My mantra of late: Adversity = The Opportunity For Integrity & Character to Shine.
I have a circumstance right now that is serious in nature and could potentially alter my family’s life for a long time. It feels that my family and I are being “wronged”. And nothing –nothing! –compares to a Livid Mama Bear whose Cub is threatened.
The real problem is how I catch myself responding. My devoted mind to Christ wants to behave the right way even in the face of someone else behaving (to my opinion) wrong. However, my heart and my mind are in complete opposition; The Bible warns us repeatedly that our hearts can be deceived, so I find that I must repeat my mantra over, over, over, and over all day long every day.
“Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, ‘Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.’ ” (Mat. 12:25)
It doesn’t get much more obvious than that: To allow these evil thoughts or actions to continue would tear both our families apart.
But, oh my, …
Hateful, hateful thoughts pop in with no warning to the point that I’m even surprised by them! Most of the time I have to literally stop whatever I am doing (even if I’m walking, driving, etc) and say out loud “Okay Lord, my thoughts have run astray. I cannot keep these out of my mind on my own, I need your help! Clear these so that my wrong thoughts do not lead to wrong actions.”
I’m called to be the peacemaker even during the worst: “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:18)
To try to control the situation or to try to “win” against another would only be a nonverbal statement that I don’t trust God. It wouldn’t show my integrity, it would show a lack of character. It would demonstrate to my children the value of winning instead of the value of loving thine enemies. They say morals are caught, after all, not taught.
The Bible tells us we must lead our hearts; so everyday I consciously choose to continue fighting my invisible attacker–I continue to ask God to clear the bad thoughts from my mind and to change my heart. My hope is that the Lord makes something beautiful out of the ashes of this lose-lose situation we face. I pray for strength to maintain my dignity in the face of a verbally and publicly abusive opponent. (I’m being slandered on the popular social media as we speak)
I wonder if this opportunity will help me lead others to Jesus? What is God’s plan? How can I use this to bring Him glory? Am I being pruned?
“But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.” (Micah 4:12)
I know that God has this in His hand and my small part of His victory is to do the right thing, but it is oh so much harder than it sounds. No matter what happens to us here, our reward for being peacemakers and trusting Him is in Heaven. ….. ….
Please pray for me.