If there is anything I have learned in life, it is that even the most outwardly strong and perfect looking people have "ISSUES". This is why we should never judge a book by its cover. This is why we must strive to see past the outward appearance to find the inner heart in people.
Thinking back to when I was a young man, there were certain people I elevated to "god" status and in so doing it was impossible for me to find any fault in them. When a person is lifted up on a pedestal in our thinking, that person can do no wrong in our minds.
The danger in doing this lies in the fact that everyone has ISSUES, including the very people who have become gods among us. The only perfect person who ever lived was Jesus Christ. Everyone else who has ever drawn breath on this earth was flawed in one way or another. The person who is really flawed gets the reputation of being "damaged goods", otherwise known as having WAY TOO MANY ISSUES.
Somewhere in between those who are gods among us with no apparent ISSUES, and those whose ISSUES are tattooed on their very foreheads lies most of us. The vast majority of people have plenty of ISSUES but they are hidden right below the surface so that they cannot be readily seen. These ISSUES tend to flare up out of the blue and when they do, we suddenly find out that we are not only human but that we've got some things that need to get resolved.
Many people have anger issues. This is a direct result of our culture with its injustices and demands. Apparently cool and calm people just snap and when they do, everyone is appalled at what they are capable of doing. It is very hard, for instance, to get on a crowded highway for any length of time and not feel the rage when people act like pre-schoolers behind the wheel.
Many people have rejection issues. For those of us with this underlying issue, we can appear to be invincible at times, a super believer if you will, and then suddenly through a word unfitly spoken or a perceived snub, we suddenly crawl into our holes and curl up in a ball.
Many people have pride issues. As they succeed in life or ministry they cross the line from humility into the dangerous arena of "look at me" and what I have done. Successful people are certainly much more prone to this issue than those who have not tasted of this world's acclaim.
Many people have attitude issues. How many times have we not all met someone who you just never know which side of them is going to rear its ugly head at any given time. Those with this issue can be happy one minute and crying the next. They can be tender and loving one day and ready to rip your head off the next. In many respects, this is one of the hardest issues to deal with.
We are the way we are through a combination of the genes which produced in the first place, what we have been taught, what we put into our bodies and minds and how we how we have been conditioned through life's circumstances. We can do nothing about our gene pool, but the other things we can change and bring into submission to what God says in His Word.
When God's Word says to "put off" or to "put away" certain things, we should strive to change the things such as anger, wrath, pride etc. When God's Word tells us the pitfalls of certain behavior, we should love our God enough to consciously try to line our conduct and behavior up with what is written.
Whatever your ISSUES may be, they are trigger points that flare up at inopportune times and cause you to break fellowship with God and fall into spiritual disarray. Thus, it would do us all well to know what these things are and make a conscious effort to change (put off or put on whatever is necessary) so that our only ISSUE in this life is that of pleasing God.
Trigger points. How I cringe when I think of them and yet identifying them is key to dealing with them. Yes, God can make tempers and such go POOF! He can and He has and yet at other times, rather than remove our trigger points, He wants us to learn how to control them. Removing them will not make us learn how to manage things in this world. Truthfully, as difficult as it may be, learning to deal with them properly is far better for us than simply whisking them away. May we learn to identify and deal with our trigger points so that we may bring glory to God!
Good points, b2y! As you've said, none of us is "perfect." If we were, it would not have been necessary to have an Advocate like Jesus to redeem our sins by way of the cross! How I pray that my motives may always be pure with respect to representing God. This certainly involves controlling my "issues."
I think of how the Apostle Paul had to "beat his body" into submission unto the Lord. It is that kind of self-control we should all admire and work towards. As we try to practice control over our faults by way of spiritual growth, our "fruits of the Spirit" should increase, along with our usefulness to God.
Thanks for sharing, God bless...
This is an excellent post! I have some issues with believing that everyone who appears "happy" on the outside are actually living a good life. I will find myself wondering, "why can't I be like them?" or "how did they get so happy and carefree?". But I am coming to realize the reality of the situation; that most people are dealing with some type of issue. Some people's issues are more troubling than others, but we all have issues in some shape, form, or fashion. This blog helped me to realize that even more!
Thanks for the post,
All that I thought I knew, I saw not how I saw it through
Running while running, I was paying, it's unsighted due
And there lies found it's match, for His forgivenss rang true..