Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your One Thing

Every once in a while I get confirmations about what I should write about in this blog. I didn’t have anything particularly on my mind this week that I felt I should write about until this morning. The phrase “one thing” popped into my head as I was showering and I started thinking about how that might evolve into a post. I had all kinds of ideas. Then I went to church and our pastor kept using the phrase and I knew I must be on track.

It occurred to me that everyone has a "one thing" that most needs to be addressed in their lives.

I have been reading about refusing offenses, and I think for many people this is their “one thing”. They are harboring resentments and bitterness that is getting in the way of true peace in their lives. These offenses might be real, or they might just feel real – but either way they are intrusive.  

For others, their “one thing” might be getting their finances in order. Or perhaps it is an addiction that is controlling them, or a lack of margin in their schedules that is pushing their relationship with God to the last item on their priority list. It could be so many different things.

But we all have “one thing” that if we were to conquer it, a mighty burden would be lifted from our souls.

For me, my “one thing” is a relational tangle. When I get near it, I feel guilty and powerless. The loss involved with it is both emotional and tangible. If I get too close I seem to get re-wounded. But I know God calls us to suffer for His sake – and that makes it all the harder for me.     

How do we identify our “one thing”? It’s the thing that occupies more than its share of our mental real estate. It jumps out at us in a sermon. It nags at us when we should be paying attention to something else. And we wish we could magically make the situation go away. But it rarely goes away because it is “our thing” and we must deal with it. For some that means taking an action step that they have been hesitant to take. For others it might be admitting their powerlessness and surrendering to a power greater than themselves.

It takes courage and maturity to face and conquer our fears, doubts, and self-focused lives. There may be low motivation because we believe that we have successfully managed or minimized the issue. Or we may feel totally justified in holding on to whatever it is that we are holding on to. But still it nags at us.

God is gentle, but pray that He is persistent. He knows what keeps us separated from Himself and from others. It is His kindness that presses us to deal with the undone things in our lives.

Romans 2:4 Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? 

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