Life is hard and does not apologize for what it gives you. In a word, it’s hard—on everybody. There are no exceptions to this rule, but you do have a choice. You can choose to resent how things are going for you, or you can flip a negative narrative and make a difference in your world. What are you going to do: complain or be a difference-maker?
One of the most potent truths you’ll ever learn is that life is not primarily about what it has dealt you but how you respond to the disappointments that come your way. Those two reactions to life’s problems are worlds apart. The fantastic news is that you have the ability and intelligence resident inside of you to live in such a way that you can put God’s name on display regardless of your circumstances.
Of course, you could do as I did when I was a teenager. I had no mature mentor and no understanding of this transformative truth. As a 15-year old angry teen, I was sitting in jail for my awful decisions. It did not have to come to that, but I would not own my responsibility for the choices I had made. All I could do was blame others for my problems. The victim mentality is your worst enemy, and I gave in to that temptation.
It was so easy to blame others for what was wrong with me because, quite frankly, some of the people in my life did me wrong. When you mix disappointment with a legitimate complaint, you’re on the doorstep of victimhood. Do not take that next step.
The bad things that have happened to you do not have to define you. What if you transcend your troubles by allowing Christ to transform you? The best choice you’ll ever make is to follow Jesus. You will submit to someone or something. Let His name be yours. Join His family. He will be glad to adopt you and give you a new identity.
Time to Reflect
1. How do you usually respond to your disappointments? I’m not speaking of isolated episodes, but your regular pattern of reacting to challenges.
2. What is one thing you can do to flip a negative narrative in your life? How can you turn a negative into a positive?