Save Me – But Don’t Change Me

Save Me – But Don’t Change Me

“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 57:21

I’m no stranger to jailhouse confessions of faith that dissolve when the inmate is released. Incarcerated, with a life in shambles, it is not uncommon for the inmate to ask for divine assistance. God, get me out of this and I’ll go to church for the rest of my life! The self-interest of this kind faith is revealed to be a sham when the individual abandons God as soon as he gets out. He didn’t want repentance or transformation. He just thought maybe God could help him out of a jam.

As critical as I may be at this pseudo-faith, I’ve been guilty of it. I’ve asked God to change my situation with no intention of actually changing anything myself. In my addiction, I was constantly anxious about the inevitable consequences. Sleepless nights and constant worrying led me to ask God for peace. I begged for him to take away my anxiety and my addiction, but I remained unwilling to do anything to change. I refused transformation and I remained in my anxiety.

I am not suggesting that all anxiety is self-inflicted, resulting from our own destructive behavior. I am insisting though, that our destructive behavior leads to anxiety and that we will never know the peace of God until we do what it takes to abandon that behavior to follow him.

Asking for God’s peace, while remaining in the behavior that is causing my angst, is like working as a bartender while asking God to protect me from alcohol. In my drug addiction, I needed to confess, go to treatment, and radically change my life. In anxiety-inducing relationships, I need to work hard at appropriate boundaries to separate myself from the destructive behavior of others.

We will find no rest while we cling to that which is making us restless. If we want to be saved from ourselves and from our anxieties, and if we want to know the peace of God, then we must ask him what we must do to abandon our angst. Then, we must do it.

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  1. Damon says:

    Well said! Thanks for sharing!

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