September 19, 2012

What's Wrong With Me?!!

Have you ever wondered this thought before?

Maybe something happened suddenly to make you question your competency.
Maybe someone said something to make you question your character and/or worth.
Maybe something didn't happen to make you question your understanding of yourself and your relationship with God.

I think, if you live long enough in this world, everyone eventually thinks this.  I have several times in my life.  The question is:  How do you respond to it?

I have not always responded the right way.  Sometimes others don't know how to help the right way.  (Sometimes others offer their opinions too freely!)  Sometimes, we bypass the question too quickly, and sometimes we linger to long on the question.

Is there a right way to respond to this question?  I think the answer is yes.  I believe the Bible gives us a right way.

I read through Psalm 119 several times this last week.  That led me to consider Job and the nation of Israel during their initial spiritual wanderings through the desert after their exodus.  I remembered the early church and the first apostles, and what it must have felt like to be one of the disciples immediately after the death of Christ.  I have several observations from Scripture that I would like to share in response to the question.

1)  There is a different (correct) question.
2)  Disappointment always leads to re-appointment.
3)  Holistic Faith.

I'll explain one of these each in the next three posts.

1)  There is a different (correct) question.
This week, I read Psalm 119 and realized that the proper response to questioning myself begins by evaluating my focus.  Psalm 119 appears to begin by extolling the righteousness of one who follows God.  However; once we look at verses 5-8, we see that it is actually a comparison against the authors frustration with his own lack of completeness.
" 1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
   who walk in the law of the LORD!
2Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
   who seek him with their whole heart,
3who also do no wrong,
   but walk in his ways!
4You have commanded your precepts
   to be kept diligently.
5Oh that my ways may be steadfast
   in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
   having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7I will praise you with an upright heart,
   when I learn your righteous rules.
8I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me! "


But he responds to this frustration immediately by turning his eyes to the continuing purposeful focus of his life, not simply the circumstances of the moment.


" 9How can a young man keep his way pure?
   By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
   let me not wander from your commandments!
11I have stored up your word in my heart,
   that I might not sin against you.
12Blessed are you, O LORD;
    teach me your statutes!
13With my lips I declare
   all the rules of your mouth.
14In the way of your testimonies I delight
   as much as in all riches.
15I will meditate on your precepts
   and fix my eyes on your ways.
16I will delight in your statutes;
   I will not forget your word."



It is my understanding that the purpose of our life is to glorify God in whatever we do.  The only way we can do that however is to stay focused on Him by staying focused on his Word.  Is it possible to stay focused on God without being focussed on His Word?
I don't think so.  If the purpose of being focused on Him to glorify Him, then I have to be focused on what He says about Himself in any and every circumstance and situation of life.  That includes good times and hard, sickness and health, richer and poorer, popularity and dismissal, clarity and confusion, calm and crisis, etc., etc., etc.  God's number one testimony in Scripture through the prophets, Christ Himself, and the Apostles is that He is Sovereign.  That means he is in absolute authoritative control over everything that happens anywhere, anytime, no matter what it looks like.

Even the bad stuff?  Even the worst stuff.  He doesn't make it happen, but He allows it and He says when, where, and how much.

So the first thing I learn from these meditations is that bad stuff happens.  It may be my fault.  It may not be.  But once it is done, there is only one appropriate question to ask.  Instead of what is wrong with me, the question to ask is:

"How do I respond to God's sovereignty in this?"


It happened.  He allowed it or caused it.  So now what?  Is the spirit convicting me of sin that I need to repent?  Do I need to stop something?  Do I need to continue in something?  Do I need to start something?

The point is that I can't focus on what is wrong with me.  Number one, I could always find too many answers to that question than are possible for me to address even if I had the means to do so.  Second, Psalm 119 reveals to me that God desires a heart that responds out of faith and obedience through any situation, good or bad; and here's the kicker - focusing on responding appropriately to God's Sovereignty through reflection on His Word

ALWAYS

leads to praise.

When I come to a life circumstance that leads me to initially ask - out of frustration, despair, or discouragement - "What's wrong with me?"  The answer is not to say, "Jesus loves you, nothings wrong with you!"  The answer is to  look up to the hills from where my help comes from and reflect on the truth found there in His words about how to respond in the midst of His sovereignty.  When I ask this question:

"How do I respond to God's sovereignty in this?"


I am led to praise the Sovereign King, and then I am ready for the second realization:  Disappointment always leads to re-appointment.
I'll talk about this in my next post.

God Bless.


With You for His Glory-