Today is one of those days, a day where I’m not sure if there was a right side of the bed. A day where the world at large seems to be conspiring for the sole purpose of annoying me. Every fiber of my being wants to tell everyone to go away and leave me alone, but there’s one problem. I’m that Christian girl who is supposed to love everyone and have joy. So now what?
Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Christians will be immune from bad days, nor are we called to walk around life with a constant goofy smile plastered on our face. However we are called to something higher than giving in to our inner curmudgeon.
The Apostle Paul uses the war time analogy a lot in his writings. We are at war with the evil in this world, and we are at war with our own selfish attitudes and fallen desires. It’s impossibly easy for me to have a horrible attitude and blame it on having a “bad day.” No one would blame me. Happens to everyone now and then…. I’m only human….
But I’m called to something better than that.
While I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I have on a tailor-made pair of grumpy pants, I don’t have to let that rule my day.
II Corinthians 10:3 – 5 says:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (Emphasis mine)
If you’ve seen any action movie, you’ve seen someone being taken captive. There is kicking and screaming and fighting. Sometimes the captive gets away and they have to try again. Rarely is it a quiet, dignified affair.
Taking our thoughts captive means acknowledging that Christ is in charge of our lives, that what He wants is more important that what we want. It means examining every thought, the ones that we like and the ones we’re not so proud of. It means being honest with ourselves and honest with God. Sometimes those thoughts don’t want to go quietly. Sometimes they keep rearing their ugly heads. Sometimes it takes a long time to get them completely subdued.
But that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.
There is a horrible misconception that following Jesus is easy, and if you struggle, there’s something wrong with YOU. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Scripture is chock full of broken, imperfect people trying to get this holiness thing right. Wars are rarely one in one battle on one day, and God’s grace is big enough for the days we don’t get it right.
So what’s the practical application?
What works for me is brutal honestly. I keep a journal, and in it I’ll tell God exactly how I feel and why with full and complete details. It helps to spew that stuff on to paper. There’s no reason to hold back you true feelings from the God who knows every thought in your head.
When I get finished, I pray that God will change me. Not the situation. Not the other person. I’m the only one whose attitude I’m responsible for. If there is another person is involved, I pray for them. Pray for their good. I don’t have to WANT to do this. I CHOOSE to do this, because that’s what God wants. Obedience is how He changes me. If you wait until you WANT to, you’re going to be waiting for a while.
I find that getting that stuff off my chest and into the hands of God makes me better able to deal with the day. Does it mean that I suddenly have a day full of sunshine and rainbows? No. It does help me put things into perspective and reminds me that I’m not in this alone. The Christian life is not easy, but we’re not called to do it on our own.
What thought do you need to take hostage today?
© Sandra Perry 2014