I Want Life to Be Different, But . . .
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
In addiction medicine, I frequently have the opportunity to interview alcoholics and addicts as they attempt to work towards change, sobriety, and recovery. Deep down, they all want their lives to be different, but getting there is the problem. Part of them still wants the old life too, and letting go of it is painful. To this end, as providers, we’re taught to use Motivational Interviewing, which strives to help the patient choose change. With Motivational Interviewing, we often ask questions like, “What does the life you truly want look like? What does your life look like now? What is keeping you from the life you want and what will it take to get there?”
The idea is to get the patient to come up with his or her own motivation to change and to make a decision to resolve the ambivalence between the old life and the new one. In asking these questions, if I’m honest, I must apply them to my own life. Am I living the life I’m meant to live? If not, why not? What’s holding me back and what will it take to get there?
Today’s passage further reinforces the need to resolve these questions in my mind. In it, Paul said that one day, we’ll all stand before God to give an account of our lives. It’s tempting to say that as Christians, we have forgiveness in Christ, so that when we stand before God, all we have to do is point to the righteousness imparted to us by Jesus’ death – and God will give us a pass. That may be the case, but this passage was written to Christians and in it, Paul told those Christians that one day they must give an account of their lives to God Almighty.
So, in preparation for that day, I must ask myself – Is this life I want to present to God? What do I want my life to look like? Do I love and follow God? Do I love my neighbors? What’s holding me back and what must I change to get there?
One day, we’ll all stand before God, explaining ourselves to him. Have we lived for ourselves, following only our own appetites and desires? Or, have we lived as God made us to live? If the thought of that day is terrifying, then we’ve got some work to do.