I meet men every day who regret the choices they have made in their lives. Some of these men are in their middle years whose lives are in shambles. As a counselor, I hear their stories of opportunities squandered and bridges burned. My heart aches for these men. I seek wisdom from God’s Word and all of the creative energy that the Lord gives to me to assist them to recognize choices and behaviors that will bless them and honor God. For those men who are ready and willing to do the things that are necessary for true, lasting authentic change I am overjoyed by being an eye witness to God’s redeeming grace!
I have had the privilege for serving in the Christian Life Program for a few years now and have come to see particular characteristics in the men who come to us.
Men who move on in their lives with peace and purpose came to us with a true desire for change. They have come to a place in their life where they have their fill with the consequences of the poor choices they have made in their lives. These men, as it turns out, are teachable and submissive to instruction. They recognize the wisdom that the Word of God brings to their world. They are willing to be candid with Program Staff who have shared from their own experiences of progress and failures. These men recognize that they themselves must read, accept, and put Truth into practice. This is what has brought them to a place of blessing and satisfaction. Last, but not least, these men have been assimilated into the local Church!
It is almost predictable that the men who leave us prematurely and go back to the lives they were living, do so for the very opposite behaviors the other men had adopted.
These men were not yet ready, nor had a real desire for personal change. These men were not teachable. They were not willing to allow themselves to be disciplined or instructed. The Bible had no place in their life; they did not recognize the value of its instruction for life. And – these men merely attended church and did not integrate with the community of faith.
For those who are willing to pay the price for a changed heart and a changed life, God will bring blessings of strength, resolve, and peace. I cannot help but think of the man who sold ALL that he had for the ONE Pearl of Great Price.
'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.' -- Matthew 13:45-46
(Written by Kelly Dunn, Case Manager/Counselor for the Christian Life Program at City Union Mission).