Thirsty and Foolish

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The scriptures consistently expose people as both thirsty and foolish.  We long for satisfaction we were built to enjoy, but we all move away from God to find it.  An inside look, then, can be expected to uncover two elements imbedded deeply in our heart: (1) thirst or deep longings for what we do not have; and (2) stubborn independence reflected in wrong strategies for finding the life we desire.

It is with an understanding of these two fundamental elements that we can productively explore beneath the surface of our everyday problems.  The first element, deep longings, reflects our humanness and all the dignity accorded to us as bearers of God’s image.  We long for a quality of relationship and meaning that no other creature has the capacity to enjoy.  We were designed to richly enjoy the person of  God as well as His provisions.

The second element, wrong decisions, exists because we are sinful.  Only foolish, rebellious, proud people would move away from the Source of life in search of a fulfillment they can control.  And that is exactly what we’ve done — and do.  Spouses demand certain responses from one another as a condition for life.  People require that they never hurt again the way they once did in some previous trauma.  We devise strategies designed to keep us warmly involved with each other at a safe distance.  We live to gain life from others and to protect ourselves from whatever we think is life-threatening.

An inside look must anticipate uncovering deep, unsatisfied longings that bear testimony to our dignity, as well as foolish and ineffective strategies for keeping ourselves out of pain that reflect our depravity.  Each of us is a glorious ruin.  And the further we look into our heart, the more clearly we can see the wonder of our ability to enjoy relationship alongside the tragedy of our determination to arrange for our own protection from hurt….

No amount of looking inside will yield perfect certainty about what to do.  But some understanding of what is going on within us will often help us see what changes must occur on the inside before effective change can be expected.

~Dr. Larry Crabb, Real Change is Possible if You’re Willing to Start from the Inside Out

What do you think?

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21 responses »

  1. I agree, we long for love and relationship and we look for it in all the wrong places, causing a bigger hole, a deeper longing and less of an ability to fill it.

    But I’m a bit weary of looking too deeply inside for too long, it can be a deep hole that can suck you in. So instead, after a little bit looking, then we should start really looking towards God, seeking Him alone. The Holy Spirit is a wonderful counselor.

    I read the book Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb a long time ago and it meant a lot at the time.

  2. Good morning, Rain. I, too, get weary from looking in but have found so many who don’t even want to begin, thus living a perpetual cycle of pain. I haven’t gotten very far in the book…but I sure like what I’m reading so far. I think, from what I’ve seen, Crabb’s point is to depend upon God for the internal work. As you’ve stated, “The Holy Spirit is a wonderful counselor.”

    Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your input. 😉

  3. Looking inside is not always pleasant. But I have found that it is necessary to see and understand “Why” somethings seem to push a button in me that cause bad choices. Although I never look inside me without inviting HIM to go there with me, that is my wisest choice! 😯

  4. As I read I was thinking … “this writing style is much different from what Michelle usually does.” haha! It was harder to assimilate for some reason. But yes, I have to agree. Especially with what you’ve said about living in a perpetual cycle of pain. It’s the ‘ignore it and think it will go away’ syndrome that all too many employ. This, to me, is tied in strongly with many passages in … Isaiah? Jeremiah? … which say (paraphrased), “Woe to you, shepherd and prophets, who say to the daughter of my people, ‘Peace, Peace,’ but there is no peace.” The idea of pretending that everything is okay, when everything is terribly wrong. It is deadly, I believe. Just as in a human wound. Even a simple cut, if not cared for, can become infectious to the point of being life-threatening. We have to tend to our wounds and the wounds of those around us if we seek for any kind of real healing.

  5. It certainly isn’t pleasant, Darla. I think it can be the most painful pursuit to endure…to really get in touch with our own depravity…the thirsting for more and the sick ways we try to quench the thirst. But, I’m with you, I will NOT do it without Jesus by my side. I need His washing as I go…you know?

    Amen, Annie. I’ve thought of that wound analogy for many years. If we don’t get things “cleaned out” we’re destined to return over and over to keep the infection at bay. I do wonder if Crabb is saying it will never be “cleaned out” completely. I think he’ll make the case for a constant cleansing…a constantly repentant heart.

  6. Sometimes there are deep painful things inside. This is where a counselor or close friend can be very helpful. Sometimes the pain is overwhelming for people to walk through on their own. Many won’t even attempt it, but spend their lives trying to avoid it rather than face it and be healed.

    It also never hurts to be able to be honest (at least with God and ourselves) about what is really in our hearts. It isn’t easy to look our sin in the face and acknowledge it and repent of it, but it is freeing!

  7. Amen. It is freeing. Hard to do, especially some of those sins that come from our attitudes…at least for me. Roots of bitterness are hard to extract without lots of help from Above. I’m just not strong enough to pull them out on my own.

    “Many won’t even attempt it, but spend their lives trying to avoid it rather than face it and be healed.”

