Today marks one month into 2018. It means that the Australian Open has been played and won, the shrimps and lamb have been consumed from the BBQ, most people would be back at work and the kids have begun school. Not to mention the progress, or lack there of for 2018 New Years Resolutions.
What are you changing or sacrificing this year?
Guilt unforgiveness or grudges don’t sacrifice or pay anything to take up residency in your life. Depression anxiety and substance abuse are also freeloaders. Its time to evict them.
In fact you are the one who is making the sacrifice. It has been said that unforigveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person would die. You could say the same about undue guilt that weighs you down or a grudge you are holding against another person for something that they did, or possibly only your perception of an event or incident from… how long ago?
Depression and anxiety are real emotions that many people experience during their lifetime. But you don’t have to set up a tent in the valley of the shadow of despair. It may take you time but its now time to use those roadblocks (boulders) to overcoming these issues as stepping stones. Its time to evict them and rise above.
Substance abuse and other addictions not only hurt you but those close to you. These may cost you financially as you part with money to feed them but the costs are much more than the financial: friendships, relationships employment housing freedoms and liberty. Not so much a freeloader as the others above but by no means without cost.
Mental health is important. Not keeping check on the causes of negative virtues or habits in your life could be contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Have you already broken your new years resolutions for 2018? Maybe some of these issues identified above have contributed to you lack of staying power. Its time to evict the freeloaders in your life and rise above your accomplishments and mistakes of the past.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” (v7 NKJV)
OBSERVATION: This passage gives us a glimpse into the personal life of the Apostle Paul. He had received so many revelations from God and was impacting the world of his time for the Kingdom. He’d had visions of paradise, of the world to come. His resume would have been long with accomplishments that would impress anyone. By today’s standards, you would expect him to have an ego, to boast and gloat how good he was that God chose him to share these revelations and visions with. However, there was something that preventing him from doing so. Was it humility or was it his thorn?
APPLICATION: We all have issues in our lives that can distract us or ground us. The Bible doesn’t tell us what Paul’s thorn was. Speculation and conjecture will continue however if we knew his what his thorn was, and couldn’t relate to it then the inherent message in this passage would be limiting, if not lost. Paul saw his thorn as a gift. It kept him grounded; from being exalted (NKJV); conceited (NIV); walking round high and mighty (MSG).
The Bible tells us that God hates pride. It was pride that saw Lucifer banished from heaven. Paul repeatedly speaks of how he should boast in his weaknesses. God didn’t want Paul to loose sight of his destiny. Whatever the challenges you may be facing right now, you have a choice. You can let is distract you from what God has planned for you; you can use it as an excuse to wait until the conditions are perfect and your thorn has been removed, or as Paul realised that everything he did should be for the glory of God, not himself.
Start to view your thorn not as a distraction, but as a blessing. See it as something that will act as a reminder that God’s grace is sufficient for all your needs. God can teach you to use all you have if you allow Him, He will show you that you can seize your destiny with your thorn intact.
PRAYER: God, you have said that you will never leave me and will equip me for the calling you have on my life. Help me to not be distracted from my destiny by the things in my life that keep me humble and give me greater focus on you. AMEN