surprised that our circumstances in this world are less than desirable most of the time.

Second, you are broken. When Paul wrote that
“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” he was talking about your brokenness. Focus on the last phrase: “fall short of the glory of God.” We exist as ones who ‘fall short.’ It’s because of sin.

Third, there is hope (a future expectation of life), but you cannot just sit around waiting for hope to come and sweep you off your feet. You have to desire; you have to choose; you have to move. It is called repentance; and it is a complete change of perception.

Fourth, God transcends all this brokenness. He is perfectly perfect and completely complete. My redundancy in describing God is to impress on our minds the reality that God is not broken. He needs no fixing. In fact, His divine character defines all that is ‘good.’ (To be accurate, any one of us could only be described as ‘mostly good.’)

People deal with this imperfect world and their imperfect selves in a variety of ways. The accumulation of money seems to bring happiness. Solomon even said,
“Money is the answer to everything” (Ecclesiastes 10:19). Yet money gave him no answers to life’s deepest quest for meaning. He concluded that wealth, among other things, was futile.

Some people are master escape artists. They seem to be living somewhere else through social media, entertainment of all types, or by burying themselves in work, hobbies, activities, projects, travel, and so on. They will do anything to be somewhere else with someone else.

Still others adopt a ‘Pollyanna attitude’ and look at the world as if everything and everyone is good. As nice as that sounds, it’s just not true.

Satan is the greatest illusionist the world has ever known. Yet, he didn’t fool Jesus. When Jesus sacrificed Himself for you and me on the cross, it was not because everything was good. Jesus was facing the reality of your brokenness. He did not try to escape the brutal reality of life, he embraced it, not accepting it, but rather doing something about it. He brought hope.

Repentance is when we wake up from our sleep of escapism to embrace the hope of Jesus instead of swimming in the mire of falling short of God’s glory. When James wrote,
"consider it all joy when you encounter various trials" (James 1:2),he was inviting us to embrace the reality of hope.

So...embrace hope...and grab a hand and bring someone along.

Mark Stinnett 
August 9, 2020