Duaringa is a town in Central Queensland. According to Wikipedia, the aboriginal meaning for the word "djuaringe" means to turn oneself around. For people living in Duaringa, that's something to think about.
Johnny Cash has been called one of the most influential musicians and artists of the 20th century. He was a troubled person for most of his life, struggling with drugs and other addictions. He wrote songs like "Walk the Line" which showed that within himself he wanted to do the right thing but struggled. Late in life however Cash was able to "turn himself around" with the help of his wife June Carter and other people. He became a follower of Jesus Christ and claimed that faith in God contributed to bringing him through. He couldn't have done it himself. He needed the help of others. Read more about Cash on Wikipedia.
In the Bible the word Repentance also means to turn oneself around. It is the same concept as the word Duaringa. It is a spiritual idea to stop living a certain way, and to change and start doing things differently. It implies that someone realises that need to change and they make a decision to do that.
Leonard John Fraser was someone who not only did NOT turn himself around. He did NOT practice the concept of Duaringa (Repentance). He refused to believe he had done anything wrong. Known as the Rockhampton Rapist, Leonard still believed he was a good person until the day he died. Convicted as a serial killer of a least 4 people, he died still a prisoner on New Years Day, 2007. Had he "turned himself around" in time he may have conquered his sexual and violent tendencies and prevented the waste of his life. However with such addictions there is no doubt he could NOT have done it on his own.
There are many people in the world with addictions to various things. In Alcoholics Anonymous the very first step for members is to face the fact that there is a problem and then in subsequent steps to recognize that the addiction cannot be conquered without help. Specifically God's help.
The Addiction We All Have
All humans have an addiction we cannot beat on our own. We could call it selfishness. The Bible calls it sin. The middle letter of sin is I and that pretty much sums it up. However our addiction to selfishness/sin doesn't just affect us here and now in this life - it will affect us forever.
As you read this you will realise that you too have offended God by living selfishly with no regard for the Ten Commandments. (God's Moral Law) You can read all 10 commandements in the Bible in Exodus:20 - or online.
If God isn't the most important thing in your life you have broken the first commandment. If you have used God's name as a cuss word, you've broken the third. If you have lied (even little fibs) you have broken the ninth and if you have stolen anything (even if its small) you have broken the eighth. Jesus said that looking at a woman and thinking of sex with her is the same as committing adultery. In other words, breaking the 7th commandment. He also said that hating someone is the same as murder, which is breaking commandment number 6. If you examine the ten commandments properly, you'll realise that you have an addiction to doing what you want, and ignoring God and his requirements completely. If you have broken these commandments (and everyone has) you are a liar, a thief, a murderer and an adulterer in your heart. In terms of what you desire and want, you are no different to Leonard John Fraser.
So when the time comes to stand before God and give an account of your life, how will you explain your disregard for God and his laws. Imagine standing in front of a Policeman trying to talk him out of giving you a speeding fine. What if you say something like "I'm a good person and there are lots of other people worse than me?" It won't work. Excuses like this don't carry any weight with the Police and they certainly doesn't with God.
The Bible says that punishment for breaking God's laws is eternity in a place called Hell. Not the fun hell you hear your friends laugh about, a much more horrible place. I don't like thinking about it.
But finally John 3:16 makes sense. "For God so loved the world that he sent his son (Jesus, who was crucified even though innocent) so that whoever trusts in him will not perish."
If you've ever had a speeding ticket, you'll know that it has to be paid. You can pay it yourself, or someone else can for you. In the same way, your debt towards God has to be paid, and either you will pay it yourself or you can hand your life over to Christ in exchange for his offer to pay it for you.
Jesus gave up his life when he was crucified. This was a payment to take our punishment. Jesus was born from a virgin (that's wild) and because of that and his genuinly good life, he was the only perfect human being. So he became the only candidate who could "pay your fine" if you accept it and give your life up to him. Itapos;s a swap, his life for yours.
The cure to the addiction of sin is 2 things: First you need help - you need to come to Jesus and trust him and be willing to follow him. Secondly you need to turn yourself around, to practice Duaringa, to practice repentance. Start considering God and his requirements, put behind you the selfishness and find out what God wants from you and do that.
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