The third result of sin is the area of your emotions. Sin causes emotional distress and disappointment.
Solomon writes a lot about this in Ecclesiastes: “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless — like chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered” (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15 NLT).
Solomon is saying that, as a human being, it seems pointless, because we cannot change the past and we cannot control the future. All the stuff that we’ve done wrong, we can’t undo. All the stuff that was done wrong to us, we can’t undo.
And, we can’t control the future. Most of the important things in your life you have no control over. The world cannot be fixed by human effort alone.
Can we go out and do good in the world? Yes. Should we? Yes. Should we relieve pain? Of course.
But the world is irreparably broken. We serve others to relieve hurt, to heal people, to help them make it through. But we’re not kidding ourselves. We’re not going to bring the Kingdom in on Earth. This is not Heaven. Our ultimate job is to get people into the perfect place, not try to make the world a perfect place. Should we try to make the world better? Yes. Should we expect it to be perfect? No. The damage is too deep for repair.
Because that damage is so deep, we get stressed out — because things don’t work right, we don’t have enough time to get everything done, things get in our way. There are delays and difficulties and dead ends and, of course, disappointments.
Did you ever plan for a big event and think, “This is going to be so great!” Then when it’s over, you think, “That was it?” I know people who’ve spent an entire year planning for a wedding. Then it was all over in an hour.
The fact is, we have the amazing ability to overestimate how happy we’re going to be with a person, an event, or a possession. We’re not just disappointed with events that happen in our lives or with people in our lives. We’re disappointed with ourselves.
Why? Because this is not Heaven. Everything on the planet is broken. Nothing works perfectly because of our sin.
This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.