Summary: Thirteen points that call us to repentance ... a Lenten service.


2 Tim 2:22-26

Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.

Few of us like radical change ... unless, of course, the situation is so intolerable that it seems we will just die if something doesn't change, and change quickly!

Quite by accident, I came across an internet site that was headlined:

10 of the saddest words or phrases in the English language! I just HAD to check that one out! And here are the 10:

1. For kids, it's BACK TO SCHOOL! Back to school are three words that most kids loathe and all parents love. While there may be no studies to prove that, if you random polled a group of kids and asked them if they’d rather be hanging out at the swimming pool with their friends or waiting in the cold, before daylight, to get on the school might want to bet on the pool!

2. GOOD-BYE. It is so very sad, because we do not know if we say goodbye, is that the very last time? We always hope not ... but, for many, it is.

3. HEARTBROKEN - Heartbroken is a tough word. We define it as “crushed with sorrow or grief.” We’ve all been there at one time or another—you know it as soon as you feel it, and you can’t wait for it to go away. This concept tends to rear its ugly head ALL TOO OFTEN, on February 14.

4. IF ONLY - An on-line dictionary defines if only as “I wish that.” Example, “If only I knew you were coming, I would have baked a cake!” This expression can also be one of wistful regret. “If only we had met 10 years ago.” How many times have you said, "If only I hadn't said that last loud hasty word!"

5. IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN - is a phrase often tinged with regret. Many novels use this concept. “He gazed into the sunset for a brief moment and watched her vintage MG head off down the long dusty road. With a casual shrug, he turned around and headed back into the now-empty and silent farmhouse, wondering what might have been.”

Or, that lament of the ages, written by John Greenleaf Whittier, "For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'".

6. LONELY - If you’re lonely, you are inherently sad. SAD and LONELY go with the other. There’s no possible way to put a positive spin on this one. So, let's just leave it be!

7. LOVE - this one is a bit different. The word love evokes a mostly positive and fulfilling emotion, and it has its own holiday every February. There is a flipside to the coin, however. If love is unrequited, unreturned, it’s the worst, and that’s why it’s on this list.

8. MELANCHOLY - melancholy is “a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged; depression.” As an example, think about Charlie Brown lying on the pitching mound after getting drilled with yet another line drive.

9. TERMINAL - Terminal is never a good word when used in a medical context. It is another word one can never put a good spin on.

10. WHAT PARTY? - Carrie Fisher said two of the saddest words in the English language were "what party?" She was likely referring to the one to which she was NOT invited!

Now, we might truly relish a change from any of these 10 thoughts ... and, yes, they are funny, in a sense, but when they are OUR situation, the fun seems to run away, very quickly!

But what would happen if we were to look at 10 words from the Bible that would also be very unkind, un-nice, un-Christian words .... words from which, if they describe our lives or characteristics, we would want to change?

Yes, I know change can be uncomfortable... and I know there are a jillion jokes about the reluctance to change ...but I also know and believe the Scriptures ... in places like Revelation 9:20-21: The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.

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