I’ve Got A Friend: Who Has This Problem
We had a lot of words in the ’60s which have largely disappeared. “Cool”. “man”. “cat” (carryover from the S0’s), “daddy-o” (again, carried over from the S0’s), “hippie”, etc. One of the words that I hear occasionally, but not often, is the word, “hang-up”• This word, as you will recall, refers to something that is perceived as a weakness, habit, proclivity, difficulty, etc. It is almost always a negative. Do you know anyone who does not have a “hang-up” or “hang-ups”? How about you? Do you have any hang-ups? Is it possible that Jesus Christ can take care of all problems/hang-ups? All of them? Every last one?
Monday…ln 53 plus years of ministry, I have counseled hundreds of people. I do not think (I may be wrong on this) I can be surprised anymore by anything anyone tells me. It really is astounding how people can get themselves into so much trouble simply because they do, think, say or want things that are not good. The fabulous news is that God can make all things new and right. II Corinthians 5:17 is a critical verse for any of your/my friends who is struggling with a particular problem.
Tuesday…What is the worst sin trap you can think of? Gambling, drugs, sexual immorality come to mind as do racism, laziness, etc. We used to use the phrase, “monkey on the back11 to describe a problem that was plaguing an individual. I actually had a real monkey jump on my back when I was about ten years old. A friend down the street had one as a pet and when I went to see it, it promptly jumped on my back and bit me on the back of the neck. I laugh about it now, but then it terrified me. When I heard the phrase about so-and-so having a monkey on their back, I immediately made the connection! If you have a friend who is plagued with something they believe to be unshakeable, remind them that at salvation the Holy Spirit comes in to offer powerful help. Acts 2:38; Ephesians 6.
Wednesday…When we become Christians, we have help to overcome. Never believe, though, that Christians do not have a “thing11 they need help with. It may be lust; it may be greed (which is a form of lust); it may be a violent streak. Whatever it is, Christ can cleanse AND overpower. The secret is that one must be willing to let go! Proverbs 28:13, Job 11:14, Isaiah 55:7…good stuff!
Thursday…One of the sweetest (and most important) words to me as I grow older, is the word “grace”. Someone has said that grace is mercy in action. Meditate on that for just a minute and realize (in the words of Jerry Clower) this truth: “Ain’t God good?” Romans 3:20-24.
Friday…The movie franchise, “Transformers”, has made hundreds of millions of dollars. My son loved his transformers when he was a child. What a word: “transform.” We immediately see the meaning: to change completely/to make something new and/or different from something old. That is precisely what Jesus can do no matter what our ‘thing’ may be. II Corinthians 3:18.
By Dale Holzbauer