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Madness-One Step Beyond!

Madness - One Step Beyond

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 4 (NKJV)

I have this phrase I like to use, "Around the block again."  It is a phrase I use for when I don't get something right the first time.  I can try to do something my way, based on feelings rather than obedience to God's Word and end up not learning the lesson or transforming in my Christian walk.  Truth be told, we all do it to some extent, whether we would admit it or not.  And just in case you can't admit it, you just proved my point.

Q:    What is it in us that cause us to be stubborn at certain times and fuels our ability to reason improperly or make bad judgment?  

A:    Pride!

I see it a lot in marriages, where one or both persons are adamant in holding on to their personal opinion on something and as a result, they can't see passed their own pious noses.  What I mean is that they can clearly see where their spouse is doing something wrong, but they can't seem to see their own improper way of handling that situation.  It's almost as if they switch over to what I call, "Justification mode."

Justification mode is where we begin to handle a situation as we "Feel" we should be allowed to - it's where we reason within our mind, that since the other person did something wrong, then we are "Okay" to respond in a certain way.  And many times that way is in judgment, overreaction, poor choices, and retaliation.  

Bottom line is that it is "Pride."  Some do this because they feel that it is the only way to retain their "Self-respect."  Notice I said, "Self," and not the respect of God, or the other person involved.  Pride is a destructive temptation that ravages one relationship after another - a sort of spiritual virus that destroys the body.  Listen to what Proverbs says about Pride.

By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10 (NKJV)

In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. Proverbs 14:3 (NKJV)

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

A man's pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. Proverbs 29:23 (NKJV)

We can clearly see by these Scriptures that "Pride" is evil, and that it kills.  And even though we are cleansed from our sin once we have been saved, and we have been given a "New" nature inside, we will still deal with our "Old fleshly nature" until we leave this world.  We can also see that "Wisdom" (Understanding of how to implement God's Word) is the antidote for this evil - wisdom that is readily available to anyone who asks.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NKJV)

To stay and operate in the realm of our "Old fleshy nature" once we have been set free from the bondage of sin, is absurd, and it is absolute "Madness."  At some point, we must be willing to walk in our new - found freedom in Christ - we must start our new walk by going "One step beyond" where we once stood.  That one step will start us on our new path that leads to a life that is pleasing to God, and with it, will come blessing.  If not, we will simply go "Around the block again," and find ourselves back hanging out at the same places and doing the same things we did before we were saved - a dog returning to his own vomit.

As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11 (NKJV)

Maybe you can relate to having a recurring argument with your spouse.  Maybe you can relate to trying to live a life that is pleasing unto the Lord, and your spouse is not at the same point in their walk, and you find it very frustrating.  Maybe you find yourself holding fast to your point of view within your discussions because you feel strongly that they are wrong in what they are doing.

Hey Christian, if this is you, then I want to encourage you to stop the "Madness."  Allow God to take you, "One step beyond" the way you used to handle these situations.  Just focus on being who God is calling you to be.  Don't try and change the other person; instead, let God do the correcting in them, and let it be in His perfect timing.  Just do what you know to be right, as if you're doing it for God (Col. 3:23).  Let the Holy Spirit convict others, and direct them back to God.  In doing this, they will know where they can come once they choose to repent - they won't feel as though they have been judged and will instead feel the agape love of God that you have shared.

Let's take that step and begin to walk in the truth.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn with regard to being prideful, or wise according to the Scriptures contained within this devotional?  What can we learn about walking in truth?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to walk in God's truth instead of continuing the cycle of madness?

APPLICATION: Don't try to change those in your life by forcing them to change.  Live Christ before them and let them so see God's shining light through you.

Father, Thank You for helping me to get beyond so much of the "Madness" that I had been living in.  Thank You for helping me to get "One step beyond" this way of living.  Help me to see any area that I need to begin a new walk.  And empower me to be strong enough to walk freely.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000