I know what you expect. With a title like “Breaking the Cycle,” this article is sure to be rich in deep ideas and profound Pentecostalisms.
Super deep Christian stuff deserves its own space for sure, but not today.
Instead, today I’m here to defend wisdom. Not that she needs my help – certainly not – but sometimes wisdom gets the short end of the stick (that’s Southern for “treated unfairly.”) Truthfully, Christians don’t like her very much.
Believers chafe against wisdom because they feel it dilutes their uber-spirituality. They want to be perceived as full of faith, and how can one properly do that if wisdom keeps rearing her ugly head, asking those pesky questions, and forcing us to think about the consequences of our decisions?
I mean, aren’t we are supposed to just “let go and let God?”
Swipe the credit card and pray that Jesus returns before the bill is due?
Buy the car or house that is beyond our budget, once again over-extending ourselves, and then start singing about Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider?
Keep throwing your heart into that dysfunctional relationship and hope they change because, after all, He’s the God of the second chance, right?
Here is the real reason we don’t like wisdom: it tells us what we do not want to hear.
Wisdom keeps us tethered to reality when our ill-informed and distorted views of God and life lead us to fantasy land.
Okay, so what does that have to do with breaking cycles?
Painful cycles continue because poor decisions continue.
Make sure you see the connection.
Decisions = Cycles.
The first creates the second.
When we make decisions based upon fleshly desires and carnal thinking – or pseudo-faith and feigned spirituality – we perpetuate the cycles those decisions are meant to foster.
Here’s an example:
I recently spoke with a dear friend who has spent the last several years of her life investing into a relationship that is, quite frankly, a lost cause. Under no circumstances should these two people be together in any way, yet they have wasted the last decade trying to make it work. They are both Christians and love God deeply, but their relationship is a carousel of breakup / makeup / breakup / makeup, ad nauseam.
It is a vicious, overly-dramatic, middle-school level cycle, based upon foolish, overly-spiritual, middle-school level decisions.
However, when I try to counsel my friend against this situation, I am met with Christianese and faith talk:
“But God can change him!”
“God didn’t give up on me or you, so why should I give up on him?”
“Nothing is too hard for God!”
And so forth…
Now, I agree with those statements. God can change anyone and nothing is too hard for Him.
And I also believe this relationship is still a dumpster fire.
Because the same decision fuels the same cycle. The pattern must be disrupted by a new decision.
Faith that causes us to avoid reality is not faith. True faith is designed to help us process reality and move through it, not deny it.
That’s why making the same decision is not an act of faith, but instead an act of bondage.
So to break the cycle, we need a new decision. New information.
We need wisdom.
Solomon said it like this:
“Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
You ignored my advice
and rejected the correction I offered.
So I will laugh when you are in trouble!” (Prov 1:20,24-26 NLT)
When wisdom shouts, we need to lean in. She deserves to be embraced, because she always rewards us with life and favor in the end.
He said wisdom is shouting in the streets, meaning she is not hard to find.
And she’s not. She is usually wrapped up in the very thing we do not want to do.
Wisdom is not found along the easy road, but it is the right road.
And wisdom holds the key to breaking us free from those cycles that have never served us well.
Don’t you think it’s time?