How have you learned to make your life work? The Bible teaches that every person ever born, save Jesus, was born with the inclination to move away from God. In Genesis 8:21 God declares that every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. Larry Crabb describes that evil inclination as “the passionate conviction that we need something other than God to satisfy the deepest longing of our souls, and that nothing matters more than the satisfaction of our souls.”
Very early in life we begin to learn that there are things that bring pain and things that bring pleasure. We learn coping techniques to avoid the pain and to repeat the pleasant experiences. Some look to be the center of attention, some to high achievement or hard work, and some to less socially valued behaviors. I coped by being good.
As a kid I was never much trouble. That’s not to say I never got in trouble, but I learned that if I obeyed my parents and followed the rules life went much easier. I could keep my head down and kinda fly under the radar and nobody bothered me much. My teachers always said how much they enjoyed having me in their class even though I didn’t do my work or try very hard, but because I never caused trouble in class they didn’t usually come down on me too hard.
I hated the feeling of guilt, and so if I didn’t do bad things, I never felt too bad about myself. I always went to church and youth group, and everybody said what a nice kid I was. And still many of the inclinations of my heart were evil. I say only many because I had genuinely acknowledged Jesus as my God at a very early age, and I sincerely loved God, but so much of my life even through my teens was about finding something besides God to satisfy the longing of my soul, some way of making my life work for me.
God is not interested in making our lives “work.” Jesus died so that we could discover that God alone satisfies the deepest longing of our souls regardless of whether or not our life is working as we might want it to. Because when my deepest desire is for Jesus himself, not even the blessings from God, but Jesus himself then I see everything else in its proper perspective.
So how have you learned to make your life work?