Hard Falls, Pt. 4

The Movement Church of San Antonio TX, James Shupp

Broken But Not Destroyed

I once knew a person who was about as self-centered as they come. Arguing with him was like quarrelling with a brick wall. The Sphinx would sooner get up and walk away than for this person to budge in a debate. His mind was like ready-mix concrete that had been left outside in the rain and then baked under the hot afternoon sun.

I didn’t like being around him much. He just seemed to be everywhere I was. I thought he was following me, despite my best attempts to avoid him. No matter how hard I tried to dodge his company, he’d show up and spoil all the fun. I must confess that I didn’t want to be his friend.

It was obvious that this person thought everything existed for his benefit. He was the center of his own shrinking universe. He treated his wife and children as though they existed to help him achieve every ambition and dream he wanted to attain. Whenever they objected, he would become angry and withdrawn. In fact, he thought his anger could control those around him. Even this became a worn-out tool that lost its effectiveness over time. His relationships suffered.

To make matters worse, he was severely envious of the accomplishments of others. You could ruin his day whenever you shared a blessing that someone else received that didn’t come his way first. He felt that life was a competition between him and everybody else. If he didn’t get to the finish line first, he resented the winner and sought to ruin any victory celebration.

You couldn’t tell him “no” or share your opinion on a matter that differed from his. He didn’t respect the advice, experience, or wisdom of others. I watched him create misery for himself because he refused to heed the warnings of people who really wanted to help him succeed.

I was finally given a chance to confront him about his behavior. God provided a teachable moment where he got a glimpse of his true self. God changed him and he became a new man. It took some Godly sorrow on his part. He had to mourn the losses and the messes he had created for himself, but he’s walking a new path now.

I’m so glad that God doesn’t give up on the kind of person I’m describing to you. I’m thankful for His grace and mercy for the greatest of sinners. The world says that people can’t change, and that an apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. I know this to be untrue. You see, the person that I just described to you in all of his former wretchedness is… Did you guess it already? It was I.

Brokenness is a beautiful experience. Don’t miss your opportunity. Perhaps someone like the man I just described to you is following you around.

2 Cor. 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

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