Thursday, March 22, 2007

TWO THINGS I'VE LEARNED



From my friend, the Simple Witness:


1) I can't control the decisions, actions, thoughts or feelings of others.

2) The only one I have charge of is myself.Yeah, I know...for many of you these are obvious lessons. Though I have heard them many times before...phrased in one way or another...I am learning them again...as if for the first time.

It's soooo dang hard when someone who is important to you doesn't respond in the way you want them to. It's easy to disguise our "want" of their behavior as something they "should" do or "could" do if they loved us enough...or something that anyone else "would" do under the circumstances. And it is so easy to "blame" that person for not doing what I want.

The truth is that the behavior of that other person is not under my control and as much as I WANT them to do the thing the way I WANT...my WANTING doesn't make it so...no matter how hard I try. So, even though this is a painful reality...it is also freeing.

At least now...if I pay attention to what the person is really saying or doing...I have reality. And by acknowledging reality, I can act on it!

I think Jesus gave us this example often. When the disciples were cowering and fearful in the boat. He didn't waste time whining at them to knock it off and take charge. He commanded the storm to stop. When the Pharisees lacked compassion on the Sabbath...He did not spend hours laboring through each law refuting it's validity. He healed a man in the midst of them. When faced with centuries of inequities toward women, Jesus did not pity them by reinforcing a victim mentality, but rather forgave the adultress, spoke publicly to the woman at the well, healed the unclean woman with the issue of blood, and gave to a woman (rumored to be a prostitute) the first witness of Him as the risen Christ.

I am learning again that we have a choice. We can either spend our lives blaming others for hurting us, keeping us down, or framing our injured identity...OR...

We can take charge of our own lives...living out the image of God in which we were created...and take on each day with courage.

It doesn't mean it's easy...but I'm finding...that by the grace of God...it can be done!


Check out Simple Witness' blog regularly.