- Saturday, January 16, 2010
There is an old saying that has been around for many years that is so very true; Love Hurts. The meaning behind this comment is that sometimes love has to display itself in ways that feel uncomfortable to us and probably aren't so welcoming to the recipient either. But the truth is that sometimes tough love is necessary to get to what lies beneath the surface so that the root issues in a person's life can be dealt with.
Imagine that your child or maybe a friend is displaying the following symptoms; running around naked, cutting themselves, screaming, having convulsions, eating poison, and throwing himself/herself in front of cars on a regular basis. What would you do? Would you A) ignore the symptoms and hope they go away?; B) Learn what triggers these behaviors and try your best to stay clear of them?; Or C) seek a physician to help diagnose and solve the problem?
If you chose A, then chances are that you just don't want to admit that there is problem. But that doesn't negate that there really is a problem. The longer you ignore the problem, the worse it will actually get. If you chose B then you are learning to live with the problem by choosing to adapt your behavior so that the symptoms won't manifest. This too is not a solution to the problem and it's certainly not a real definition of peace. This is like looking at the ocean and believing that there is nothing deadly lying beneath the waters! The only way to have real, lasting peace is to choose C; seek the Great Physician and allow Him to expose the truth so that you and your loved one can be set free!
When our son's drug issues came to a head, we knew that his only hope, and ours, was to seek a place that could help him become free not just from the drugs, which is actually a symptom, but also from the issues within him that drove him to them. It is taking time, but he is learning that the only way for him to be free and have peace is to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas of fear and weakness in his life so that he can receive God's GRACE to be set free.
The three scenarios I described above are actually snap shots of people that Jesus encountered throughout His earthly journey. For example, the demoniac in Mark 5 was running around naked, screaming, cutting himself and even living in graves. How many people do you know that are living lifestyles of destruction and darkness that are similar to this man's? The town's people rather than helping him, just left him out there by himself. As long as he wasn't bothering them, they had peace. As soon as Jesus, the Author and Finisher of LIFE came into the wild man's presence, he immediately threw himself at Jesus' feet and worshipped Him. At that same moment, the demons were exposed so that Jesus could deal with the real issues in the man, not just the symptoms. Jesus did not pat him on the head and feel sorry for him; He sent the demons running! Once the man was set free from the demonic influence, he was restored to his right mind and he was at peace! Unfortunately the people in the community, who had grown accustomed to living with the man's outbursts, were not so happy with Jesus; they asked Jesus to leave. I wonder if they were afraid that some of their own "demons" might be exposed?!
The truth is that the only way to have real, lasting peace is to confront the issues in our lives and deal with them. We are in a real battle and our fight is not against people; it is against the rulers and principalities that have tried to influence the world from the beginning of time(Eph. 6:12). God expects us to deal with these forces in the same way Jesus did; expose them and cast them out (Mark 16:15-18)! We have been given power and authority and it's time we roll up our sleeves and learn how to use it!
So if you have a few people in your life (and maybe it's you) that are displaying some less than Godly traits, invite the power of the Holy Spirit to help you expose and deal with the root cause so that you can have and experience true peace. God wants us to be set free from every effect of the enemy in our and our family's life (1 John 3:8). Don't allow yourself to become passive when you see the enemy's work in people's lives because true love doesn't ignore symptoms; true love confronts and deals with the cause so that the symptoms can subside and never return.
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