There was a time in high school I was borderline-obsessed with learning about Adolf Hitler and the tragedy of the Holocaust. The sordid tale fascinated me and I wanted to learn everything I could about it.
I’m thankful that in America we don’t live under dictatorship.
…or do we?
It came to my attention (again) last night that I let circumstances and other people dictate my feelings far too often.
If someone is in a mad mood, I’ll respond accordingly. If something happens that wasn’t according to schedule/the plan in my head, I’ll probably get frustrated. If someone says something hurtful, I’ll probably take it too personally and (at least) temporarily be wounded.
You get the idea.
Why am I like that?
The only thing I can come up with is that we still live in a fallen body with a tendency to pity ourselves and incline toward self-imposed bondage.
Our inability to constantly and continuously lead our feelings is evidence of our fallen nature and tendency to be swayed by the flesh.
God has freed us from the slavery of sin, yet so often–in situations such as those mentioned above–I’m so quick to run back into the dictatorship of feelings and situations around me that I don’t live in the freedom Jesus died for.
To be under dictatorship means you have no control over the situations around you, and, while we don’t have control over what happens to us, we have control over how we react to them.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” -John Maxwell
So, today I am seeking the Lord for strength to react in a Christ-like manner to the people and circumstances that come, recognizing that as a Christian I bear His precious name and don’t want to do anything to tarnish it (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I am seeking the Lord to choose joy even when everything around me says to be depressed, hurt, sad, injured, etc. (James 1:1).
I am seeking the Lord to live in the freedom He provided and to tap into the eternal resources of life and godliness waiting for us as believers (2 Peter 1:3).
I am seeking the Lord to lay aside the sin that so easily entangles and run with endurance the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
I am seeking the Lord to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel and the upward calling of Christ (Ephesians 4:1, Philippians 1:27).
Will you join me?