Have you ever been ‘stuck’?
R is for: Remembering only the negative things that people say about us and reflecting on (meditating on) the wrong thoughts that enter our minds.
I used to have a very, very hard time with this one, because I would get stuck on the negative words and actions of others. When I was little, I wanted to get revenge. As I grew older, I spent too much time reviewing negative incidences; trying to figure out what I could have said or done differently. Then God’s Word taught me the importance of putting the past behind me and pressing on towards the mark and purpose God had for my life.
Okay, I hate to admit it to you… but … I’m not perfect.
(Whew!! That took a lot out of me, but you know what they say, “Confession is good for the soul!” You won’t believe it, but it took me over forty years before I could look myself in the mirror and admit this horrible truth! LOL! I can laugh out loud now, but not back then.)
I used to beat myself up constantly when I made mistakes. This certainly did not allow the best in me to shine. In fact, one day I was giving myself a good ‘talkin to’ in my head (you know what I mean). I had pulled out the emotional whip and was in the midst of a good old-fashioned beat-down, buying into what the enemy was telling me about my failures and imperfections when my son telephoned me. After talking with me for a little while, he interrupted my ‘oh, woe-is-me’ session with great disappointment in his voice. “Mom, he said. “Why didn’t you invite me?” Of course, I was totally confused. “What are you talking about son? Invite you to what?” was my response. “The party,” he said. “I could have at least brought the chips and salsa.” Exasperated, I replied, “ What party.” “The pity party,” he replied. All you could hear was silence on the phone.
Suddenly I hooped! He fell out laughing. We both laughed until I cried. And then he gave me a different perspective about my situation and I felt so much better.
“Come cry with me!”
Let’s face it. No one wants to be around a pitiful, complaining, negative person for very long. That kind of attitude can bring everyone around you down. It’s like a contagious spirit that can leave everyone you talk to feeling like they have been beaten up. Without a doubt, learning how to forgive yourself is a wonderful gift that God, and those who love you, would definitely approve of. “I’m so dumb.” “You’d think I’d have better sense than that.” “No wonder nobody loves me.” “I wouldn’t love me either.” On and on we can go, until we are swimming in a pool of misery and depression. I mean, if we overheard someone talking about us the way we talk about ourselves, we wouldn’t like it at all.
I am so glad that these days, it’s my desire to forgive myself right away, so I won’t be tempted to live in condemnation. God’s Word assures us that if we are walking daily with God and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us, there is no condemnation on God’s part towards us. He doesn’t beat us up when we blow it. He doesn’t put us down. Rather, Almighty God says in His word that when we make the wrong decision, come to Him, and ask for wisdom, and He will give it to us in abundance.
We don’t have to walk around with a dark cloud of pity circling over our heads. God knows that we are still in the process of being transformed. He knows that He is going to finish changing us. He sees us through the cleansing blood of His Son. Christ’s righteousness puts us in right standing with our Heavenly Father, because we trust in Christ. In fact, because we love His Son, God the Father justifies us, treating us just as if we had never sinned in the first place.
So what do I do these days? I do my best to ask God and others for their forgiveness when I sin. I thank God for forgiving me (He says that He is faithful to forgive us of all our sin). Then, I ask Him to help me to listen better in the future and to be more obedient. If I make a mistake, I try to relax my heart, love myself in the midst of my imperfection, and remember that God loves me, mistakes and all. I chalk it up as regrettable moment and try to learn from it. This is much better that beating myself up for days.
I’ve learned that dwelling on the negative prevents me from hearing God’s voice. If I meditate on problems, the problems appear bigger than God and insurmountable. However, if I find scriptures that pertain to my problem, meditate on God’s Word, and trust Him, I can have peace in the midst of the storm, while God is working. I can hear His instructions, as He tells me what to do or not to do in life’s circumstances.
What should I think on instead of my mistakes or negative things that have happened in my past? I can think on the bright future that God assures me He has written in His book of life for me. I can choose to think about God’s character and how much He cares for me. I can think about the favor He wants to extend to me. I can think about all of his many promises. I can see obstacles as opportunities for God to move and work a miracle with His grace.
And so can you.
Getting stuck in the bad experiences of my life can cloud my vision of the future. Even dwelling on my past successes can swell my head like a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Therefore, it’s extremely important that I ask God to help me to see my past and present soberly and realistically, then get excited about what He is going to do, in spite of my past and present. This is the one way I have found of getting rid of a little more dirt, as I continue this journey.
I want to think about, meditate on whatever things are lovely, excellent, and of good report. I want to live expecting His promises to overtake me at any moment. I want to keep the past where it belongs, in the past. Yep, I want to enjoy the journey. How about you?
Okay, that’s enough for today!
T. of D.I.R.T. is on the way! Until then, instead of getting stuck on remembering the negative, I encourage you to choose to allow your mind to be a reflection of God’s love. It’s another way to etj3.
Question for today – How many times today have you chosen to meditate on thoughts that were lovely and of good report?
Scriptures to consider today:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19a [NIV]
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 [KJV]
Colossians 3:3 – 3 For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. [AMP]
Philippians 2:14-15 – Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], 15 That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world [AMP]
Hebrews 8:12 – For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more. [AMP]
See also: Psalm 98:1-3
© 2009 God’s Perspective Publishing
This post has been republished from the archives in case you missed it. Come back soon! You don’t want to miss the ‘t’ in d.i.r.t.!