November 23, 2012
The way I’m wired, I notice many hurting people come across my path every day. They come in many different packages, but have some common traits depending on the stage of healing they’re in. One common trait everyone experiences – they blame their unhappiness on things that are out of their control: the economy, the government, their circumstances, boss, family, parents, kids, spouse, job, fate, health, geography, alcohol, food, money, or a lack of time to name a few.
All these outside factors can rob us of joy and happiness. But there is another list of objectives and desires that are within our control: a close relationship with God, a clear purpose in life, a commitment to help someone in greater need than ourselves, and maybe, clearer lenses to view our circumstances and manage of our feelings and behaviors. But if we really want to get serious and personal, the heart of what we need to be pursuing are a deeper commitment to understanding and practicing our faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior.
These are all honorable desires and are all things we as individuals can do something about … without outside human help. No stimulus package or government program will assist here, and tough economic times cannot steal these ideals. These life goals are achieved as we allow God’s Word to rule in our hearts and receive the Spirit’s strength to build up the inner man. Then true joy will ooze out of our pores, in every life situation no matter how it goes, to impact those around us. We can’t help but be salt and light.
In our complicated world, it’s tempting to put the pursuit of our desires into the hands of others—to expect an outside entity to fulfill them. It is true we sometimes need help from others and we cannot live in isolation. But the outside sources of this world cannot really provide true happiness. That must come from your spirit engaging with God. He is always reaching out to you. So it is up to you. Only you can decide. You control the switch … will you shine brightly or switch your light off?
Today, remember that blaming your unhappiness on things that are out of your control is an excuse, a very weak attempt to avoid responsibility. If you can change your lenses, you will change your life. Ask 2 people who are close to you to give you Godly advice about your area of struggle. Ask them to be very specific and to break it down to it’s smallest piece. We aren’t looking for “have more faith” or “stop drinking/eating so much.” These are way too vague. We need more specific insights and steps to move forward to the next stepping stone. Then consider following that feedback today. The direction is up to you, nobody else steers your ship. The way will you steer your life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, even though I hate when people play the victim card and blame others for their predicament, I confess that I have been guilty of having that “victim mentality.” I have been so quick to blame circumstances beyond my control for my unhappiness. I pray, Father, that You help turn my mind to those things that I can control. Help me, Father, to remember that You are the one and only true source of sustainable happiness. I pray in the name of the One source who gave me the freedom to control my happiness, Your greatest gift, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 1 Thessalonians 5:6
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land. Psalm 37:3-9