The proverbs of Solomon, King David’s son, from Israel: 2 Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline, to help one understand wise sayings. 3 They provide insightful instruction, which is righteous, just, and full of integrity. 4 They make the naive mature, the young knowledgeable and discreet. 5 The wise hear them and grow in wisdom; those with understanding gain guidance. 6 They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings, the words of the wise, and their puzzles. 7 Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7, CEB
We’re familiar with the “good” testimony. We’ve talked about this many times. It’s a narrative that goes like this: I was once lost, now I’m found, now I’m fine.
Here’s what we might learn from Solomon, David, and others: We’re not always going to “end well”. There are many, many lives in the Bible that don’t end well and these characters are still somehow faith role models. Our lives are not always going to end well. And that’s okay. We may never get to be sober without ever relapsing. We may not get our finances straight. We may not get our anger totally under control. That’s okay. Our hope is larger than personal growth and progress.
Now, I’m not saying we should strive to end poorly. I’m not saying we should give up trying to get sober. I’m not saying we should simply accept our anger and rage on everyone all the time. I’m saying that we can accept the fact that transformation takes time. God works slowly. It may even take him more than a lifetime to transform us into what we’re going to be.
I think our inability to accept that we might be “stuck” with a particular issue keeps us trapped. We live in shame. We’re constantly frustrated. We isolate and live in hiding.
Would it help to know that it’s okay not to fully progress? Would it help to know that it’s okay to not end well?