“Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Whatever we focus on in our minds will eventually play out in our lives, which can then shape who we are. Our thoughts turn into feelings that have the power to control our lives, gradually steering us – and possibly our faith – in a direction we do not want to go. These are dangerous grounds.
On Sunday, my husband spoke about offense. He stepped on my toes as well as others’. Have you ever felt justified about being offended? If you haven’t, then good for you, but that has not been my story. Over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been rehearsing offense in my mind, trying to figure out why they did what they did and said what they said. What I gathered from my husband’s teaching was that I am responsible for my reactions AND my thought life. After we came home from church, I began to talk to him and it’s really bad when you get preached to twice in one day. I was trying to explain why I was still offended by a specific situation, even after I tried to resolve the issue, but it was a fail. He said his piece and took his Sunday’s nap. I was so irritated with him! As he snored, I began to write about him. As I was writing the Holy Spirit said, “You are responsible for how you respond to the situation, regardless of the offense you’re feeling right now.” Although my husband said the exact same thing, I received it better from God. I guess I just like hearing God’s voice better. I am the manager of my emotions! Something that simple was the perfect prescription for me to release these people into God’s hands, which actually caused me to repent. I ended up confessing to God and reminding the devil that I am not to ever revisit that offense again! Being a veteran in this faith walk, I’m not crazy enough to think the enemy will take it kindly that I’m bringing my thoughts captive. In fact, I’m sure this means he is about to go even harder. That’s fine because I released that stinking thinking along with the situation and I have no plans to take it back. I’ve got too much Kingdom work to do.
While I am working on eliminating offense, I realize I should always respond in love, even when I feel justified in my negative emotions. I will exercise the ability to respond positively, taking full responsibility for my role in unfavorable situations, and allow myself to let go of negative feelings and thoughts that had previously taken residency in my mind.
Look at it this way: life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to what happens to you. Nobody gets a free pass out of disappointments in this life, absolutely nobody. We can exercise all day long but if we still eat unhealthily, we won’t see the results we are trying to achieve. A similar parallel can be made in our spiritual lives. We can pray all day long and attend church whenever the church doors are open, but if we cling to a victim mentality, then we’ve taken Satan’s bait and it will hinder the assignment that’s on our lives.
I’m not saying everything in your life can be changed by being positive. I’m saying that if you want to overcome offense then you need to adjust your thought process, your attitude, and most importantly, how you respond.
Attitude determines your altitude. I am going higher and I refuse to let others’ problems become my problem. If ever there were a hashtag moment for me, it is this: #GotMyPeaceBack