Have you ever wished that God would just take away one of your problem reactions to life and make it easier for you to be good?
Do you struggle with anger, constantly finding fault with what everyone around you does? Does it happen as naturally as “falling of a log”? Do you automatically excuse others and let them off the hook for their improper choices? Why can’t we find balance? Do you struggle with sexual lust, or a drive to get others to do things your way. Do you jump in and help and then get mad at those who don’t? Have you heard that hard work never killed anyone, but you aren’t going to take the risk to find out? Do you work so much that your life is out of balance and then get angry at all those lazy bums? Do you only feel happy if you are eating more than you should, or do you only feel clean and in control if you can go another day without eating, etc. etc. etc?
We are all out of balance. Either are too comfortable with our reactions: or want them to be taken away magically.
Since these extremes are NATURAL then what should we do? Remember the rule? Take my natural response and DO THE OPPOSITE and the result will be close to God’s way. We are so thoroughly messed up that we get it exactly wrong each time
So what is the opposite? The opposite of being comfortable and justifying my responses is not to beat myself up and look for a magic cure. The truth is that our struggles represent a good quality that God has designed into us for His glory and the welfare of others. So to just have it taken away would leave us less useful and to resent the creativity of the creator. To say, as one man I knew, “Well, if God didn’t want me to indulge in pornography, why did He make me so sexy?” is no better than resenting our struggle.
We must thank God for his design and hate the misuse of it, keep our eyes on the example of Jesus, get the accountability and support from the Holy Spirit, the church, the Bible: in order to allow God to transform the struggle into our number one strength and usefulness. Of course this requires humility and the refusal to jump to the conclusion that we are totally right or totally wrong. Balance is not a set of fixed rules but is dynamic and arises out of relationship.
I remember a pastor’s wife who burned out from too much cleaning and uptight hospitality. God saw fit to give her a roommate in the hospital who had perfected the art of the trashed room. The poor lady took one look at the room and cried, “I just can’t stay in here you must get me another room.” I told her that I did not believe in accidents and that God had arraigned the perfect roommate for her. She decided to try, found that she really liked the other lady and then listened to God as He told her “If the other lady is lovable even though a slob maybe it would be OK if you didn’t dust quite so often.
Saul was zealous, focused on God and the kingdom and wound up killing the people of God/after transformation he was the same but yielded in a new direction.
Angry at the stupid wrong things others do? Ask God to help you note the positive things they do and encourage them specifically.
Enable others to stay messed up by being too understanding? Get mad at those who aren’t as understanding as you? God probably intends you to be the number one confronter of others because you will do it in such a way (taking their situation and feelings into account) that they might actually listen. You must, however, “sound a clear trumpet”. Most counselors were codependent enablers before they became counselors and had to learn to say painful truths in palatable ways.
Struggle with sexual urges and God has not given you a partner He approves of? Our civilization says that acting out sexually is a basic right and it would somehow be wrong or damaging to not indulge. God, through the apostle Paul says that the reverse is true! It would be better if we could take all that natural energy and turn it into drive to serve God and others, but if God gives a man a wife or a woman a husband, that is OK. If God just took away your sex drive struggle, you would not be more godly, you would be less passionate in all areas. I have seen where someone begs God to take away the struggle and He does for a while but then they expect Him to magically make all struggle against sin vanish. They then find struggles in other areas and don’t want to do the work to learn and grow and rely on Him, His word , the church and others. Sometimes , after years of bland “peace” the struggle returns. I think that God has assessed them and their supports and their walk with Him and believes it is time to restore their design and turn THEIR GREATEST FLAW INTO THEIR MOST VALUABLE ASSET!