Thursday, 31 January 2002 16:00

Pastor's Corner Pastor Larry February 2002

Written by  Lorsen Koo
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Pastor's Corner

February, 2002


I picked up the book, “12 Christian Beliefs that can drive you Crazy,” by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend and started to read it again. I skimmed through it before, but had forgotten most of what I read. Since both of them are clinical psychologists and professional counselors, they provided many real stories that could bring their point even closer to home. Their approach is also “down to earth,” which makes it very practical than theoretical.


One of the chapter is entitled If I make right choices, I will grow spiritually. Why would this statement drive us crazy? According to the authors, it’s not as simple as it sounds, because if you only change your behavior without changing the heart, though it may work some times, yet more often than not, you can’t sustain the behavior. Our mind, soul, and heart are often in conflict with one another. If we only tell our mind to make the right choice, without changing the heart to “desire” what is right, we would taste defeat. For this reason, the Bible always calls for change from the inside out, not just making the right choices. Sometimes, “bad” behavior is acted out because of a deeper heart problem. Unless we are willing to work through the real issue, making right choices cannot bring spiritual growth.


If making right choices cannot guarantee spiritual growth in us, how then can we grow? First, realize that making a conscious choice is good and necessary, but is insufficient. It’s just the first step for growth. Then, we must also learn to depend on God’s Spirit to discover what is choking our life. Are there any past sins that needed to be dealt with? Is there any bitterness that needed to let go? Those deeper issues must be taken care of before we can grow spiritually and become healthy and productive Christians. I wholeheartedly agree with the authors who wrote, “If we do not change on the inside, we do not change at all.” No magic act of the will transforms character. Finally, learn to cultivate the good and to weed out the bad. If we put the emphasize on just getting rid of the “bad” without replacing the “void” with something good, we would suffer greater loss at the end. Jesus, in Matthew 12:43-45, used a story to illustrate this.


Making right choices is a result of spiritual growth, not the other way around. The ability to make right choices is a fruit of the Spirit. So, where do we go from here? At the end of the chapter, the authors gave some suggestions. Here are a few suggestions: Confess our sins. Give up the notion that we can save ourselves. Submit our inability to God. Ask for help in searching our faults. Forgive. And others. All these assume our weakness and humility.


Before I sign off, I wish all of us could be spiritually and mentally healthy. This is what I’ve been sharing with you through the preaching on the Beatitudes. If you haven’t been to church, I would like to invite you to come to worship with us.

Pastor Larry
Last modified on Friday, 09 July 2010 23:09

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