Only God understands our real motives. God makes it clear why we sin. It’s a matter of the heart. We are inclined to sin from birth. But sin is a choice. We can choose what we do and what we don’t do and if we ask Him, God will help us resist temptation when it comes.
Problems in our lives are usually good cues of wrong motives. Instead of following our feelings we need to learn to ask God for help and trust Him to meet our needs.
Spiritual problems are usually good cues of wrong motives. Do you pray? When do you pray? Do you ask God just to satisfy your desires? Do you seek His guidance before you act? Prayers become powerful when we allow God to have His will in our lives.
God’s punishment does not change his love for us
I’ll rub their faces in the dirt of their rebellion and make them face the music.
But I’ll never throw them out, never abandon or disown them. Psalms 89:32-33
God disciplines those He loves
Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you; take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well. Proverbs 3:1-2
Punishment should lead to repentance
I know I distressed you greatly with my letter. Although I felt awful at the time,
I don’t feel at all bad now that I see how it turned out. The letter upset you, but only for a while. Now I’m glad–not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. 2 Corinthians 7:8-9
Sometimes God punishes us to bring us back to himself
Don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embraceGod’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. Hebrews 12:5-11
The false facade of thinking more highly of yourself than of others has to go; it’s a mask everyone has worn. A subtle smokescreen from the pit of hell declares that what you did in the past disqualifies you from the Father’s unconditional love. When you feel worthless, you tell others they’re unworthy; when you feel judged, you’ll judge others; and when you feel guilty, you’ll pronounce others guilty. You no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not.
In recovery, it’s critical to accept the truth that your old life is gone. Christ’s new life for you has begun. A fresh start for a new day, a new you. God reconciled the world to himself, making all things new. Jesus’ love compels you to places never imagined or dreamed of.
Jesus died so you no longer live for yourself, but for him. As you leave the “old man” the enemy declares you to be, and embrace the “new man” God says you are, there will be opposition. That’s okay. You’ll get through this—just don’t quit.
Lord, I pray I will treat others better, thinking less of myself. I pray for grace for the times my false mask sneaks back onto my face. Amen.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:15-17; GALATIANS 5:14-17
Proverbs 25:28 A man who can’t control himself is like a city whose walls are broken down.
Time and time again I have sat in meetings and heard people talk about the ‘insanity’ I want to talk today about the chaos.
The chaos of waking in the morning and having to drink just to go to work. The chaos of working out what stories to make up for being late home because I had stopped at the pub, and sometimes having spent all my wages.
You know addicts are clever people. We can come up with excuses in an instant, justify the worst behaviour without batting an eye-lid.
- Consider the chaos of your using and how you managed it.
- Are you glad the chaos has stopped?
Prayer: God let me put some order onto my chaos today.