We’ve all witnessed older people, maybe in their 90’s, who “check out” of life. They’ve lived vital, energetic lives and now they are ready to move on. Their minds begin to deteriorate. You probably have noticed that people are starting to “check out” at a much younger age. This has got to stop.
I understand that life becomes hard. We don’t want to deal with all the deadlines, the responsibilities put on us, the lack of fair treatment or fair pay for what we do; We are tired of dealing with crazy people, delays, things going wrong. We want other people to deal with these complicated things for us and we would just like to float a little on someone else’s energy. THIS IS A DANGEROUS THOUGHT AND A SLIPPERY PATH!
I see and know of people who have done this very thing and now they have a hard time remembering the smallest things. They have difficulty finishing a sentence. They have a great idea but can’t seem to execute it.
Once a person starts down this path of disengaging, the mind gets lazy and thinks it’s justified. Soon it doesn’t even realize what’s going on and it’s only circling on itself, even obsessing on the same things over and over and basically going nowhere.
The Lord wanted to show this to me in other people and my response was not only sadness, but also some frustration too. Then, it happened to me!
I had a difficult week with deadlines and way too many people with too many different ideas and it was confusing and a bit overwhelming. By the weekend I was exhausted. One of my best friends came over and she wanted to tell me the details about what was going on in her life; some of it involved me too. Part way through her excitement, I checked out.
I didn’t even realize it until about fifteen minutes later when I asked her about some portion of her story. I may have imagined it, but it seemed that she gave me this incredulous sideways look that said, “I just told you a few minutes ago! Weren’t you listening?” The answer, sadly enough, was, “Nope, I checked out!”
I had just done the very thing I was all grumbly about seeing in other people! I woke up to what the Lord had been trying to show me: “NO MORE CHECKING OUT! I’ve shown you what happens to other people. Don’t let it happen to you.”
We can’t allow ourselves to get lazy-minded. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” But we have to guard it, claim it and make it obey what the Word of God says about it.
In the next chapter of Timothy, God tells us, “The servant of the Lord must be gentle unto all, apt to teach, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (vv. 24-26). These verses are not just talking about helping other people, but we are included in the “all.” We are part of the: “that they may recover [also translated “awake”] themselves out of the snare of the devil.”
It is a terrible snare of the devil, that he can get us to be slovenly with our minds. Yes, we may get tired physically, or worn down by the confusion and craziness of people and the world around us, but we have a loving Lord to help us recover ourselves, wake ourselves up and have our minds be clear, fit, vibrant and sound.
A great example is the man in the Gadarenes. The record is in Mark 5. Verse 2 says, “When he [Jesus] was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.” This man’s mind was unclean. It wasn’t sharp; it wasn’t clear. In fact, he fit into the category we just saw in 2 Timothy 2:24: He was among “those that oppose themselves,” so much so, that he literally cut himself:
“Night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself” (v. 5). The word “tombs” is translated from the Greek word that means, “a monument or memorial to perpetuate the memory of any person or thing.” Tombs usually hold the remains of someone who is dead.
The man of the Gadarenes was dwelling with things that were dead, things of the past that should have been dealt with and left dead. Instead, he was going back physically and mentally, obsessing over them, and in so much agony, he was mutilating himself. We have cutters today and many are young girls, obsessing over things that need to be dealt with according to God’s Word and left for dead.
The answer is always Jesus. Even these unclean, unsound demons that possessed the man of the tombs and kept him crazy, were no match for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus “said unto him, ‘Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit’” (v.8). And the people “came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind” (v. 15). Here we see that this man’s mind was restored, it was “his” right mind.
In other words, as nuts as he was, his mind wasn’t beyond the point of restoration. He once had a sharp, clear, vibrant and sound mind and when Jesus’s words were spoken to him, and he believed them, he got back his right mind! He had a right to own his own mind. And we do to!
And what did the man do? He followed Jesus and told others about how he was delivered and healed.
So if we are determined to keep our wits about us till our last day here on earth, then we always need to look to the Lord and follow Him. We don’t have to be afraid of anything. God will never give us anything we can’t handle and we never have to think we need to mentally “check out.”
We stay strong-minded and clear-headed, no matter what goes on around us and we keep our eyes on Jesus who helped the crazy Gadarene man get his mind back. Instead of dwelling in the tombs, we dwell on the words of the one who made us: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
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