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Leading a Life of Quiet Desperation

Susie was a cheerful woman. Virtually every time that one of the staff went into her office, she had a ready smile and happy demeanor. And, she had a responsible position: executive secretary to the Chairman of our company. But, suddenly, she taught me a serious lesson about life and about demeanor.

One day she walked into my office, not quite her cheerful self, sat down, and said, “Ed, I have been thinking about suicide.” I was stunned! Here was this cheerful and (apparently) confident and capable woman thinking of killing herself.

I do not know the outcome of this story. For the few more years that our lives overlapped, she did not kill herself. But, I have had no contact for decades.

But, that shock stayed with me. Henry David Thoreau said in “Walden,” that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

I am afraid that many Christians “lead lives of quiet desperation.” Do you?

Brother or sister, this ought not to be! Now, I am not about to brow beat you, desperate that you may be. But, I will challenge you to find the fullness of life that Christ promised to His children. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

But, you say, “I have tried everything.” Well, herein is your first lesson, if you truly want change.* You must learn to be honest with yourself. No one has tried everything! For example, you have not talked to me. You have not talked to a nouthetic counselor. (Link to word in Glossary.) You have not read any of their books.

And, therein are the directions that I give to you. 1) Go to Timeless Texts, and choose any book that seems to address your problem. Look especially for those by Jay Adams, but any one on that site will give sound Biblical instruction.

As you read the book, act on it! Just reading will not solve your problems. Take action!

2) Find someone for you to help in a situation that takes considerable time and help. Often, the problem is that we focus inward too much. The Bible is clear that the more that we see of ourselves, the greater our consciousness of our sin. So, ask forgiveness of God for whatever sins that you know and find someone for you to help.

3) Find the oldest, most mature Christian that you can know, preferably an officer in a Bible-believing church. Tell them briefly of your problem and them what you should do. Follow their advice, don’t argue.

4) Find a nouthetic counselor. If you do not know what a nouthetic counselor is, then find out and find one here.

Our God is a living and ever present God who desires that we love Him and serve our “neighbor.” If you are “quietly desperate,” not living the life that He designed. Do whatever it takes to discover where you are not allowing God to direct your life. You are missing the abundant life!

* (If you do not want change, no one can help you, but God. Ask Him to give you that desire. If you cannot, or will not, ask God for His help, then you have no hope. There are no magical cures in this life.)


 

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