Proverbs 22: 8,15
Those who sow iniquity reap calamity, and the rod used in anger will fail. Folly is bound to the heart of a youth, but the rod of discipline will drive it out.
Reflecting on this chapter, and relating it to my past behavior, the word impetuous may best identify what my number one sin once was. Instead of considering how my impulsiveness might degrade communication and sour relationships, I simply "blew up" and said my peace, come hell or high water. The only thing I offer in my defense is I am Bipolar. However, I no longer use that excuse.
I attended sessions of therapy and took medication. Yes that helped but I knew I couldn't stay on that path for the long term. I aver that I am in the nest state of mind I've ever been in. Of course the reason is God and my faith. This is the best therapy I could have ever imagined. I mention, and will always speak about, that special day of my Epiphany in March, 2012. The Holy Spirit filled me with such warmth and knew, immediately, it was God's Love. He has taken many a sad sack and converted them into Christ followers.
Turn your attention upon yourself and beware of judging the deeds of other men, for in judging others a man labors vainly, often makes mistakes, and easily sins; whereas, in judging and taking stock of himself he does something that is always profitable.
If God were the sole object of our desire, we should not be disturbed so easily by opposition to our opinions. Differences of feeling and opinion often divide friends and acquaintances, even those who are religious and devout.
If you rely more upon your intelligence or industry than upon the virtue of submission to Jesus Christ, you will hardly, and in any case slowly, become an enlightened man. God wants us to be completely subject to Him and, through ardent love, to rise above all human wisdom. (my emphasis)
For me to convince you of the changes in my life, you would have to have had a history of knowing me. (That may be a back door way of asking you to trust me.) Even those in my family, including my wife, only remember the ugly behavior. Simply put, none of them read my blog posts. "How can I, such a sinner, write the goodness of Jesus Christ?" they probably ask themselves.
In Luke 4, Jesus preached in the temple in Nazareth. Recall what happened. The people were amazed by His teaching but recognized Him as the son of Joseph. Jesus said in verse 24, And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place." Jesus was of no sin, yet was not accepted by His own community. In verse They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
Here's my point. Jesus, again, was not accepted by His own people. The difference is, those close to me, remember my past transgressions. Unlike our Lord, I brought it on all by myself. I have to live with that and I do accept it. But I did change. I thank God everyday. I don't write or do anything for vainglory. (You'll notice I don't have my name attached to these posts.) I only have to impress one person and that person is God. When I do anything in His name, it's to give Him the glory and love He deserves. In fact, when I spend time preparing to write and then publish, it demonstrates to our Lord that I am thinking of Him. I am professing my commitment to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.
As I progress through each chapter of "Imitation of Christ" my hope is that you, the reader, will understand how instrumental this book is to my desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Scripture, in particular the Gospels, are, indeed, powerful. However, it is difficult to put into words the value this book is as a supplement to the Gospels.
God Bless you