Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Familiar Shadow

Do you ever choose the unhealthy thing (act, item) just because it’s familiar?

Familiarity is comfortable because we know what to expect. It feels safe, even if it’s actually far from safe. And when we feel safe and comfortable, oftentimes we feel secure. Again, even if the choice is indeed sabotaging us.

I was listening to a song the other day whose lyrics keep coming back to me.

Give up the comfort
of the familiar shadow

Do you give in to negative thoughts just because they’re what you’ve always done? Like an internal default mode? Maybe you grew up with negative voices around you. Complaining. Criticizing. Things start going well and you can’t cope because you’re anxious about the “bad thing that’s coming.” So you revert. Just because being negative is familiar.

In the case of pessimism, changing your tune to optimism might seem frightening because 1) people closest to you might not accept the change (they might mock your attempt or question you motives, drawing unwanted attention); 2) you might not feel genuine, (but the more you do it the more genuine your words will become); or 3) you might feel like a target for the enemy to come and wreak havoc in your life. Like a bulls eye goes up when you say "thank You, God, for what's happening in my life." Or, in the case of a trial: "I believe this is going to work out well. I can’t see it now, but I know God works things together for my good. So, I’m just going to push forward and watch what God does."

Remember, change brings freedom.

Choose the wholesome, beneficial option (emotionally, physically, even financially) one decision at a time. Step into something new for the sake of positive change in your life and watch how things turn around. I heard once that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Well, it’s probably not psychologically sound, but that definition certainly is logical. If you want to see positive changes in your life, make more positive choices.

Ask God for grace to live according to His Word. Just like anything in the Christian life, we can’t do it without God’s help. Sure, people can live “positively,” but in order to have a lasting, deep transformation, God’s Holy Spirit must be involved. If you’ve been comforted by a familiar shadow, turn it over to God, let His light shine on your life, both exposing those shadows (tendencies) and then showing you how to change. Then, the only step left is leaving that shadow behind in favor of His light.

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