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It seems lately as if I’m having more and more Albert Einstein moments.  Not in the growing capacity of my intellect ending in the title of genius.  Rather in exemplifying his famous quote.   He once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  Some doubt this is totally true by pointing out that it has exceptions as in exercise and prayer.

Recently while working around a car’s motor, I accidently knocked the top oil cap into a nearly inaccessible area of the fender.  I was sure I could just reach in and extract it quickly.  However, after about 2 hours of using every tool I had, I was completely exhausted and frustrated.  My next-door neighbor had evidently been witnessing all this and took pity on his insane friend.   He had the simple and obvious answer to my dilemma ---check for a replacement at the auto parts store.  Problem solved!

Although I had persevered and worked hard, it was a labor of short-sighted, bull-headed, one-track thinking.  Perseverance is normally a good Biblical characteristic (Gal 6:9) (Jo 9:4) (Mt 18:21-22).  However, when one deliberately repeats the same sin over and over again, bad consequences will result (Heb 10:26).  King Solomon was told by God that intermarrying with foreign women would turn his heart after false gods (1 Ki 11:1-2).  Nevertheless, he continued to take 700 wives and 300 concubines which did turn him to worship Ashtoreth, Molech, and Chemosh the evil idols of his wives (vv 4-8).  As a result of this disobedience (insanity?) God said, “I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates (V 11).

Almost everyone sooner or later will fall into the same pattern of behavior in their spiritual walk as I did with the oil cap.  This is why it is so important to heed the advice of our Counselor the Holy Spirit (Jo 14:16-17) (Eph 3: 16) (Rom 8:15, 26, 27).  The alternative is to keep beating one’s head against the wall until one progresses through the evil stages listed in Romans 1:19-32.  The solution is even more simple than my neighbor’s sage advice.  Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest (Mt 11:28).  Only then will one reap the blessings (Jo 10:10) now and later in heaven.  Perseverance in good works beats oblivious “insanity” (Jas 1:12).

-Jim Bailey

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