Recently I was praying about a situation that came up with one of my children. (Gosh having a teenager and a young adult child will keep you on your knees!) I didn’t know what to do or say to help. I was looking for something profound, something I’ve never said before – something that would make my child stop and say, “Oh my gosh! I’ve never thought of that before! That’s the answer!”
So as I was praying for this magnanimous collection of wisdom, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Go back to the basics.”
Ummmm, not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to sound super smart. “Go back to the basics” sounded pretty boring. And to which basics exactly should I go?
“Focus on Jesus. Love Him. Serve Him.”
Ooohhhh, those basics.
How can a problem so complex be resolved with such a simple answer? Because the answer is extremely complex itself.
It sounds so easy – just love Jesus and everything will be OK. We all know that’s not how life is because everyone doesn’t love Jesus 24/7, and Jesus Himself told us we would have trouble in this world. We are all sinners, we all have our moments where we break away from the protection Jesus offers and stray to our fleshly desires of greed, superiority, anger or about a gazillion other sins.
And we love to jump on the other person we picture waking up every day and scheming on how to make our lives miserable with every stir of the creamer in their coffee. “She didn’t… He did this…” We so quickly jump on the faults of others because it gives us a feeling of superiority and justification for our own sinful actions. And let’s be honest – throwing the focus on the other person is so much easier than taking a long hard look in the mirror at ourselves.
We cannot change others, we cannot make them the way we want them to be. Gosh knows we’ve all tried that with someone, haven’t we? All we can do is focus on our own relationship with Jesus, love Him with all our hearts and serve Him every day. Sounds easy, but with the world tugging on our outstretched praying arms we feel like it’s a struggle some days.
We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves. When we don’t tap into the power of the One who overcame the grave, every day small sins and problems mushroom into bigger sins and problems. Jesus overcame death, people. Why don’t we think He can help us overcome the biggest problem in our lives? What problem do we face that is bigger than rising from the dead?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Struggling with an issue today? Let go of what you want someone else to do or be. Go back to the basics of focusing on the only One who can help you to overcome the pulls of this world so that you can be who you were really were meant to be.
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