February 23, 2015
When faced with momentary difficulties, daily discomforts, or life’s challenges, our instinctive reactions, when we don’t take time to think, usually fall into one of these three “Fight, Flight, or Freeze” categories: 1. Run away from the problem and hope it goes away, or 2. React in a knee-jerk way to the problem, or 3. Become paralyzed by the overwhelming feelings and are at the mercy of the problem and hope someone comes to our rescue.
The first and second response usually focus on immediate relief, but often guarantees more damage later on. Obviously, none of the options bring long-term fulfillment or peace. Since we are all addicted to comfort … when facing adversity, we 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 “mechanisms” when we feel threatened by adversity, 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. Running, delaying, ignoring, or hiding never makes it better. Even though I know I shouldn’t put it off, reacting on the spot with my not-thought-out knee-jerk response also leads to a lot of damage. I have to think first and then respond to have the best chance for the success and peace I thirst for, 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. This perspective recognizes His majesty as well as our limitations. It also helps us develop an optimum plan to attack the challenge and test God has before us.
In today’s scripture reading, Jesus Christ lays down a very important principle: think and address the issue directly. Do what you must do now. Do it quickly. If you do not act immediately, if you do not pay the price to address the adversity, an inevitable spiraling process will begin. The longer we delay bringing light in, Satan gets to play with it and prey on us, and that process will not stop until you have “paid the last penny.”
Today, think of a situation 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 (your thoughts 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 avoid and 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. Lord, help me learn to deal with my adversities immediately so that they won’t fester and grow. Help me see life through Your eyes and 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