Wednesday, April 10, 2019

When God Pulls An Intervention

My wife from time to time enjoys watching a show called Intervention. Nearly every episode shows some person or another dealing with drug addictions. This person has typically been supported by one family member or another through bad decision after bad decision because that family member cannot bear to see their loved one live on the street or go hungry. As a result, these addicts never suffer the consequences for their actions. Not until the family members promise to cut the addict off, forcing the addict to go into recovery, does anything change. Only after facing the consequences for their bad choices does the addict begin to get some things straight.

The author of Proverbs discussed this dynamic in Proverbs 19:19 when he said, Hot- tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again (NLT). The author was talking about the need to let people suffer the consequences for losing their temper but the principle often applies to a variety of areas in life. Very often we, as stubborn and prideful people, refuse to learn our lessons until we face consequences for our bad decisions. Sometimes parents struggle with this principle when raising their kids, afraid to let their kids struggle. But sometimes God has to apply this lesson with us.

Very often we pray for God to deliver us from terrible circumstances without acknowledging that our own bad decisions led to those terrible circumstances and without learning our lesson. We pray for God's mercy on us without realizing that allowing us to suffer the consequences for our choices so that we learn our lesson is a greater mercy than saving us and having to rescue us again later.  Sometimes, we would be better served praying that God would demonstrate to us where we made our mistakes than praying that God would deliver us.

Sometimes tragedy is just tragedy and hardship is simply circumstance. But sometimes we have caused our own problems and we will never learn our lessons until we have to face the mess we have created. If you are dealing with a disaster of your own making right now, pray that God will enable you to learn your lesson. In the long term, that is more merciful than saving you from your own mistakes

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