The start of a beautiful future is not the end of sin. This is something that I’ve been thinking about since yesterday at church. This wasn’t anything that was said in the sermon, and I don’t know what triggered the thought. It must be stuck for a reason, though, so I’m going to share the thought with you. I find it’s best for me to let a thought play out than try to refocus on what I’m actually supposed to be doing.
Some people seem to think if they can just make it to some milestone, things will magically get better. I often hear people say how something will be better or won’t be an issue if they can just make it to payday pay off their student loans, or get married. However, the Bible clearly says that each day will bring its own troubles (Matthew 6:34). Even if the things we hope to do will accomplish what we think they will, there will always be something else to struggle with or get through.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been presented with marriage as the ultimate panacea of all the ills in my life. Struggling to remain pure? Get married. Having financial struggles trying to make it on your own? Get married. Tired of being lonely? Get married. Are you ready for sunny skies, Marvin Gaye, and lingerie? Get married. But take it from Tamar Braxton; somebody lied. Being single and being married both have privileges and hazards of their own. When we are struggling with the temptation and shortcomings of our current situation, it can be easy to glamorize how reaching a milestone will effect our lives for the better without acknowledging that we will still have problems when we get there, just different problems.
I shared in my last post how I received the annual salary that I fantasized about at an annual review. I had dreamed about that salary and how it would change my financial situation. You know what happened? My bills swallowed my increase for a while. It was like the more money I had, the more things I had to pay for. I felt the same way about graduating college. A sense of accomplishment gave way to job responsibilities. When I got a much better position at work, my sense of accomplishment was dashed as a I tried not to drown under new responsibilities and expectations. It helps to remind myself that I wanted the position, that I prayed for it because of the benefits, but it doesn’t make the weight of the responsibilities any less stressful.
One of the pre-marital counseling exercises that my minister conducts asks the participants to write down a list of their partners’ undesirables. His philosophy is that people don’t get divorced over what they like about each other, but what they don’t like. These things don’t go away when you get married, but they can be buried under the haze of newly wedded bliss. Those annoyances can come back a hundred times stronger once that bliss fades. You may not be struggling with keeping your hands to yourself or paying the rent, but you may struggle with being submissive, being loving, or just the struggle to stay connected to your marriage.
The bottom line is struggles, temptations, and trials never go away; they just take different forms. It’s like school; when you master one topic, it’s time to move on to another. We should constantly be growing, and growing requires discomfort and struggle. I can’t lose sight of the struggles that come along with each milestone in life. We have to keep things in perspective.
The start of a beautiful future is not the end of sin. Repeat as needed.