Insanity Versus Sanity

November 13, 2007
by Judy Miller

James 1:21 – So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. (MSG)

In the recovery program at our church, we emphasize the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. When I thought about it, I realized the truth of it. Reckless, careless drivers are stopped by policemen. They are given a ticket. The hope is that they will drive more carefully. Often, it doesn't happen. They continue driving recklessly, and they continue receiving tickets from the policemen. The drivers are expecting a different result — even though they continue being careless.

The pattern continues in our personal lives as well. Often, we lash out at others, and they respond in self-defence. Or our tone of voice is wrong, and we wonder why our relationships are deteriorating. Or we are too busy to spend time in God's Word and praying, and we just can't understand why our Lord and Saviour isn't speaking to us anymore. We expect things to change, but they don't.

James 3:5 – A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything — or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. (MSG)

The dictionary definition of sanity is mental balance or health, sensibleness, reasonableness. Another way of saying that would be changing what we do so that the results would be different. If the reckless driver slowed down and drove sensibly, he wouldn't receive a ticket. If we spoke to others with respect, they wouldn't react negatively to us. If we spent time with God, He would speak to us.

Having health and mental balance includes looking at our past and present hurts, hang-ups, and habits. Through that process, God can heal us. The results of our daily living will change — they will be different. Praise God!

Prayer: Lord, we haven't seen that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Yet at times, we wonder why we are stuck where we are. Deep down in our hearts, we do want to change. We don't want to continue living the same old way we have for years. We want growth. We want to see a change in ourselves. We want to reflect You in our lives — at home as well as in public. How miserably we fail at times, though. Please forgive us. Help us every minute of every day to follow You in every decision. Fill us with Your grace, we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Judy Miller <gjmiller@telusplanet.net>
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

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