A Wise Life

A blog by Lisa M. Price

Not understanding the why of the tough, bothersome, tedious junk can be spiritually confusing. Living in a state of spiritual confusion tends to make us hard, bitter and resentful and can cause us to leave the life of faith altogether.

Anyone who has lived longer than a decade in this world has undoubtedly been the casualty of stupid, hurtful or just plain thoughtless words. The most painful kind of hurtful words are words that attack things about ourselves that we cannot change, such as our looks or intellectual abilities. Insensitive words wound by getting inside our heads and altering how we see ourselves and view the world.

I believe that God gave Daniel a peek into a future Daniel would never live to see, in the midst of what had to have been of the scariest times of his life, to remind him and, by extension, all of us. That God has this. Whatever it is, God has it. God has the future tightly in His grasp. Nothing surprises Him. He has whatever is keeping you up at night too. Whether it’s a house that won’t sell or a health problem or a job loss, or a kid that has gone off the rails, or something even worse.

Fanciful wishing is not restricted to theories concerning gender. Some suppose that identifying strongly with the struggles and customs of a particular race somehow transforms the reality of their ethnic heritage. Others have come to believe that feeling they are in an “unsafe” environment causes them to be in actual mortal danger. Some believe that being exposed to offensive words or ideas is a form of rape. Many wish college education were free and have decided that their wishes can magically alter economic reality. Countless members of society truly believe that their feelings determine what is real.

The Christian community is on the threshold of losing a large portion of an entire generation. It’s possible to get them back, but it will require extraordinary effort from all of us. First, we need to restructure our thinking and let go of the absurd post-modern notion that no one really cares about doctrine or apologetics anymore. We also need to help our youth understand they “why” behind God’s directives. Intellectual laziness and “just believe” twaddle will not fly with a generation accustomed to getting their questions answered in seconds via Google.

As alarming as I believe these developments to be, I also understand that it is not my place to be concerned with what the greater culture is doing behind closed doors. Judging non-Christians is a waste of time. Without Christ folks have little reason to care about what the Bible has to say about sexuality or anything else and even less reason to modify their behavior based on the Bible’s teachings.

As I pondered my new eating plan (fewer greasy carbs, no more late night nibbles with the dog) I realized that sin and weight gain have more than a few things in common. No one wakes up fat; weight gain is a process.

It starts with choosing fries instead of a salad. Next you throw caution to the wind and order deep-fried everything and a big messy dessert with one fork every time you go out. The routine of sharing a little snack with the dog before bed slowly devolves into a carbo-loading frenzy for both of you several nights a week. Before long, your adorable little dog is wearing a jumbo size harness and you have buttons ricocheting off the bathroom wall.

The human heart is a spiritually delicate and fragile thing. Most folks are born with a natural bent toward revering the Creator and with a measure of empathy towards others. That is not to say that people are born sinless or morally perfect, because they’re not. However, most young children hurt when other people hurt, love God (unless taught otherwise) and desperately want to make God happy. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote that the law of God and the truth of God’s existence are written on the human heart (Romans 2:14-16).

Little in life is more frustrating than feeling we are being forced into a course of action by circumstances outside of our control. Thankfully these situations are not always the tragedies they seem to be at the time. Sometimes seemingly adverse circumstances are really the just the hand of God guiding us towards His will for our lives.

No matter how you feel at this moment, you must understand that God has not stopped loving you, nor is He punishing you. His silence is not evidence of desertion. He still cares. He has a plan for you and He has no intention of allowing your pain to go on forever. Hang on to that.