The Hazards of Self Doctoring
As I write this today, I thought I would get up close and personal. I am the worst at the following: I am the worst patient; I am the worst about seeking medical advice; and am the worst at following through on doctor’s orders. I am the best at self-diagnosing; self-prescribing and eventually, self-sabotage. Recently I haven’t been feeling well and finally went to the doctor. I went to the doctor thinking it was one thing, and come to find out, there is something totally different wrong with me. What is wonderful, the fix is fairly simple! If I would have gone to the doctor sooner; if I would have paid closer attention to what the “pain” was really telling me; I would have saved myself a lot of grief! This got me to thinking… and that can be dangerous…
How many times do we “self-diagnose” our spiritual conditions instead of going to “doctor” Jesus. Though we may never admit it, we somehow think we can fix ourselves; we think we can work another angle and magically our lives will change. The problem for many is that they keep “self-doctoring” all the way to a godless eternity. And others stay bound to the same ol’ addictions, same ol’ negative lifestyles, same ol’ destructive relationships and spend their lives living in the same ol’ misery. A few days ago I received a call from a precious middle aged woman. She is completely out in her addiction, her life is not working and she has pretty much lost everything. I am ecstatic that she is reaching out and hopefully she will enter into the Teen Challenge program soon. But, it grieves me to know that she first called us over twenty five years ago! I was the one who ministered to her then and remember wishing she would stay to get what she really needed, but she didn’t. The destruction she is now dealing with is way more than what it was back then – worse for her and worse for those who love her. I would like to say that hers is an isolated story, it isn’t. I get numerous calls all the time from people who chose to “live their life, their way”. Unfortunately, they find that their way just didn’t work. Proverbs 16:25 is quite clear: “There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way to death.” I don’t know about you, but I’m like the woman who finally called, I am tired. I’m tired of death in my life, and am tired of allowing the enemy of my soul to have any ground in my life. I want to take back the ground I’ve given over, and I want to live the victorious life that Christ has called me to live. HOW?
The number one thing to do is to quit “self-diagnosing”. We need to allow the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to shine the light of His truth on our lives. We need to see ourselves, our needs, and our direction as God prescribes. We will find every one of these answers as we spend time on our faces in prayer and in His Holy Word. Secondly, we need to simply OBEY! Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him, and ninety-nine percent obedience is not obedience! We need to fully surrender our will over to Him and simply obey – no questions asked; no bartering or manipulating to try to get our own way. Thirdly, we need to surround ourselves with godly council. We don’t need any “yes” people in our lives. We need to surround ourselves with mature Christians who will tell us the truth! We need those who will “hold our feet to the fire” – those who will keep us accountable. And lastly, we need to make sure we are faithful to the house of God. We need to participate in corporate worship, we need to hear God’s word and to have the support of other believers. We can’t receive the kind of support we need from our couches at home.
There is an old saying, “the definition of pure crazy is to do the same thing again and again and think that the outcome will somehow be different.” I think of Frank Sinatra who used to sing, “I did it my way…” Well, my way has brought nothing but “death” into my life. I think now is the time to NOT do anything my way, but to do everything HIS way!