A teenager with no willpower or self control, a husband who is unable to woo an angry wife, a single man irritated by nearly everyone he meets, a twenty something who is fired from job after job. Each of these is different but all have the same problem….themselves. Of course, self won’t get the blame. God will get the blame. “He could have done something but didn’t. He intervened, in fact, to make things worse. God has always been like that with me. God is cruel, malicious and merciless. I hate Him!” Yeah…well, maybe He is not really the one you worship?
Perhaps a majority of people worship themselves most of all. This means that their god is the person in the mirror. I think a god made out of a rock from the front yard, polished and sitting on an end table surrounded by candles and incense is far more powerful than the “mirror god.” Every morning the mirror god says “Have a nice day and remember, it’s not your fault!”
There are two kinds of problems in life: those we create and those that happened by while we were in the vicinity. The latter is random evil and the world is filled with it. It happens to everyone and there is almost always someone who has it worse than us somewhere in the world. Surprisingly, random evil has never destroyed anyone no matter how awful it’s bite. We are destroyed by our reaction to it.
Mostly, though, the problems we bring on ourselves are the worse. The pathetic mirror god wrecking yet another life.
It works like this. We make a self centered, sin filled, desire driven decision. All sins have built in consequences so the decision activates a consequence, automatically setting a time bomb with a mechanical clock. It is ticking quietly in the background of our lives, unnoticed and often forgotten. We continue on and make yet another sin based choice and create another bomb. Eventually there are dozens, hundreds, even thousands of them all ominously clacking on a back shelf in a dark room we thought we had abandoned years ago.
Some bombs explode instantly. “I shouldn’t have said that!” Others take years before ignition. “You have a drinking problem and you should get some help, but we can’t hold your job for you. Sorry.” Sometimes it seems that all explode at once. When that happens then panic and anguish result and flailing our arms, running in aimless circles, we scream at the heavens “God where are you!?” Check the mirror. There is the god to blame.
The solution is to take responsibility, accept the consequences, clean up the mess insofar as possible, all the while turning to the true and living God to be transformed into people who don’t set so many bombs. Until we habitually make mature, selfless decisions, then bombs are piling up ready to blow. How hard is it to change? Utterly difficult.
Romans 7 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
Unlike the rock and the mirror, the God of the Universe will supply power to the helpless, to those who have smashed the mirror. The Holy Spirit indwells us, confronts us, calls us and pulling us by the hair if necessary, changes us.
Romans 814 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Do not be confused. I am not saying that Christians are instantly perfect. Many of us are still setting bombs daily. Fewer of them.