Meanderings of a Minister

Five Easy Ways to Wreck Your Life, Part I (Matthew 23:13-15)
January 19, 2011, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Articles


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 Step One:  Change without Aim

Most of the time, self-help books attempt to give you easy steps towards lofty goals for which you have been working for a long time.  The thing that makes them attractive for people to purchase is that they claim to enable you to do what you cannot.  In this article, I would like to share with you how to do something you probably already know how to do and have done many times:  Wreck Your Life.  Maybe you haven’t wrecked your life, but have wrecked a relationship, job, career, marriage or other significant area of your life.  In any case, follow these easy steps and you can wreck any area of your life.

First, read Matthew 23:13-15.  Jesus was critical of the Pharisees because they thought that change was a good thing, but they decided what would be good change and would not be.  Like Charlie Brown in the Peanuts cartoon, they thought you just shoot the arrow, see where it lands and draw the target around it and you had hit a bulls-eye.  We are like that a lot.  We think we need to change and, rather than letting God aim the change, we just change for the sake of change.  This is frustrating to ourselves and others and almost always leads to failure. 

The thing that makes this type of change so frustrating is that we never know if we are making progress because, every time we think we have arrived, we find ourselves still aching for more and better.  The Pharisees were there.  That was why they took Moses laws and turned them into over 60,000 manmade laws that were supposedly designed to help people live more righteous lives.  The more they would accomplish this goal, the more they would be frustrated and realize they were not righteous, so they would simply come with more rules so they could try harder.

Just as this type of change leads to frustration, it also leads to failure.  Why failure?  Because there is something in us that pleads with us not to trust in our own righteousness.  Isaiah said our best efforts, when compared with God’s provision, is worth than a used menstrual cloth.  That’s gross, I know, but that’s what he said (as inspired by God).  Our hearts, if we are in Christ, know we did not save ourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, so why would we think, once saved, we need to rest on our own righteousness?  The more we try (and fail) the more disillusioned we become.  So what do we do to avoid this trap?

Just in case you aren’t interested in wrecking your life, perhaps you might want to pray about change, let God direct it from His Word and make sure the change leads you closer to Him and His will for your life and lean on His righteousness and provision instead of trying to screw up enough courage to do it ourselves.  Screwing things up only works on deodorant, not on a level of living that can please God.

Next week, we will consider the second step to wrecking your life.  If you have not succeeded in wrecking your life by then, we will give you some more guidance.


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