Which Dragon?


You came to me with some struggles you are having. The fact that you brought them to me lets me know you recognize that God's Word has answers for problems like yours. I see that as positive and can give you great hope for the struggles you are in.

Let me list back to you some of the information you gave me and then I will attempt to "connect the dots" biblically.

  • You are having trouble letting go of the unbeliever you were dating.
  • Your relationship with the unbeliever you were dating put you at odds with some other women in your apartment building and now you want to move.
  • You are involved in a non-Christian singles group.
  • You are having trouble paying your bills and have filed for bankruptcy.
  • You bought a car on credit when you were already having trouble paying your bills.
  • You owe money to a number of creditors, but you admitted to having $900 saved in a lockbox to enable you to move.

I realize you gave me a lot more information, including your chronic depression, but let's start with what we have. As I look over this list I see a common thread to which I need to alert you. Based on your response to the circumstances in your life I am guessing you have not considered what I'm about to tell you.

Let me start by pointing out that our trouble as sinners begins with our desires. It has been that way since the Garden of Eden. When I ask you questions about what you really want, you respond by telling me that you want to get out of debt, get away from the gossips in your building and find a husband. Not one of these desires is an evil in and of itself. No one likes debt, slanderers or loneliness. What I want to point out to you is that you want each of these things so badly that you are willing to sin in order to get them. They have become idols in your life. Please consider these thoughts:

  • God's Word says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers," yet you persist in pursuing relationships with unbelieving men in unwholesome places even though your conscience troubles you about it.
  • God's Word says, "The wicked borrow and do not repay," yet you are pursuing a legal status that will release you from your obligations to your creditors and permit you to continue spending what you do not have.
  • God's Word says, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Rather than seek forgiveness for the ways you have wronged the other ladies in your building or refusing to be bitter toward them for their wrongs, you have set aside money you could have used to pay your debts in hopes of escaping your problems in another apartment building.

Bernice, what dragon are we trying to slay here? You claim to be a disciple of Christ, so I am guessing the cause of your depression is your troubled conscience rather than something chemical or genetic as you have been told.

The problem is not debt and old biddies and loneliness. It is the heart of a woman who has deceived herself into thinking that material possessions and men can bring more satisfaction than living a life that pleases God. If this sounds like a serious accusation to you, let me assure you that it is. Your two masters hate each other. Even if a very nice man with lots of money came and paid your debts, married you and took you away to a nice house with lots of things, the dragon would remain. I am asking you to give serious consideration to your need to repent and plead with God for victory.

I think we can talk about learning to replace old, bad habits with new, godly habits and investigate practical ways of reducing debt, but right now I want you to see our great God. I want you to recognize that you will never be satisfied with any earthly joy as long as you think there are joys better than following God and letting him decide what you need to be happy.

I'm looking forward to our next conversation.

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