Your prescription might not be your solution

“You need to take                                     (fill in prescription name). That will take care of your                                       (fill in issue).”

I understand that there are times for prescription drugs… but I’m concerned that we have allowed a good thing to corrupt what we believe about ourselves. Let me explain…

This morning I read from St. James this instruction:

“Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives….” (James 1:20-21 NLT).

“Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives” says James… and this is my concern!

I’m concerned that we have bought the idea that the filth and evil in our lives is something we can do nothing about. It is a sickness… a disease… and we are its victims. The best we can hope to do is manage it through medicine and squeak through its periodic eruptions.

My concern is that we see ourselves as helpless bystanders in the story of our lives… helpless to do anything about what is going on… incapable of action or attitudes that will decrease and eliminate the filth and evil in our lives.

I’m concerned that we see ourselves not as owners and builders but as slaves… slaves to the irrational and exhausting demands of the various sources of filth and evil in our lives.

James says, “Get rid of them.” We say, “I can’t… this is who I am.” And this concerns me.

What hope is there for people who believe themselves helpless to control their own lives? Little to none.

On the other hand, James apparently believed that there was something that could be done to decrease and eliminate the control that our trashy side has over our lives! He tells us to “get rid of the filth and evil” and then tells us how…

Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls.  And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law– the law that sets you free– and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (James 1:21-25 NLT)

Look, I don’t mean to be simplistic, but I think there’s an answer here… and it’s not another prescription. It’s a decision.

A decision to read and act on God’s best ideas for our lives… found in the Bible.

There seems to be a direct correlation between personal growth and learning. The more you learn and do what you learn the more you evolve as a man/woman and the less control that filth/evil has over your life!

My concern, simply stated, is that we have believed that we cannot do anything about our lives… except manage the “filth and evil.” But maybe there is another way… make a decision to learn and begin doing what you’ve learned!

One of my favorite quotes on this matter comes from Henry Cloud, “Learn that you can learn and the fear of the future will diminish.”

As you head into 2014 maybe it’s time to take a good look at your life, believe that you can learn, and set about taking control of and eliminating the trash from your life that keeps you down!

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