Do you agree with this statement? I heard someone say this the other day. My initial reaction was, “Hey! Wait a minute! I can’t control the circumstances in my life!” But then I thought about all of the things I can control. I can control how much I eat and exercise. Which affects not only how I look but how I feel and how much energy I have. I can control how I use the money that I have been blessed with…whether it is a little or a lot. I can choose to spend, save, give. The choices I make directly correlate to the peace I experience in my life. I can control how I respond to my husband…my children…my extended family…my friends. I can respond in love and kindness or I can respond in irritation or bitterness or indifference. I have the choice to make a withdrawal from that relationship or a deposit into that relationship.
What about the circumstances we can’t control? An illness or a job lost or a tragic death in the family, just to name a few. This is where I had trouble with this statement. And yet…it still comes down to facing these circumstances (eventually) with submission and trust. My sweet cousins lost their dear father (my uncle) at the beginning of this year. The way they have responded to this tragedy has been such an inspiration and example to me. They are godly women who have chosen to submit their wills and lives to God and to trust in Him, even through the darkness. This attitude is the only one that brings peace and contentment. If they would have chosen to shake their fists at God and shout “WHY?” it would not only have harmed their peace of mind, but their families’, as well. I imagine that their first response was to question God and to respond in anger. But, somewhere along the way, they both made a choice. A choice to trust our Heavenly Father. A choice to follow God even when it is painful. A choice to believe that God loves them, even though He allowed an incredible tragedy to change their lives forever.
My conclusion is that this statement is probably true. If I am unhappy, do not have any friends, struggle with being overweight, or am in debt up to my eyeballs, or any number of things…my first action must be to look at myself. To find out if there is any sin that may be causing this problem in my life.
Of course, there are things that cause much pain and heartache, bringing about some of these things that are beyond our control…medical conditions that mess with our metabolism…spouses who do not join us in our financial goals…etc. These things are tough things to deal with and may be completely out of our control. But I guess it still comes down to attitude and living out the fruits of the Spirit in my life as I deal with the things that are difficult and painful. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control.
We all make wrong choices sometimes. May we be prayerful enough to recognize them, humble enough to admit them, and obedient enough to draw our strength from Christ as we pick ourselves up and move on.
Galatians 5:22-23; Proverbs 3:5-6