    I don’t want to get there…ever.

    I love you, Heidi! Thanks for coming out of hiding for a visit. I’m asking for our Father to bless you…

  8. I think we could all benefit from a roadmap that is not crouched and steeped in mystic and ancient symbolism today – one that comes out and explains clearly and simply what is inside of us and how to understand it all so that we can get on with doing what we were put here to do – No? 🙂

    That word ‘Sin’ – how many of us does that throw off the scent?

    We can’t fully understand the Bible if we never learn to understand the basics of even ourself first.

    Know Thyself ! – and that can only be done by exploring and researching ‘within’ – ideally with a helpful guidemap.

    One which our ability to read and understand has not been corrupted through the passing of time. One which is tailored to each and every uniquely different individual.

    (it’s OUR ability to understand that is corrupted – not the Bible. Just wanted to make that more clear).

    <B

  9. That book is required reading for the Discipleship class that I have been a part of. I have very mixed emotions about the book, I love and hate it at the same time.

    The way I see it… We must expose every, every, every, inch, ounce, chamber, and dark place of our heart to God. His Love shining on us expose those area’s to us the we refuse to expose to our selves and others. Looking at them is very painful, and often causes more confusion for us than clarity. I mean why does God need us to know that about ourselves? Oh yeah, cause it is ugly and needs to be turned beautiful. God’s Love purifies in a way the is both painful and beautiful.

    Peace and love sis.

    PS..Finally starting to catch up on my blog reading after the power outage last week. Expect to see me around more now that Philter48 is pretty much designed, and ready for public announcement.

  10. I’m really glad you added that last paranthetical statement, Love. Honestly, and it could be this cold, I was not following. But yes, we do tend to want to blow-off the teachings of the scripture as archaic when in reality, it is the Word of Life. Without the Holy Spirit and the Word, how do we really know what the sickness is within our souls? We are deluded…foolish…as the Word states.

    “God’s Love purifies in a way that is both painful and beautiful.”

    Amen, Carl. It truly is a redemptive work He does. We must be willing to take the steps, to look at ourselves intently in the mirror of the Word to see the ugliness of our souls, but the reward is so worth the effort…freeing…as Heidi said.

    PS…Good to see you around again. I just commented at Philter 48. 😉

  11. oh… and it pains me to know my own foolishness has brought pain to others. I can only pray for healing for all. Ya know?

  12. three days no new post..seems to be that way lots of places in blogsville..do you think you might write something soon…just wondering..weekends are lonely here..and I thought I would find you..nope…did you get invited to a party and not take me? justkidding..miss you!

  13. Yes, I do know, Tracy. He can and will heal all as we surrender to His will. That doesn’t mean we won’t forget our foolishness. But then, as much as it pains us to remember, it’s probably a good thing to keep us from repeating the same patterns…hopefully…in time. Love you, Tracy. I’ve been praying for you. 😉

    Three days, Darla, and I still have nothing new to say…no party…not yet…lots of activitiy though. I sold some of my cards yesterday and have a regular “gig” to sell once a month, while drawing for the customers to observe. It was loads of fun yesterday, but wore me to a frazzle. Maybe…MAYBE…I’ll have something to write about by tonight.

    I miss you!!! I LOVE you!!! 🙂

  14. 😦 i didn’t get my weekend Michelle fix..pouting..guess I will go make some cookies..hahaha since i just came from the gym.. 🙄

  15. What do I think? I think you’ve been reading Crabb… oh, wait, it came from Crabb. Ah, nevermind then.

    D.L. and W.S. — he’s been saying that for decades (we went to his 1987 seminar in Livermore) and it’s just as true now as it was back then. What comes to mind is Jeremiah 2:25 — But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’ Profound if distressing. But with God in charge, we need not be distressed, right?

    Who will deliver us from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  16. Your post reminded me of today’s sermon at church. I’m writing a post about it so I won’t go into detail over here but I do agree that we look to everything but God to fulfill our unmet needs and then wonder why they aren’t being met.

    I miss you…are you okay? Love you XO

  17. Hey, Darla! I had company this weekend and the card showing. Wasn’t able to get online much. Now that we’re back to family, I should be around more. I missed you too. Love you much!!

    Welcome, Collin. I like what you shared here: But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’ Our hearts are deceptively wicked, who can know them? We are depraved…completely totally utterly depraved…without a heart change, without keeping in step with the Spirit, we will not be able to resist. But He did promise a new heart…a circumcision of the heart…just as you quoted, “But thanks be to God…” Jesus saves.

    I have a friend who talks much about seeing the image of God underneath the graffiti of this fallen world ( http://www.thenoreaster.wordpress.com ). Much as Crabb stated, “Each of us is a glorious ruin.”

    Yes, Ayla, I’m doing OK…just like I told Darla…I’m coming over to see your site in just a sec. I love you too!

    Thanks, Hope Works Community.

    🙂

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