Titus 2:7-8 (NKJV)
“in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”
Have you ever been in a place where you are surrounded by stress or negativity? Maybe you work in a job where you are constantly dealing with angry questions or attitudes of the people that you are trying to help? How about not just working in an atmosphere which you dread, but having to live in one as well?
Most of us have encountered some level of this stressful environment from that brief moment to being constantly battered by it. How we react will definitely depend on the level and our experience in handling this type of pressure or situations. In today’s fast paced society it becomes difficult to trace our first time or just where the experience began.
Sometimes we may have to try to define our perspective or more so how we perceive what is happening. This also can be affected by the nature and the duration of that negative environment we are in. I have both lived and worked where it always feels like there is a dark cloud hovering overhead or I was constantly covered by a heavy blanket.
Perspective is only part of the equation with the rest being how you feel and ultimately how you react. Because if you see yourself in darkness or surrounded by negativity long enough you can become numb and don’t do anything. This is why you can’t be held captive or controlled by the situation, but you have to change something to where you are freed by it.
I’ve had those days where I wasn’t just in darkness, but also in water over my head with my arms getting tired from treading water. I’ve also had those days where my mind felt numb from all the negative input where it just wants to shut down. Many of us can come up with other descriptions of the places we see ourselves, but what we choose to do next can define us.
Even though it may seem like the easiest thing to do, giving up is not the option. Remember, we can’t lose sight of the value and the purpose we each have. We have to find or create what we can truly be by finding a starting place then move to the next area. Chip off that rough edge or uncover the potential that lies in each of us.
Take a moment to see where you are right now. Are you mostly good with only a few minor struggles to contend with or are you sitting in darkness with the water rising? Most of us will be somewhere in the middle with much depending on what the day brings you along the way. How hectic work is, what you find in the mail or hear when you get that phone call, maybe just trying to walk through your neighborhood without encountering an issue.
I found that many times I did not really hate what I was doing or where I was, I was just hoping for a better outcome. I had to learn that I could only control how I reacted or view my circumstance. I had to keep joy in my heart or just start with a more positive attitude. I struggled with this over the years, especially at work, till I went to the Lord for strength and guidance.
I made a conscious effort to not just pray to God, but talk to Him as well. I spent a lot of time on my knees, I stood and yelled my frustrations toward heaven, and I also just walked and talked with Him as a friend. The more I did this the clouds started to lift and the darkest shadows began to show signs of light.
I was led to Jeremiah 29:11 to find one of God’s promises for me, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” These are words that we long to hear from people in our lives, but often don’t. Who would not want thoughts of peace and not evil toward them or a future filled with hope? Even if we do not know it, this is something we all strive for. A life not filled with turmoil where we have a chance to succeed.
However, we cannot overlook the other forces that affect our lives because many are there every day. The shadows that are still in the corners could be that unreasonable neighbor, that antagonist at work, or even that unexpected phone call or piece of mail. Our perspective may not be too different, but this is where we have to change how we react or let it affect us. It is a process that took me back to scripture again.
There were days I would sit and pray through the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. It would focus me and help me prepare for my day. I also wrote down Luke 10:19 and carried it with me to read throughout the day. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
I found that when I asked God to be there with me and give me strength, I was able to start seeing things from a different perspective. Things were brighter and more joyful, especially when I followed Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,”
By giving God the glory I was no longer just focused on myself and letting others take away my value or what I can do. So, join me in changing your perspective and ask God to help you find that better outcome you are supposed to have. As you do please also enjoy “Community Value(s) Part III.”
COMMUNITY VALUE(S) (PART III)
Sometimes there are clouds hovering above us all throughout our day,
It can make everything feel dreary no matter what you do or say.
Each little thing can feel like another weight being place upon your back,
Especially if we are unaware it’s happening or there’s something that we lack.
The pieces that come together can leave us feeling trapped or bound,
Though it is very familiar, we still hope it will be different this time around.
It is always too easy to just give up or let yourself be held captive,
We can’t let the situation control us or force us to become inactive.
So no matter the tasks we face throughout the day we always have a choice,
We can just keep struggling within ourselves or in the Lord rejoice.
When we lift our eyes toward heaven the world will see a different view,
One that shows the honor and respect to which the Father is due.
His love is always there for us and we will feel our burdens lifted,
Our work will soon find new purpose from the grace we have been gifted.
As we honor God in everything we do whether we are at work or play,
We will find that better outcome that we have been searching for today.
Simple Faith Christian