Maybe the problem is internal not external

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Maybe the problem is internal not external”
Recently a friend gave me a little book of poems by the poet Kevin Nowak. I was not previously familiar with Kevin’s poetry, but I’ve discovered that I like it. I appreciate the simplicity and the clarity, as well as the thought-provoking imagery. One of his poems has the title “Clears” and it reminds me of what King David wrote in Psalm 51:10. In that Psalm David was introspective as he invited God to search his heart and to reveal to him any sin that needed to be dealt with. Here’s Kevin Nowak’s poem on that same theme:
It is easy to cast blame, on forces that are external,
But sometimes the root problem ends up being internal.
To get my life to go better and to improve,
There are some key things I will need to remove.
But I cannot do it myself, when my life is sputtering,
So I turn to Him, for help with the decluttering.
For those times when emotional drain appears,
I call to Him for help. God clears.
God clears my fears, so new paths can be explored.
God clears my doubt, and my confidence is restored.
God clears my reluctance, and sets my mind straight.
God clears my failure, and gives me a clean slate.
God clears the mental strain, that comes each day.
He helps me to progress, and get on my way.
For those times when emotional drain appears,
I call to Him for help. God clears.
In both poems, Psalm 51 by David and “Clears” by Kevin Nowak, the focus is on the individual getting right with God. As Nowak noted in his opening lines, too often we seek to cast the blame on external forces (events or other people), when in reality the bigger problem lies deep within our own heart.
Rather than seeking to blame other people or external events, we should first consider the condition our own heart. Our Christian communities would be so much better if we would all start right there – with ourselves. Very often, the real problem is internal not external.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
(Please join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or a shut-in, join us online at www.YouTube.come/oakhillbaptistcrossville)    
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