How To Change What You Cannot Change In A Way You Would Not Expect
I laid outside in the baby pool while I stirred over the last conversation someone and I just had. They had frustrated me so badly, and I wanted to give them a piece of my mind. They take and take from me, yet I feel they seldom give back. To hold these feelings in would ultimately be torture for me, inevitably leading to my explosion. And most of the time, the igniting of my explosion is brought on by a very small disappointment. 'The icing on the cake', some call it. Nevertheless, I continued to dwell on all of these negative feelings, only to be brought lower emotionally by them.
Out of no where, a gentle reminder came from the Lord, and I decided that it would make for a beneficial hub.....even if to just one person.
So often we walk around in chains. These are spiritual chains we do not even realize we have until we are freed from them. These chains weigh us down so much spiritually, that eventually our physical beings suffer the repercussions. These bondage's are called bitterness, selfishness, and resentment. They are three very dangerous, and jeopardizing emotions that all of us have experienced at one time or another.
Now God has shown me before, what I'm about to share with you. But as humans easily forget those lessons learned, sometimes it just takes a whisper of God to perk our spirit to listen again to the advice He has so gently given times before. I love God for it. I smile now as I write this hub, though earlier, I felt I had nothing to smile about.
There will always be people in our lives who seem to take from us everything we have. They expect so much whether monetarily, emotionally, respectfully, or physically. They often drain us of everything we have and everything we are, leaving us feeling used, abused, neglected, and in low self-esteem. But Jesus was there. And he faced a variety of those people - in addition to many who mocked, beat, and murdered Him. He is not oblivious to how you feel, though He wants to change your mentality. In order to do that, you must be willing to listen to what He tells you, and one of the ways I know God speaks to me personally, is through others. So please heed my advise, because it comes from none other than God. It is not possible that It could come from a sinful human such as myself.
As God and I were talking, well, I was talking, He showed me how the feelings of resentment, bitterness, anger, and hurt I was feeling were bringing me down. "But I feel I have a right to feel this way". I have 'pleaded' with God using this statement many times before, to no avail.
Do the ways that you feel change the person who hurts you? My guess is no. Do the ways that you feel bring you to a higher level? My guess is they don't. So what benefit do they bring at all? Ah ha! I can answer that! None!
Those feelings we justify to God do absolutely nothing for our spirit, mind or heart, except give us more excuses for how we feel, and nag us at every turn. So I thought, 'what's the point in feeling this way?'. How do we change these feelings, because If your anything like me, changing these feelings is completely impossible within ourselves. So as I was venting to God, He showed me that what I was feeling was not HIS heart. His heart is giving, selfless, humble, kind, gentle, and forgiving. I realized those were all the feelings I would MUCH rather feel than what I was feeling at that moment. I shared that last sentence with God about my heart. I told Him how much I didn't like these feelings because I knew they were negatively affecting me, and in addition, not pleasing to Him. I realized that, though I couldn't change the way this person treated me that made me feel the way I did, I COULD change something else...my response. Responding positively in a negative situation is never easy. It takes the hand of God to do this. It also takes effort on our part, to step out and 'decide' to do the right thing WITH God's help. He won't just force our mouths to say the right thing, or force our hand to help someone. We have to make the decision to do it, and if it's difficult for us, to ask for His heart in it.
That is exactly what I prayed. I understood that if I asked God to give me HIS heart in the matter, and HIS heart toward these hurtful people, that I wouldn't care about my own feelings anymore because I wouldn't have my heart anymore. We may never change how someone makes us feel, but we can always ask God for His heart toward them.
As I laid there beneath the clouds, in the cool water, I asked God to give me a servants heart toward the people who continually bring me down or hurt me. I repented of how I had felt - those feelings of bitterness, resentment and anger - and asked Him to take my heart, scrape all the nastiness and ugliness from it, to create a beautiful loving heart toward those people. I cannot tell you how good that felt. I went from grumpy, woe-is-me Amber, to joyous Amber.
Right when I turned around, I was asked for, yet, another thing from this same person. This time the Lord was right there. I could have rejected the request. I thought about it for a minute. Then the Lord spoke something personal to me, followed by the knowledge of the fact that, if I did honor this request, regardless of how my flesh felt, I would be pleasing and honoring to the Lord. That is what I wanted to do, so I did it.
God knows how we feel and though he doesn't allow us to justify our feelings, He is not cold to them. When we are seeking to honor Him and need a boost in doing so, He is right there, speaking in His still, small, quiet voice (1 Kings 19:12). The Bible says in Psalms 32:8, 'I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will council you with my eye upon you.'
Those are the very words of the living God. How awesome to know He is right there when we need Him the most!
The next time you feel these unpleasant, ungodly emotions toward another, remember that they are of no benefit to you, and are actually harmful to your walk with the Lord. Ask God to change you. As long as someone is willing to change, good things will follow.
Prayer: If your going to change anyone, Lord, let it be me!