If Only Things Were Different
Do our circumstances define us? This is a popular belief of which a number of us hold. That somehow, if things weren’t the way they are, that somehow we would be different. Otherwise, we tend to use our circumstances to excuse our actions.
We have begun to adopt the line of thinking that: Our circumstances make us what we are.
- I wouldn’t be angry if he or she had shown up on time.
- I wouldn’t be struggling to accept others if people I love had been more accepting of me.
- I wouldn’t be so untrusting of others if those I gave my trust hadn’t lied to me.
- I wouldn’t be so bitter if he hadn’t cheated on me.
What we are really saying is:
Someone or Something made me the way I am.
What we might fail to realize though is: In making the circumstances to blame, we always become the victim. Everything we say, do, think, or feel suddenly has an excuse regardless of those of others around us. We become so fixated on ourselves and our situations that nothing and no one else matters.
Most importantly, we become irresponsible.
Instead of recognizing and owning up to our own shortcomings, the blame falls on someone and something else. Instead of growing to be upright, faithful, obedient children of God we become masters of excuses and accepting of sin.
Our Circumstances Do…
Our circumstances don’t define us. Nor do they make us who we are. Rather, our circumstances reveal what we are.
So instead of focusing on the “if only’s” we need to be looking at the One who can see us through all circumstances.
We can never hope to be happy in any circumstance if we don’t find any joy in our current one.
Philippians 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Our circumstances may be beyond our control, but they don’t need to control us.
James 1:2-5New International Version (NIV)
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faithproduces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Crazy as it sounds, no matter our situation, joy can be found. It can be found in knowing that every situation we face has first been sifted through the fingers of our almighty God and that He never gives us more than we can handle.