Let’s consider how to encourage one another to love each other and do what we need to do. Don’t forsake gathering together as we are getting into the habit of doing, but encourage one another as we will need this encouragement more and more as the end approaches. – Hebrews 10:23-25 (OGV)
Consider this scenario:
You are driving along a country road twisting and turning, up and down. You see a sign: “Danger Ahead”. What is your response?
- Ignore the sign and continue driving.
- Find another route to your destination.
We tend to draw up a “peace treaty” with our present – even if it is a bad situation. We get defensive if someone suggests we change. Noticing a warning sign, we drive confidently ahead, right off the unfinished bridge into the river.
Think about it. How often have you said, “I don’t understand why that person doesn’t change?” And your friends have probably said the same about you. I hear people say, “I’m an introvert”, or “I can’t quit”, or “I’ve always had an anger problem.”
We don’t change and we drive off unfinished bridges.
Most of our illnesses, relational brokenness, and culture turmoil have resulted from missing the warning signs.
I read an article by a psychologist in the Harvard Business Review. He noted that most us live as if what we are and experience today, will be what we will be and experience tomorrow. We don’t look to change because we look at ourselves as done, complete, and perhaps in no need of change.
We have a “peace treaty” with our current self. We are fine just the way we are!
I’ve asked myself too often, “Why didn’t I see that coming?”, “What was it about my attitude, my decision making, that allowed me to ignore the warning signs?” I have concluded that what the Bible describes as “the flesh” always takes the easier road.
It is easier to eat the McDonald’s Big Mac now rather than start a five-month diet to lose 24 pounds. Of course, the future unfinished bridge will sooner or later cause us to regret the constant immediacy of our decision making.
I have read books on change, listened to Podcasts, and still can’t change. I can’t do it by myself – I need God’s Spirit and I need others. The needed change – the avoided bridges – have always been more about honest conversations with followers of Jesus and asking the Spirit for strength, than my efforts.
Start with confession. You need to tell someone, “I’m driving toward an unfinished bridge and I can’t stop.” Just saying this will help you realize the ridiculous compromise of your “peace treaty” with the flesh.
Turning around on the road – which is what repentance is about – begins with telling yourself and others the truth about your life direction and decisions.
The truth will set you free.