Don’t Get Paralyzed By The Good, the Bad, And The Ugly

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, has a saying that no one gets any farther in life than the good, the bad, and the ugly. For farmers, if the harvest is good, the price of grain may be bad, or just plain ugly. My old neighbor has a philosophy that when things are bad or ugly, no one can agree on the good to be done to change the situation. Life is about not getting paralyzed by the big three. When folks see things as going well, they tend to spend more than needful. They get stuck in feeling active and willing to enjoy life more freely. Before they know it, they are stuck with bills and payments that are not only bad but at ugly interest rates. According to Ed, life is always sliding from the good, to the bad and the ugly, but the secret is not to stay stuck in anyone of them, just like in the western movies. Where things always go from the good, to the bad, to the ugly, and start over at the good again. In life just go with the flow and don’t try to stand still in the past.

Ed claims that people who dwell on the past get incapacitated by it no matter how it played out as the best or the worst of times. There is no point on talking endlessly about, the good or bad, old days for they are gone. They have no reality except in our minds. We need to walk away from the past for if we don’t go on, we will get stuck in living there while wasting the present. Good memories may be enjoyable occasionally, but today is all we have, as yesterday is gone, and tomorrow will always be beyond us. We will always be living one day at a time, always right now, today, as all we have.

Today is more than enough for any of us. Everyday temptations to sin are bound to come our way, but it is best to walk away from them. If you walk away from temptations, they can not trip you up and ruin your day. As Christians, we need to overcome our temptations and rebuke others acting in sin rather than encouraging them in their sin. When we tempt others to sin, it may be as ordinary as an invitation to join in gossip and slander or as criminal as selling drugs or shoplifting. The hard work of every day is paying attention to ourselves, so we do not readily sin, or react in resentment and refuse to forgive when others sin against us. We live day by day in faith that God gave us forgiveness through Jesus Christ his Son. His blood purifies us from our sin. When others sin against us, we forgive them because we have been forgiven by God. These things challenge us every day.

We live in a time of entitlement which rubs off on Christians. We do not deserve God’s forgiveness; it is a loving gift to those who know they need it. God’s forgiveness of sin is not an invitation to sin more but to seek to sin less as the unworthy servants of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

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