The screen fills with the face and white teeth of the handsome television reporter. “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today we’re talking with Professor I.M. Goofy about his new machine–the “Ungoofer.” It takes negative things and makes them positive.”
Next to our famous television announcer stands a little man in a white lab coat. His disheveled, thinning hair looks like it has been out in a high wind. Thick glasses magnify dark, sparkling eyes. “Tell us about your machine, professor Goofy.“
“John, this new invention of mine will revolutionize the way we live. Take this huge hamburger for example.”
He lifts a triple-decker hamburger from the table in front of him. “This triple cheeseburger will cost you about 1200 calories in your diet. But …” here he cackles triumphantly… “Let’s put it in my Ungoofer machine and see what happens!”
Next to him a strange contraption about the size of a microwave oven hums and flashes. The nutty doctor puts the hamburger in, adjusts the dial and the machine explodes into action. Bells and whistles sound. In the background the music from “Stars and Strips Forever” blares.
After a few minutes, the contraption dings and Professor Goofy eagerly retrieves a hamburger that looks as if it had been on the receiving end of an airstrike. “Voilà, the little man proclaims. Your 1200-calorie cheeseburger only has 100 calories now.”
The announcer eyes the remains with distaste wondering if anyone would have the stomach to eat the doctor’s wonderful sandwich. “That’s not all,” the scientist cries. “This wonderful machine takes all the calories out of milkshakes, Snicker bars, and cheesecakes.”
“That’s very interesting, Professor Goofy. We’ll take you back to New York now. folks. It’s all yours Tom.”
Somehow I doubt if the good doctor is going to make a lot of money with his invention.
I needed a machine like that, though, in some of the counseling sessions I’ve participated in. Just like the doctor tried to let people enjoy the pleasures of chocolate without broadening their waistline (wasted line), if I could figure out a way to let people continue in their sins without reaping the wages of sin, I would be rich.
The problem is that the law of sowing and reaping is an eternal truth. You can’t plant spinach and reap peaches.
Once in Luxembourg a couple came to me wanting help. Their whole situation flaunted disobedience to the Lord. I saw the problem quickly and I knew the answer. But I also strongly suspected they weren’t willing to change.
We spent a lot of time with them and tried to be patient but in the end they drifted away, still happily disobeying the Lord. Still miserably reaping the consequences. They needed an “Ungoofer” machine to turn their dumb way of living into something good. I didn’t have one.
Have you been looking for an “Ungoofer Machine” to get you out of a bad situation? If so, why don’t you try my foolproof solution?
Really repent of your wrong acts before the Lord. Don’t just ask Him to forgive you. Pray that he will change you. Put your faith in the Lord Jesus to help you.
Then if you’re suffering for stupidity and disobedience—Stop! Don’t think that God is going to suspend the laws of sowing and reaping just for you. Begin to sow good things.
James Baldwin has well said, “People can cry easier than they can change.” Change is tough but essential.
If your marriage is goofed up because of pornography, do what you must to get loose from this plague. If your job is goofed up because of laziness and lack of focus, get to work! If your friendship is goofed up because of neglect and jealousy, find the time it takes to make it work. If your health is goofed up by horrible eating habits, alcohol, or tobacco, make the changes necessary. If your spiritual life is destroyed by laziness, unbelief, and lack of commitment, get on the ball. Seek God.
We’re going to reap what we take time to sow.
It’s not as easy as popping things into the Ungoofer Machine. It takes commitment, time, and it takes God’s power. We can’t do it without Him. We need His help. He can change the bad into good.
Here’s how Eugene Peterson paraphrases James counsel to us:
“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
“So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. (James 1:12-19, The Message).
No machines or quick fixes will do it. We must change by His strength and our decision.
Think About It—
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” Jim Rohn