I’ll Clean Up and Do Good Someday
That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. Matthew 8:16
In jail, I’ll often hear men speak of how they are going to make good life decisions when they get out. I’m never coming back here. I’ll never deal drugs or get high again. I’m supportive of this idea of course, but I usually have to ask, What are you doing to live differently right now? I heard you missed Bible study last week because you were in solitary confinement for fighting. What’s that about?
The inmate understands he made a poor choice, but still he insists, Things will be different when I get my freedom. I can’t really do anything differently in jail. I’ve been there – maybe not in jail – making promises about future behavior, while refusing to change my right-now behavior. Here’s the truth though: If the addict doesn’t work at living differently today, things are not going to become magically easier tomorrow.
I find myself indulging in this same sort of fanciful thinking when I read today’s passage. In the story, Jesus cast out demons and healed those who were sick. I find myself saying, Well of course I would do great things if I had that kind of power. I would help others, if I could.
The painful reality that I must face though, is that if I’m not using what I have to love those around me now, more power, time, freedom, or money isn’t going to make me less selfish. Usually the more I have, the more I spend it on me. Like the guy in jail though, I tell myself, I can’t do anything now. I’ll change tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and go though, and if I’m not willing to do what it takes to make the right decisions today, the life I should be living will remain a fantasy.
We’re never going to have Jesus miraculous power. There are plenty of hurting people around us though. We may not be able to heal others with a wave of our hand, but we can always give our time and energy to share God’s love with the hurting and lost. Waiting until someday won’t get us there. I’ll change tomorrow, is a lie we use to pacify ourselves. If we want to live rightly, today is the day.