Don’t be your own biggest problem

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Stay strong”
Our Bible verse for today: “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t be your own biggest problem”
Without question, I am my own biggest problem. I cause more trouble for myself than ten enemies combined ever could. Even Satan and all the demons are not as big a problem for me as I am for myself. They can’t force me to do anything. They can suggest, lie, mislead, and entice but ultimately, I’m the one who makes the decisions and takes the actions. And what dumb stuff I sometimes say and do! Yup, I’m my own biggest problem.  And you are yours.
I often provide pastoral counseling for people struggling with a wide variety of life issues. Many times (perhaps the majority) the individual is convinced that the source of their problems lies outside of themselves. Their spouse is cranky and difficult; their kids are disobedient and rebellious; their boss is a jerk, their friends have let them down, the price of gas is too high, and the universe is aligned against them. You’ve heard the story before. You’ve probably told it a time or two.
Usually, people in that frame of mind are convinced that the solution to their problems will be found in a change of behavior by other people; or with a change of jobs; or perhaps a change of geography. The problem with that thinking is revealed in the old adage, “Wherever you go, there you are.” In other words, you take yourself with you wherever you go, and you will be the same person in your new circumstances that you were in your old circumstances. So, if you were the problem in Detroit, you will still be the problem in Denver.
In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul was making reference to the Biblical doctrine of progressive sanctification. It’s the understanding that over the course of our lives, the Holy Spirit works in us to slowly mold us and shape us into the person God wants us to be. It’s a lifelong process that should result in ever-increasing spiritual maturity, along with the associated improvement in our thinking and behaviors. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
However, we have a role to play in that process. We have to cooperate with Him by placing ourselves in a position whereby He can have unfettered access to our mind and heart. That’s when He can do the work He wants to do in our lives. You can resist Him or you can cooperate with Him, and which it is will go a long way towards determining how much spiritual maturity you experience, and how fast.
Circumstances and other people may in fact be part of your problem, but the most important and consequential part of every situation is how you choose to deal with it. It’s a matter of how you decide to think and act in that situation and your spiritual maturity, your strength in Christ, will determine that.
Don’t be your own biggest problem. Cooperate with the Spirit by practicing the basic disciplines of the Christian faith (prayer, Bible study, worship, etc.) so that the He can progressively transform you into an increasingly mature and strong person.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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