Our Thoughts Need To Match
Each and every day, for the past 13 years, I have watched myself and
countless others saying one thing and doing another. Most Christians want to believe
that their own behaviors are Christ-like, but this is not always the case.
"I know what I need to do, but I seem to have a problem
doing it!" This statement comes from individuals who talk to me on a daily basis
about their lives. Christians sin! Christians are forgiven! Any questions? Wouldn't it be
nice if it was that easy?
Five years ago when I arrived at New Hope, I thought my life was
OK. Chaos, confusion, and despair followed me, but that was normal in my life. What wasn't
normal is that when those feelings left, I missed them. I actually missed the sin in my
God doesn't want us to be confused. It demonstrates a lack of
faith. God doesn't want our lives to be chaotic. He finds it difficult to communicate with
us during the chaos in our lives.
But I had always felt that God wanted me full of despair. My
failures only showed God that I needed him. My lost sense of reality only proved that I
needed him to define it for me. This is where I found myself saying one thing and doing
another. Not walking the talk!
Life is full of problems. Each of us finds his own set of
problems. Then we try to deal with them. The problem starts with the word try. I have
spent years trying with little or no results. The word try has no action, and this is the
key to talking the talk and walking the walk.
I tried to get
sober for years; I kept on drinking. I tried to control my anger; I kept getting angry.
Then one day someone told me to try to pick up a book. I kept picking it up as they told
me to put it back down. I suddenly realized that trying to pick up the book meant that the
book would stay where I found it.
Now a picture
began to formulate in my mind. Here I was, full of despair, trying to seek out solutions,
putting God first, and things continued to stay exactly the way they were. Was it my lack
of faith? Was I praying for the right things in my life?
Then all of a
sudden it hit me. When I worry about the outcome of my problems, I do not have any faith.
This small revelation changed my entire life. I realized that you cannot step out on faith
and be worried at the same time.
answered my question concerning walking the walk and talking the talk. The cause of my
despair was not the lack of faith in my life, but forgetting to use it. When we worry we
can only focus on what might happen and what might not happen. This causes great anxiety
that allows us to waste the strength that God gave us to live.
person's anxiety is focused this way: 40 percent on things that will never happen; 30
percent on things about the past that can't be changed; 12 percent on criticism by others,
mostly untrue; 10 percent on health, which gets worse with stress; and 8 percent about
real problems that will be faced. It is important to remember that the closer you get to
your troubles, the smaller they look.
Most of us
would agree that our lives have had a lot of trouble, most of which never happened. In
Mathew, the 6th chapter, Jesus teaches us about worry. He gives seven specific reasons not
to worry. Verse 25 states:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or
about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body
more important than clothes? Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or
store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more
valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
The same God
who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life. Worrying about the
future hampers your efforts for today. Worrying is more harmful than helpful.
God does not
ignore those who depend on him. Worry shows a lack of faith in and understanding of God.
There are real challenges God wants us to pursue and worrying keeps us from them. Living
one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.
Each and every
day I step out on faith. My favorite daily quote helps me focus on the power of God.
"Dear God, don't let me get into anything today that you can't get me out of."
responsible for many things in life. It is, and continues to be, the main focus of atomic
weapons. Who has them? Will they use them? If they do, what do we do?
born in the 1950's, I witnessed my neighbors building bomb shelters because they were
worried about a nuclear war. Almost 50 years later, the same shelters sit unused, empty,
all a result of worry. Don't tell God how big your problems are; tell your problems how
big your God is.