In hindsight, who was one of the biggest troublemakers you have ever known? I’ve heard it said that the biggest troublemaker you’ll ever face is all too often the one you’ll see in a mirror! If that hurts your feelings or makes you a little angry, stop and honestly think about it. It’s like “At times I am my own worst enemy.” We may try to make it less painful by blaming others: “If they hadn’t said that” or “If this hadn’t happened.” Hey, this world is full of troubles. It began when we went against God’s instructions (remember Adam and Eve?). Now stuff happens all the time. In youth we’re always running into difficulties and in old age, difficulties run into us.
Instead of asking “Why do bad things happen to good people?” we find a significant part of the answer to that question when we find the answer to “Why do people act so ugly and do terrible things?” If each one of us is responsible for our own actions, then we can’t blame others. Therefore, it’s true that a better world must begin with each of us (at least in our own little corner of it). Apostle Paul (Romans 7) attests to the ways this principle works when he admitted that he was his own greatest challenge. He said, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what’s right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate…I want to do what’s good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what’s wrong, but I do it anyway.” (vss 15 & 19).
So how can we rectify this dilemma? In a word, discipline; even better, self-discipline.
“For the Lord disciplines those he loves.”
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But after-ward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Heb. 12:6,11, NLT)
But we’re not left to do it on our own.
“You’re no different from others. And God is faithful. He will not allow more than you can stand. He will show you a way so that you can endure.” (1 Cor. 10:13, NLT)
“We needn’t cause trouble for ourselves then, just follow The Leader.” (1 Peter 2:21)
-John Driggers (11/13/2023, V5 #46)