“Good things, pertinent facts, and admirable strategies can take one down a path to destruction.”
I have no idea where this quote is from. The reality is that I often take good things and abuse others and myself with them! Being on time justifies my willingness to ignore the needs of people around me. Logical analysis and deductions gives permission to stomp on others’ values. Disciplines become a procrastination tactic for areas that I do not want to deal with. Taking things to God in prayer provides a platform for not acting, fatalism, and putting my mind in neutral. In summary, abuse!
I am not trying to be aggressively negative with the subject. I think you and I, as well as everyone else, has enough stuff hitting us from all sides. I do believe that we focus on areas we feel comfortable with and use these to ignore critically important areas. Additionally, I find myself taking facts God has laid out and spending a lot of time trying to turn them upside down and into something that I can wrap lots of positive feelings around.
“Apart from the succinct, surgical command, ‘You shall not covet,’ I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it.” (Romans 7.8) The statement applies with virtually every fact God laid out; respect for God’s imagine and name apply, relationships with others also works. In every facet of my life, I often take God’s statement, turn it around, and dress it up to play to my abilities and pride.
There is only one solution! I must recognize my reality moment-to-moment; at least daily. You may be different, I doubt it, but it is possible. Unless we do this, we will always want to feel good for our actions. This is a recipe for failure!
God’s actions on our behalf define our worth, nothing more important in the universe! God’s acts of grace and mercy define our mission and role in the community, being living out the reality of selfless love. All answers to abuse.