Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Living in a Horror Movie

You've probably seen one of those movie scenes. A group of people is holed up, hiding from a horde of monsters or killer birds or zombies. They are locked behind closed doors while screams and terrifying noises filter in from the darkness. Everyone is scared, but there is that one person trying to mask his terror behind a show of bravado, that one person who is convinced that if they run, they can escape the horrible monsters waiting to ambush them. Everyone else knows the safest thing to do is to wait where they are, together. But that one person decides he knows better and rushes off alone. You never see him again, but you know from the howls and the sound effects that the he didn't make it. He rushed off on his own and got killed. When you watch a scene like that, you know exactly what is going to happen. You know that the moment that person runs out on his own he is going to die. You know that if he has a chance to survive, he has to stay with the group. 

Now, admittedly, life is not a horror movie most of the time, but that movie scene parallels much of life. Proverbs 18:1 reads, "One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires, he rebels against all sound judgment" (HCSB).  When it comes to horror movies or combat situations, most of us understand what this verse is saying, but there are other situations where this wisdom is a little harder to see.  We don't like what we've seen or experienced in a church and so we decide to strike out on our own. "I can worship by myself!" we say. We experience doubts or a crisis of faith and we decide to think through things on our own rather than seeking advice from people  who have been there themselves.  We struggle with a particular sin and so we avoid people who would speak truth into our lives.

The rough times in life often push us to places where we feel the need to isolate ourselves. We think if we can just clear our minds or get alone for long enough we'll be able to think through things on our own or straighten things out by ourselves. But we were not made to live life alone. And most of the time, if we rely solely on our own point of view, we miss vital perspectives and information.  That is one of the reasons the author of Hebrews wrote, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25, NIV).  When we stick together, we see things more clearly, we are able to point out those places where we are drifting off course. We are able to share wisdom and experience and learn things from each other we might never have learned on our own. We are able to encourage each other and spur each other on.

Don't try to do everything on your own. Make a point of meeting with other people and seeking out wise council. Sometimes, it's the only thing that will help us survive.

Being an Angry Tattle-Tale

Something I've noticed since having children is how often kids are eager to run and tattle on someone for doing the very thing they wer...