My mind has been filled this morning with ponderings about how we can still be happy as things go wrong in our lives (large of small things). Just 5 minutes ago, I got another opportunity to see if I can really do this. Here’s what just happened.
I just locked my keys in my car with the engine running. I’ve called a locksmith to come to let me in my car. Now, this can be a very frustrating occurrence, right? Can lead to a small portion of discouragement, depression, anxiety. Let’s see if we can figure out why such an event might cause these feelings? Well, it’s not directly because of the event itself. It’s because of the THOUGHTS WE THINK (in our natural, not supernatural selves) regarding such an event. I’ll give a few examples of thoughts we might think about such an event that might create these bad feelings. But, please note that each of the thoughts (the ones that create bad feelings) are actually ALL untrue and contrary to what God says. Watch…
I’M EMBARRASSED BECAUSE I LOOK STUPID TO MY WIFE AND TO OTHERS WHO WERE PRESENT AND SAW ME DO THIS. I ACTUALLY DO THINGS LIKE THIS MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE.
I REALLY CAN’T AFFORD THE $55 FOR THE LOCKSMITH. JUST ONE MORE WAY I KEEP WASTING MONEY. I WONDER IF MY WIFE AND I MAY END UP POOR. THIS WILL MEAN I WAS A POOR PROVIDER FOR HER.
EVERYTHING GOES WRONG FOR ME. I GET SO TIRED AND DISCOURAGED TRYING TO AVOID AND THEN DEAL WITH PROBLEMS LIKE THIS. LIFE DOESN’T SEEM FAIR TO ME.
I SURE DO MESS UP A LOT OF TIMES. IT’S NO WONDER MY LIFE DOESN’T GO RIGHT.
BECAUSE I HAVE TO TAKE THE TIME TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM, I PROBABLY WON’T GET THE OTHER THINGS DONE TODAY THAT I NEED TO DO. THIS KEEPS HAPPENING. I’M ALWAYS BEHIND. I’M A BIT ANXIOUS THAT I’M FAILING IN THE TASKS OF MY LIFE BECAUSE I CAN’T “KEEP UP”.
Each of these “thoughts” seems very much like what we may think when we do something like locking keys in a car that’s running. Yet, none of them is true according to God. They only appear true when seen through the lens of a worldview other than God’s. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to offer the Bible verses that show that the five “thoughts” above are untrue. But, if you want to talk about it, I can offer those verses.
I practice every day to replace untrue thoughts like those above with the Truth that God offers. I’m trying to conform my mind to God’s Truth. But, I don’t really do this to become a”better Christian” or because God requires it of me. I do this because I find that all of my emotional pain comes from believing things that aren’t true according to God. God’s Truth, indeed, does set me free every day from mini and major bouts of depression and anxiety. I can’t control circumstances or events. But, I can work on my thoughts/beliefs. And it’s thoughts/beliefs that cause happy or sad FEELINGS. Don’t overlook this vitally important principle, if you want to be a happy person. I do.
Most people think that unfortunate circumstances create depression and anxiety. This is not true. It’s what you THINK/BELIEVE above those circumstances that create positive or negative feelings. This is why two different people can have a similar catastrophic experience. Yet, one is devastated by it and one copes with it quite well.
I’ve found it to be very hard work to believe correctly. But, this hard work is a lot less painful than living in depression/anxiety/frustration/hatred/anger/fatigue/un-settled-ness/weakness.
Am I making too big a deal about “believing correctly”? Well, remember that when Jesus was asked something like “What must we do to do the works that God requires of us?”, he answered, “Believe the one He has sent.” (meaning Jesus). This means not only work toward believing Jesus is Lord, messiah, son of God, etc. It also means to believe WHAT he says.