January 31, 2014
When faced with difficulties, the discomforts that comes from daily storms, or life’s challenges, our natural reactions, without any thinking, usually fall into one of these two ‘Fight or Flight’ categories: 1. Ignore or run away from the problem and hope it goes away, or 2. React in a knee-jerk way to the problem. While this second response usually brings immediate relief, it often guarantees more damage later on. Obviously, neither option works well for long-term fulfillment or peace. But we’re all addicted to comfort … we all turn to idols of the heart instead of turning to God. So, like a gunslinger from the Old West, we continue to quick-draw these so-called defense “weapons” when we feel threatened by the adversity God allowed to enter our day.
I have learned … well no, I actually continue to learn, and sometimes the hard way, that failing to deal with adversity immediately compounds the pain and suffering. Waiting, ignoring, or hiding never makes it better. But even though I know that I shouldn’t put it off, reacting on the spot with my not-thought-out knee-jerk response is going to lead to a lot of damage as well. I have to think first and then respond to have the best chance for success, especially in challenging situations that press my emotional buttons.
Using either the “ignore it” or “react without thinking” strategy really shows a “my kingdom come, my will be done mentality.” It exposes our lack of faith in God’s promises, track record, character, sovereignty and plan for our lives. We really need a “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” mindset. That perspective recognizes His majesty as well as our limitations. It also helps us develop an optimum plan to attack the challenge before us.
In today’s scripture reading, Jesus Christ lays down a very important principle: do what you must do now. Do it quickly. If you do not act immediately, if you do not pay the price to settle the adversity, an inevitable process will begin. And that process will not stop until you have “paid the last penny.”
Today, think of an adversity that continues to drain you. Why do you fail to address it head-on with Godly discernment? Settle that score today within the limits you can control. God has given you answers to deal with it externally (your outward behavior), and internally (inside your head and attitude). Don’t procrastinate. Act now to move toward the mind of Christ, because that is where you will find God’s peace. Whether you act clearly and immediately when confronted by a challenge or you procrastinate is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know I have stayed away from Your light out of fear that my bad deeds, sins, and adversities will be exposed. I no longer want to live in darkness. I pray, Father, that You will help me live by Your Truth and in Your Light so that all can see what I do is done through You. Help me, Lord, to learn to deal with my adversities immediately so that they won’t fester and grow. But help me see life through Your eyes then respond with Your wisdom. I pray in the name of the One you sent to teach us truth, Jesus Christ, and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth; you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:25,26
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. John 3:19-21