Habits of Unfaith

Yesterday, I eluded to negative habits that Tripp identifies in this weeks chapter "Spiritual Muscles"
Tripp writes that during periods of waiting, we have a conscious decision to make.  We can either embrace the wait and embrace the process or we can pout, sulk, and complain... (my addition)

Tripp points out 5 habits of unfaith that tend to be the go to during these times.

1) Doubt
Why is it when I wait, I have a tendency to doubt God's goodness... to doubt God's wisdom... to doubt God's plan.   It is so tempting to allow doubt to invade my thoughts when waiting.  If something is right and good, why should I be waiting?    --Again, I need to remember that it is the process that grows me, not the destination.

2) Anger
Why is it when I wait, I have a tendency to be more on edge.  Tripp uses this section to describe how sometimes we feel that the "Bad Guys" tend to get what they want when they want it.  Sure we can see this in scripture as well, but I think it is often about perspective.  We see others moving ahead whom we see as less deserving.  We see others taking advantage of people and getting away with it.
Tripp points out that when we get angry at people, are we really getting angry with God?   If our faith and trust is in God and we believe He can prevent it, are we really upset with Him when He doesn't make things right.   -- Again, I need to remember the process... not just for me... but for others.

3) Discouragement
Tripp uses this habit to describe the "What if's", the "If Only", and the "What will Happen if".
During times of wait, it is easy to fall into the trap of playing scenarios out in my head.  I can come up with a 1000 options that are negative and only 1 possible positive option that will work.  God is much bigger than that.  God's options are infinite.  Perhaps I have to go through what I perceive as a negative option before seeing the best possible option.  God's plan is the best plan... I just have to wait.

4) Envy
"The grass is always greener..."  How often do I desire what someone else has.   If I could only walk in their shoes, live in their house, drive their car, have their job, spend their money....
The truth is we all have trouble.  We all are dealing with things things unique to us.  If I were "the other guy"... I would have the other guys struggles.   I am uniquely designed by God to live the life He has uniquely designed for me to live.   When I try to be like someone else... I am not being what God has designed me to be.  If I try to fulfill someone else's purpose... I am not fulfilling my own.

5) Inactivity
This I believe is the most dangerous and can lead to the others above.   Inactivity.  When things do not seem to be going my way after I have committed to positive habits like daily reading, prayer, and communion with God.  When struggles still come after I have committed to seeking God regularly.
When I still have to wait... the impulse can be that whatever I am doing is not working... so why should I continue.  When I stop pursing God, I will pursue other things.  I need to remember to push harder... Exercise does not render instant results.  Muscles don't noticeably grow overnight.  It takes persistence, it takes routine, it takes determination.  Stepping away from spiritual disciplines will only allow the spiritual muscles to weaken.  No good can come from that.

I know this has been a long post, I considered breaking this up into multiple posts, but wanted to get through the negative so we can hit the positive.  What can we do about it?   I intertwined some positive throughout above... I will post more on that tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Oh, yes, Ryan, we can experience all those emotions while seemingly in a holding pattern, waiting for God to work. But they all lead to dead ends, that's for sure. We do need to stay the course and continue to strengthen our spiritual muscles so that we will be able to stay connected to the Lord and His purposes.
    Looking forward to tomorrow's positive spin!
    Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Staying the course despite the holding pattern is the important piece... Fighting the temptation to give in to the negative habits. Positive spin, coming up.

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  2. Been there done that on all of these.

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    Replies
    1. We all have I am sure... Just don't want to be stuck there.

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