“When you are disturbed, do not sin…” (v.4a)
The NLT translates that word “disturbed” as angry. Which in the context is appropriate. But when I read this text, I came back to this verse, especially this first portion and thought you could put any number of things in that slot.
….when you are frustrated
….when you are tempted
….when you are hurt
….when you are lonely
….when you are depressed (especially appropriate for me! 🙂 )
….when you are alone (different than being lonely)
….when you are _____
I think you get the idea. The point would be, when these things become an issue how do you respond to them. How do I respond to them?
Let’s suppose that I’m the only one who does this…..usually, I rationalize whatever it is that I’m feeling, thinking, or about to do, and then go ahead. Oh I might hold out for an hour, a half day, a day, sometimes longer, but eventually – through my own rationalization, I go ahead. Usually it’s because I have concluded that it’s easier to “give in” than to resist, that’s number one. And then it’s easier to confess and ask forgiveness from God, then to fight the Enemy, that’s number two. Pretty pathetic wouldn’t you say?
Now, since I’ve had years to reflect and hours of counseling, I’m not sure I figured it ALL out, but I think I have managed to unravel some of it. My theory is that I respond this way because I don’t know any other way to respond. It may be because of some of that “scripting” I grew up with that said, you’ll never finish; that won’t last; you can’t do that why would you want to try? Indeed, I haven’t finished, it hasn’t lasted, I haven’t been able to do that so I quit trying. It may be for the plain lack of follow-through. Or some of both.
You may be beginning to see a pattern here. It’s not encouraging. If you were to look you would see that there are multiple efforts at trying to “find” myself – a.k.a. that which gives me purpose and passion. Sometimes it looks like a bad game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey! And appropriately enough, some would look at my life and say, “what a jackass!”
But it ain’t over yet!