January 3, 2018
A man consulted a psychiatrist. He complained, “I’ve been misbehaving, Doc, and my conscience is troubling me.” The doctor asked, “And you want something that will strengthen your will power?” The fellow replied, “Well no, I was thinking of something that would weaken my conscience”.
That sounds funny, but in truth, it is way too close to reality. Most people want to change their circumstances or be freed of their conscience, but are unwilling to change their behaviour.
The Newfoundland pop band Great Big Sea, sings a song which expresses the cultural view point the man presented to the psychiatrist. The song is called “Consequence Free” and the second verse and chorus says it all.
I could really use, to lose my Catholic conscience.
Cause I’m getting sick, of feeling guilty all the time.
I won’t abuse it, yeah, I’ve got the best intentions.
For a little bit of anarchy, but not the hurting kind
I want to be, Consequence free.
I want to be, where nothing needs to matter
I want to be, consequence free.
There is no such thing as consequence free living. Neglect your car and you will pay for it in expensive repairs. Ignore your spouse, and your marriage will crumble. Refuse to address your hurts, habits, and hang-ups and your life will spiral out of control. Fortunately, God is more interested in changing our behaviour, than He is in changing our circumstances. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Th. 5:18
Did you catch that? His focus is on our behaviour – our response is more significant than our circumstance. His charge, is to give thanks no matter what the circumstance. To praise God in any circumstance, is the will of God for your life. Period. Every believer is to begin there, giving thanks in all circumstances and then to strategically advance, surrendering every bad behavior, evil intention, and negative thought to Him, so that He can change us, and refine us into the image of His Son.
So as we continue in 2018 to take our lives to the NEXT LEVEL, let’s remember that God is more interested in changing our behavior than in changing our circumstances.