Inside the Issue - Dear Sam
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Do you have a question about how Christianity can be applied in your daily life?  Read some questions and answers from RLC's column in the Pembroke Observer and feel free to ask your own questions!  This Blog will give you a sample of some past columns.



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Messed Up- March 27th, 2010
May 4, 2010

Dear Sam,

   I want to become a better person, but I don’t even know what that means. I just have this feeling that if I could stop procrastinating and do better at my job, I would be happier. But every time I make that decision, I actually do worse. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I do these simple things?


    Messed up


Dear Messed up,

   First, I want you to know that this is a very human problem We decide to change, and then we run into trouble. The trouble is that we are usually doing what we really want. Do you want to procrastinate? Do you want to perform less well than you could in your job? The answer is “no” on one level, but you are a multi-level person. What does procrastination accomplish that you actually desire? Could it be that this technique is one way of proving to yourself that no one and no circumstance can tell you what to do? If your deep desire is to resist being controlled, well, you are accomplishing your real goal. To do well at your job means that your boss has the right to make demands of you. Maybe you resent that kind of authority over you, and poor performance is a good way to satisfy your resentment.
    The real issues of our lives are always found inside our hearts. It’s not other people, not circumstances, not making better choices that will improve our situation. It’s a good, hard look and a valiant struggle with our inner conflicts that will allow a change in our real desires. When we change within, our outer behaviour and attitudes will follow suit.
Jesus describes that when he says that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. He is talking about our being one whole person. If you lack integration in your mind, emotion and will, you can will all you want, but your emotions will trip you up. If you really believe that you have to show yourself as independent in order to be safe from victimization, then no matter how much you desire to comply with your boss’s demands, your real belief will win out.
    The problem is not that you are not successful at meeting your goals, but that you are. “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” Jesus says. Jesus can see right through us, he knows the root of our problems and he makes it clear time and time again that life is not in the external good words, good works, good desires, but in the internal condition of the heart.
    Every human being has wrong belief systems (no one loves me; I have to protect myself); wrong responses (I’ll show them; I’ll never forgive); wrong hopes (I’ll suffer and then they will be sorry; If I just ignore this it will go away). Find yourself in any of these? They are the result of living in an imperfect world with imperfect people, of which you are one.
    You are wanting to become more perfect, which is great, but you must do it from the inside out. You need to confront the root of your problems instead of thinking that you can just try harder. Don’t focus on being a good person but on working out your inner conflicts. That means stark honesty. It may mean working with a counsellor It will mean facing and altering your real desires. Not simple, but effective.


INSIDE THE ISSUE is authored thru Resurrection Lutheran Church, 250 Quarry Rd, Pembroke. Sunday Worship at 10:30am. Look us up at http://sites.advancedministry.com/ResurrectionLutheranChurch

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