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Roots of disorder

I am delighted to hear of the careful and orderly ways you conduct your affairs, and impressed with the solid substance of your faith in Christ.

Colossians 2:5 

God is not a God of disorder. I, however, am often disorderly. In extreme situations I could blame it on God for making me a disorderly person, or explain it as creativity or spontaneity. No matter what my excuses may be, disorder dilutes the deposits of God. It pokes holes in the wine barrel, it makes the balance sheet leak, and it drains impact. 

There are many things that eat away at order, but I will focus on just a handful:

  • An untutored mind. Order springs from knowledge, and such knowledge is obtained both by discipline and by the Spirit.

  • Self-sabotage. Fearing the responsibility of success or the pride of self, we self-sabotage.

  • Refusing to grow up. “That’s just me” isn’t a good explanation to give to a Senior Partner who is intent on our growth.

  • A weak will. Jesus “set his face towards Jerusalem” and didn’t just hope things would pan out. Kingdom business isn’t for sissies, and if we are still weak-willed, we need to ask for the grace and grit to grow up.

  • A battered heart. Hard knocks can take the stuffing out of us. A faint heart can lead to spurious habits.

There is a final factor that I hesitate to place in the same category as the others because it is rarer, but it is deadly when present, so I must mention it: an unbridled spirit. This is a little harder to spot. If God can lead you without a bit and a bridle, if you readily leap when he whispers, if the instances of disobeying the small voice of the Spirit are few… then relax, you do not have an unbridled spirit. If, despite your intellectual comprehension of truth, you habitually refuse the corralling of the Creator and waste energy running from fence to fence; if your will is greater than his will, no matter what your mouth says; if you believe you can think yourself into order… be careful. If you are looking for excuses more than answers; if you refuse regular input from fellow Christ followers; if you isolate yourself from fellowship, especially when there is corrective input… be wary. If you have streaks of brilliance yet piles of chaos; if you have ideas about everything and consistency about nothing; if you have a huge gap between “ought to” and “actually did” … be careful.

 I have met relatively few people with an unbridled spirit over the years, so don’t take this on unless the shoe really fits. The other five symptoms—an untutored mind, self-sabotage, refusing to grow up, a weak will, and a battered heart—these are more common. My job is not to convict of sin but to alert us to some of the causes of disorder so that we can name them, have our minds renewed, and make every effort to integrate faith and work in our daily lives.

Reflections

  • Would those around you describe you as having order in your life?

  • Where is your order based on the substance of faith versus the rigidity of man?

 

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