Damage Control

October 17, 2012

Damage Control

1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Have you ever experienced those times either in yourself or in others where your words didn’t always follow through in your actions? How often in our relationships do we offend one another and maybe we are willing to say I’m sorry. Things are okay for a little while and then we slip back into the same old offenses. Maybe the guys are spending too much time watching sports or playing golf and the wife gets fed up and then blows up. In the obviously rational discussion that follows the husband sees the error of his ways, apologizes and promises to do better. Finally, the wife calms down, accepts the apology and life goes back to normal. Being the creatures of habit that we are, usually sooner than later the husband has slipped back into his old ways and round 2 and 3 and so on continues. It could be the other way with a wife that likes to shop or go over budget on her spending, for example. The husband hits the roof and the same type of scenario follows with the wife apologizing to the husband and promising to change. This same type of thing can play out at work, or in other relationships, where we continue in a behavior until there is a breaking point. Then we do damage control to try to patch the immediate damage, but we never really repent and turn from the behavior that is causing the real problem. This, no doubt, has much to do with why our divorce rate is at about fifty percent. If we do that with one another, how much more do we do it with God and His will for our lives? When we feel the conviction about something wrong in our lives, we so often are prone to cover it with a quick, “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” and then go on our merry way with no real attitude or heart change. I’m preaching to myself today, because its too easy for us to get caught up in what we are doing and what is important to us that we fail to see and react to the big picture. Life isn’t all about us. It is about family, friends, relationships and a balance in our lives that helps us to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of others, the Lord being the first on that list. Life has many demands upon us. Most of us are running full tilt boogie just trying to keep up. We feel the weight and the pressures of all these demands and it is hard for us to be everything to everybody. Many of us have become workaholics because there is so much to do and so little time. As a result our relationships suffer. Could this be why the Lord created a Sabbath? We all need to take that time when we close the work door and say, “this time is set apart just for relationships with God and family.” W e need to do that regularly and purposefully.
Damage control only works for so long. If a ship were in battle and sustained injury, the crew would do what they had to do to get the ship back up and operational, but that wouldn’t be the permanent fix, it would only be temporary till permanent repairs could be made. If they continued to operate the ship on “damage control” it would probably eventually sink. That is where many of us are. Many of us need to do some permanent fixing starting with our heavenly relationship, then our family and then others. Our words and apologies must be followed with actions of change. We tend to neglect the more important people in our lives that love us, thinking they will understand. Occasionally they will, but we have to change our behavior and place our relationships as the first priority on our list instead of the last. As I’m talking to myself today, I know I’m speaking to a lot of you. God’s priorities are people and not things. A lot of us need real repentance in these areas where we offend and neglect. Instead of “damage control”, let’s work on some permanent changes that will heal our relationships with our God, our family and others. We need to make commitments to specific times we set apart just for relationships and then follow through with consistent actions.
” …Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

Blessings,
kent

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