By Ernest O'Neill

Why Do We Want to Get Certain People Out of Our Way?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Are we not afraid that they can affect us in some way so that we have that gut reaction, "I wish that person was away?"   We wouldn’t want that if they couldn’t have an effect on our lives, but it’s because we fear they’ll have an effect on our lives; we actually think that our lives are at their mercy. We actually, deep down, feel that what they do will govern our lives and indeed that our lives are, in a sense, at their mercy. If they like us, than we’ll prosper, if they don’t like us we’ll not. If they want evil against us or want to hurt us, they are able to do it.  We really, deep down, believe that all God can do is affect a little, at times, the general influence that their lives have on our lives. Isn’t that why we only resort to him at odd moments when everything else fails; because deep down we don’t think that he can change their attitude -- we don’t think that he can over rule their actions?  We don’t think that our lives -- our professional lives, our job lives, our career lives, our financial lives, our family lives, our school lives -- are actually in his hands. We think they are actually in the hands of all the myriad people we have to deal with at school, and at home, and at work.

Now that’s why we end up cursing our fathers or our mothers, or wishing them out of the way.  That’s why we end up cursing our boss or wishing our neighbor out of the way; because we feel that they really have our lives in their hands. And is it not true, loved ones that that attitude is built into us right through every grain and every part of the texture of our bodies?  Is it not true that our whole being operates that way? Is that not why, when the bank account goes down, the heart pumps immediately -- you don’t have to tell it to pump -- it just pumps because your whole life is oriented that way. It’s utterly convinced, whatever you say in your best religious moments, that you are at the mercy of the banker, you are at the mercy of the boss, you are at the mercy of your wife, you are at the mercy of your children, you are at the mercy of your colleagues, and you are at the mercy of your professors.  It’s because of that, that your whole being is utterly dependent on what we call “the world.”  The world of people, the world of circumstances, the world of things, the world of the economy; you feel that’s what determines your life’s direction and that is shot all through your being. That’s what sin is. I don’t blame you, if you don’t think that’s not sin, but that’s where all our problems come from; that’s the disease or the sickness that has to be dealt with, and cursing your mom or your dad is just a symptom.

We used the example of the person who has a certain symptom of a disease.  He goes to doctor and says “Treat the symptoms, treat the symptoms.”  Or he tries to put the symptoms right while the disease continues rampant inside. Now that’s why God says the only remedy for cursing your father or mother is death. He is saying to us, "I myself would curse my father or mother if I depended the way you do on the effect they can have on your lives either for good or for evil. I myself would wish the boss out of the way if, like you, I felt my life was in his hands and not in my hands.” He is not knocking us for doing that.  He is saying that the reason you do it is because your trust, your dependence, your whole faith attitude is in these people.  And these things and these people and this world is utterly unpredictable and utterly unreliable, so you are constantly going to be wishing these people out of the way if you put your faith and your dependence upon them. He is saying to us, "You are so shot through with that kind of faith in the world that the only way I can get rid of that sin sickness inside you is to destroy it and you; because you are both utterly intertwined with each other.”

That’s why God says the only cure for the sickness of sin is death with his son.  He says “All you can do if you want to be my child, if you want to be related to me, is go to my son because I placed you in him and I destroyed you in him, and I remade you in him. Go to him and ask him, ‘Lord Jesus, show me how you destroyed me and show me what attitude in me you destroyed.  Show me what attitude you’ve replaced it with so that I can express it.’”  That is the personal interview and encounter with Jesus that any child of God has to go through every day. It’s a continuous, sensitive relationship with Jesus that believes that you were actually changed in him and that you can experience that change by personally asking him to tell you what particular side of your nature he destroyed and how he remade it and therefore how you are to express it. And as you do that day-by-day, you are related to God and your life begins to relax and you begin to back off the adrenaline and the worry and the anxiety.  Then Jesus' death and resurrection, by which he remade you, begins to be manifested in you, and you begin to be changed as a person.  You begin to be changed and day-by-day you begin to change.  You don’t understand how it comes except that you know it is connected with the mighty work that God did in Jesus and that it’s just being manifested in you day-by-day.