Banging Your Head Against the Wall

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I Corinthians 10:13. 

One of the most frustratingly painful things in life is to watch someone go down the drain–knowingly make bad decisions–that lead to ruin– despite loving warnings. Do you know of a friend or a loved one who continues to make bad decisions (primarily based on their feelings)? Perhaps he or she thinks this time around it’ll be different–even when wisdom says otherwise.

I must say that as a teenager there was a time when I made a string of bad decisions. It started with one decision. I decided to date a non-believer even though I knew that the Lord forbade it. That one decision led to five years of pain, disillusionment, and darkness (and I must say, it’s not only unbelievers that Christians shouldn’t date. Some professing believers are not worth dating because they are unhealthy–they are enslaved to self and sin). I wish someone had said to me, “Marlena, don’t do this.” But even so. I was still responsible for my disobedience and much of the destruction I brought upon myself. Looking back, I remember asking, “God why did you allow this to happen to me?” What I at first didn’t see is that I brought it on myself. It wasn’t God’s fault. No, no, God wasn’t culpable. I was.

Perhaps that it is why it is so difficult for me to watch friends and loved ones knowingly enter poisonous, destructive, life-sucking relationships or watch them slowly circle the drain and then eventually go down the drain. They ask for advice. I give it. They reject it. I want to bang my head against the wall–especially when I am giving advice straight from Scripture.

But I must remember, that much of the time advice is easier given than followed. It can be very painful to do the right thing after we’ve stepped into a den vipers. Their bites stun us. We know we’ll get bitten when we try to escape. But Oh! Better to get bitten on the way out than to remain inside.

It can be painful to do the right thing. But that pain, leads to life and healing. Whereas continuing on the road of destruction leads to death. Every time take the way of escape. God always provides one (I Cor. 10:13).

What you and I need to do…after we’ve given the advice sought from us is leave the person/situation in the hands of God. We cannot control people even if we intend their good. We must continue interceding on their behalf.

It’s funny. Perhaps God feels this way all of the time. He gives us his commands and wisdom in love so that we might have life, but we choose death. He provides ways of escape after we’ve gotten into the most complicated of messes, but we don’t take them. We then wonder why we’re in the messes we are in. And blame him.

He will not force us to obey even though obedience leads to life.

If I feel like I am figuratively banging my head against the wall, does not the Lord? Maybe not. He is much more patient than me.

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