We need to do something about our longstanding issues

We need to do something about our longstanding issues

There is an old disused power station just outside of the Perth CBD, the city I live in. It used to be the major electricity generator for the city for many decades. When it became obsolete, it was closed down in 1981. Successive governments have tried to rehabilitate the site. It is complicated; while it is on prime real estate, the soil is heavily contaminated. Parts of it are heritage listed due to its rich history making modifications difficult. Government after government have had this on their agenda, but so far nothing has actually happened. It seems too hard to fix.

We see something similar to this in 2 Kings 15. Azariah and Jotham, successive kings of the southern kingdom of Judah, were condemned by God for not removing the high places. Many people still sacrificed on shrines on the tops of hills rather than at the temple in Jerusalem. Likewise, the five kings in the northern kingdom of Israel in this chapter were all condemned for maintaining the worship of the golden calves. The faces on the thrones changed, but in terms of these long-term sins, they did nothing about them.

There were a few reasons why this was the case. Perhaps the southern kings were afraid of the common people revolting if they stopped a long-standing tradition. Perhaps the northern kings genuinely believed in the worship of golden calves because it was something they had grown up with. Perhaps the kings of both kingdoms didn’t see reforming the worship of the true God as a priority. It could have been a combination of all of these things.

Yet notice the key idea. Each of these kings was condemned for doing nothing to fix the problem. Each of them inherited it from the king before them. They didn’t create the problem; they only failed to act to fix it. The fact that the problem was longstanding was not a valid excuse.

All of us have longstanding issues in our lives. It could be some kind of pattern of sin that we have become used to that doesn’t bother us like it once did. It could be a strained relationship with a family member that has gone on for so long that you no longer remember who did what to cause it. These are the kinds of things that fall into the “too-hard-basket”. Fixing them would take a great deal of effort and discomfort. So we decide we will get to them one day. That day never seems to come.

God hates sin. God loves reconciliation. Those things remain true even if our sin and reconciliation issues are difficult. Christians are called to do something about the hard things. Make the first step in confessing your sin, repenting and setting up accountability. Take the first step in contacting that estranged relative. Do the hard thing and don’t keep putting it off.

Doing nothing about sin and issues in our lives is not an option for Christians. Let’s learn from 2 Kings 15 and be prepared to tackle the hard issues. I am sure that God will help us by His Spirit as we strive towards godliness, even when it is difficult.