Monday, April 9, 2012

First Assignment: "Clyde"

Here's the first response paper to a case study. I am not allowed to post the actual case study for certain reasons, so you'll have to use your imagination of who "Clyde" really is. ;-)  

     At first glance, one would think that Clyde has everything in life: a great job, a family, money, and a good church. However, like all human beings, Clyde has a sin nature; and he clearly struggles with it daily. One of the areas in which he labors involves blaming his parents for certain decisions made during his childhood. Bitterness influences how he deals with himself, family life, and work.
    Since Clyde claims to be a Christian, he needs to be brought straight to the truth of Who God is, to the reality of the human condition, and ultimately to the Gospel. For example, it appears that Clyde lacks a proper understanding of the sovereignty of God. Looking back on the events of his childhood, he fails to realize that not only was God there, but He also ordained the circumstances of his life. Clyde attempts to make himself feel better by blaming his parents and feeding sinful passions over which he has personal jurisdiction. He claims to have a good understanding of Scripture. However, he does not take comfort in it; further, contrary to biblical counsel, he is even willing to consider suicide as a solution to his problems.
    Clyde's marriage is another arena in which resentment toward his parents comes to play. He resents Mom and Dad for forcing him to marry Corrine, who is overbearing and vain. Now, instead of taking leadership as the biblical head of the house, Clyde finds himself submitting to his wife's hen pecking; he is bitter and often angry with her nagging, which increasingly leads to animosity. How does he resolve this conflict? Again, instead of turning to Scripture for guidance, he turns to the autonomous ways of man: avoidance, staying out late drinking, and other potentially destructive lifestyles.
    Because his parents were overbearing, Clyde felt forced into his career decision. By God's grace, he has regularly been able to use his medical training as a ministry; however, most of the time he feels unsatisfied with his work and his accomplishments. As a new member of the hospital ethics committee, he now has an opportunity to stand up for truth and to fight against abortion. Unfortunately, having lived in fear of other people's opinions for most of his life, Clyde finds himself overly concerned that his convictions will be unpopular and dangerous to his professional status. He is frustrated with himself for caving under pressure, but he also embraces another reason to resent his father for pushing him to become a doctor.
    Clyde needs to be brought to Scripture and confronted with the holiness and sovereignty of God. He needs to be reminded that everybody – his parents, his wife, and himself included – are sinful and incapable of rescuing themselves. He needs to be reminded of salvation and forgiveness in Jesus Christ and the biblical mandate to forgive others. Hopefully, when brought to the throne of God, Clyde will begin to realize his depravity and need for repentance. If repentance occurs, he will be ready to begin addressing specific issues related to personal sin, marriage/family, and career.

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