8 thoughts while watching trainwrecks

Jon Swanson writes:

(First published July 19, 2011. And here’s the video version).

It happens to all of us. A friend, a family member, a coworker looks like they have picked the wrong track and are heading toward a trainwreck. Not physically, probably, but emotionally, spiritually, or relationally. I probably hear about more of these than many people because I’m one of the people that people talk to: “Jon, you’re a (social media) chaplain/pastor. You’ll know what to do. How do I stop them from wrecking everything?”

1. Maybe you are missing something. Probably not, but consider the possibility.

2. TV Movie endings are only in TV movies. If you want an intervention to always end with “How could I have been so foolish, I’m sorry, you were right,” you are going to be disappointed. Every time.

3. Humans almost always choose the short-term over the long-term. Even when the short-term looks painful, it’s because it is easier than the real hard work that would bring about long-term change.

4. Remorse and repentance aren’t the same thing. One is about getting caught. The other is about getting right. The first will only lead to avoidance. The second may lead to change.

5. Yelling almost never works. It just makes fingers go into ears.

6. Sin is fun like antifreeze is sweet. Both are delightful for the short term. And then kill you.

7. Self-destruction often isn’t evident to the self being destroyed. What looks obvious from the outside looks very different from the inside. Of course, the outside view can often see further down the track.

8. Consequence pain is often a good alarm clock. Sometimes people sleep through gentle warnings.

I know it hurts to watch. And you want to help. But sometimes the best help is to be around after the wreck. And to ask God for wisdom and clarity and the right words.

That’s what I do anyway.” via 8 thoughts while watching trainwrecks (from the archives).

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