Someone said this to me recently- typed it, actually, on a message.
“Life has been good to you.”
This is a kind thing to say. The statement SHOULD bring forth gratitude, reflection, and a gracious response, no?
That is not how my mind and heart responded.
My first thought was, “What has happened in your life that MY life looks good?”
I honestly shocked myself by that response. I was instantly ashamed.
The ingratitude and victim-hood snarled up in that thought are nauseating to me. It is everything I hate about the world.
Why couldn’t it just be a nice thing to hear to which I responded in gratitude? Why did my mind go to a negative place?
I know the answer and it’s not pretty. In that moment, jealousy surfaced.
From my perspective, the person who made this kind remark is someone who has what I consider the framework of security in this life- long term marriage, financial security, home ownership, job security, family close by-all the things we all want…
There are things in my life that have not turned out like I wanted. This person seemed to have it all. Maybe you can relate?
I could have pretended I didn’t have that thought- like pretending I didn’t just see bugs scatter to cracks and shadows when turning on a light in a dark room.
If we push aside the discomfort of a revealed truth, we are lying to ourselves. It is like saying we didn’t just see filthy insects all over the floor.
How does that serve us?
Here’s the truth: the ugliness is still there whether we acknowledge it or not.
We need these moments to show us what needs attention on the inside- the lies from the enemy that we are believing, the idols we turn to instead of God, things that bring despair and steal hope. These are the things that are not of God and that take us from the best He has for us.
Jesus tells us in the New Testament that out of the overflow of our heart, the mouth speaks. In my case, it was my mind speaking from the overflow of a heart not grounded in a perspective that recognizes God’s goodness and faithfulness.
We are in charge of our emotions and thoughts, despite what we feel or think. We have the choice to pursue a line of thought that can lead to an emotional death spiral, OR, we can reject it with truth. It takes intentional effort to root out the negative thought and belief patterns. We have to want differently for ourselves before we can manifest a different outcome.
What a gift to have this uncomfortable moment to reveal to me what needed to be examined, rejected, and replaced with truth.
God is merciful to allow us these moments of clarity. Instead of raining down judgement, He gives us the opportunity for a new direction. That is grace, my friends.
Let’s be honest with ourselves when these unexpected reactions surface and not miss the moment for growth when it comes.
Remember that you are not alone on your journey. I may know you or we may never meet in person on this side of eternity, but there is unity in being children of God. Consider the words of Psalm 136:26 today as all move forward to the new year, “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His faithfulness is everlasting.”