Summary: “It’s just a flesh wound!” Isn’t that way it is with all of the struggles, failures or wounds we incur at our own hand or by our own decisions? We always try to minimize it, making it much smaller and less serious than it really is. Recovery begins when y
Angels & Demons: flesh wounds
“It’s just a flesh wound!” Isn’t that way it is with all of the struggles, failures or wounds we incur at our own hand or by our own decisions? We always try to minimize it, making it much smaller and less serious than it really is. Jim Collins has written a book called "How the Mighty Fall" about businesses who at one time were strong and effective and yet went from hero to zero during the last decade. Motorola was number one in cell phones in the world in 2004 and today they are on the edge of bankruptcy. Rubbermaid in 2000 was a vital company and now is no more. Circuit City was a leader in electronics and now is closed. From these examples, Collins see five stages of demise when a company fails. The first is growth and success. Stage 2 is the undisciplined pursuit of more where ‘what becomes more important than ‘why’. Stage three is the denial of risk and peril. Stage four is grasping for salvation and Stage 5 is capitulation to irrelevance and death. Do you see the parallel of these five stages of demise and the company's failure to the pattern of our own spiritual and moral failures in life? The worst thing that can happen to us is to fail to be who God needs us to be.
The Bible, history and the church today are filled with people who have failed: Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggert and many more. King Solomon was a man who was anointed by God and had all of the potential in the world. He reigned over the most prosperous time in Israel’s history and built the city of Jerusalem into a world class city. He wrote 3 books of the Bible, including Proverbs where he wrote about wisdom and lust and men guarding their hearts. But the very thing Solomon professed, he didn't practice. His father David failed morally with Bathsheba and Solomon did the same thing in his life. But here’s the difference: while David failed, he repented and had a comeback so that he eventually was called by God to be a “man after God’s own heart.” Solomon never repented and continued a downward spiral. At the end of his life, Solomon was worshipping other gods and building pagan temples. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. These stories remind us that there is some dysfunction in all of us and that any one of us can fail. The worst thing is to fail spiritually and morally and lose the trust of God and those who depend upon you the most.
In our Scripture today, Paul confesses rather bluntly and honestly to his struggle with sin. “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing…. Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me…..” Recovery begins when you realize there is a destructive force at work in you that you are powerless to overcome it in your own strength. The real problem is not external circumstances, not the economy, not my boss, not my spouse – but the real problem is the sin in me.