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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 5:51 am | Fair 43º


Jim Langley: Dealing with Brokenness In Our Lives

“And such were some of you ...” (New American Standard Bible) is the way Paul starts the sixth chapter of his first letter to the church in Corinth.

I heard those words recently at a memorial service conducted for a fellow church member not many years older than me. The pastor’s choice of scripture was certainly appropriate for this dear brother in Christ who faced many trials in his life.

In this chapter, Paul presents what he considers to be an extremely important message to these immature followers, who were still practicing many of their old ways.

We are truly blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father who accepts us just as we are once we are ready to humbly come to Him, change from our wicked ways, ask Him to forgive our sins and take us into His loving arms with all our blemishes.

We are all broken in one way or another, but most of us are in denial and would prefer to not deal with our brokenness at all. He knows our weaknesses and how we struggle in our life decisions. He also gives us freedom of choice and allows us to get off the narrow path if we choose to do so.

This brother in Christ had overcome much in his life. Yet he was tormented greatly and unfortunately suffered numerous health issues in recent years due to his chosen lifestyle. It does no good to go into the details of the addictions that shortened his life here on earth. What is important is that we all are like him in some ways and there are things we all decide to do that are not pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Just a few verses later in 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul exhorts the Corinthian church, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (New International Version) We’re all naturally stubborn and can easily rationalize why we do things that we know may not be best for our long-term well-being.

It's also quite easy to not want to give up those things we seem to enjoy that are not necessarily good for us. We would be wise to assess what our “drugs of choice” are — those little habits we are unwilling to give up for our personal well-being. Those are the things we often turn back to when we get stressed in our daily lives. We may think they calm us, but they really have no long-lasting soothing effect at all.

If you think going to church and Bible study on a consistent basis will help, you may well have the wrong impression of the Christian life. The purpose of meeting together is to grow in our relationship with Christ and with each other. We meet together to worship Him and to learn to love God, others and ourselves more each day as we prepare to deal with life’s daily struggles.

Life is a struggle for all of God’s creation. Without troubles we cannot grow. We can be strengthened by those troubles we face. Yes, sometimes those troubles are self-inflicted, but God is intimately involved in every circumstance we face. If we were to believe the daily propaganda found in media, we might believe that life can be a cakewalk. Life has not been easy since sin came into the world in the Garden of Eden.

So, we’d be wise to follow the words of wisdom found in Proverbs 3:5-8: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Passages to Ponder

» Psalm 10:12-14

» Proverbs 28:13-14

» John 16:31-33

» 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

» James 5:13-16

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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