Did you miss me? The last two weeks I have been spending time out of the country: one week at a timeshare with my friend in Cabo san Lucas, and the other week on a cruise celebrating the marriage of a co-worker and friend.
It’s nice to be back home.
Many, many years ago I saw a book entitled “If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him.” I thought the title interesting so I bought it and read it. The point of the book was, simply enough, that no one who promises you enlightenment and total change is telling you the truth, and is, in fact, just selling you a bag full of lies. You will always be you, and you will always mentally and emotionally react as you have, but you can change how you act after the reaction.
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A Christian co-worker and friend who was helping to lead me to God and Messiah when I was still searching told me that what is wonderful about accepting Messiah is that your brain gets rewired by God. I really wanted that and still do, in some ways, but have realized that except for a few rare cases it doesn’t really work that way.
I am who I have always been. I can’t change who I am, I can’t change the immediate thoughts that enter my head, and I will always think and react the way I have for my entire life, sans some brainwashing techniques that may be used on me. Even then, I am still me, only conditioned to be different, which isn’t really me, in the end.
So if you are always you, and I am always me, what good is trying? The answer is: trying is what comes from God. On our own, we don’t try to resist. We don’t repent, we rationalize. I have often said that before I was saved I was a sinner who rationalized my sins, now I am a sinner who regrets my sins.
And that is what makes the difference: repentance. The desire NOT to sin is what is rewired in our brains. Our reactions, our desires, and our thoughts will always be what they are, but the difference that God makes in our lives is that instead of accepting that we do wrong, we resist doing wrong.
And we often fail, but we keep on trying. Taking three steps forward then backsliding two steps is still one step closer to the way we want to be!!
So accept that you will always be you, and instead of trying to be perfect, just work on being a better you.
God tells all of us how he wants us to act towards him and towards each other, so read the Bible and work at being a better you, the “you” that God wants you to be.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!