A friend sent me a link to a good documentary called The Fool. What I liked about it was observing how God can use things we perceive as failure and mistakes work towards spreading the gospel message and personal growth. If you watch the movie, you see that on more than one occasion Ray could have given up and said it’s too hard. The circumstance he found himself in would make most of us at least ask the question, God, should I be doing something else? Did I fail? We need to engage in self analysis but there is a fine line between self analysis and self loathing. Maybe it’s a big wide line for other people but often what started as “I could stand to lose a few pounds” turns into “I’m a glutton that has no self control and I’m clearly obese, hence why even try, I suck!”
Clearly some people aren’t like me, which is good, but I think it’s a slippery slope for many. I believe God illuminates certain areas of our life that need work, when that illumination happens, we have the power to choose how we react. Do we flip the illumination that was meant for good into self loathing and apathy? Can we look at our past and see a pattern concerning whatever the issue might be? Do we often or always react in the same manner when our spouse or friend brings up a certain issue with us? Do we get defensive and justify our reaction and our choices? At times that might be warranted but I can only share from my experience and I’m pretty sure that over 90% of the time people spoke the truth to me. The delivery of that truth might have been lacking, often I dismissed the truth in the message because it was delivered with anger, bitterness, or some other concoction of feelings.
When we speak to others, our statements might be truthful, yet truth can be cloaked underneath layers of animosity and therefore have a reverse effect and perhaps be an impetus for future behaviour that’s contrary to the change we want to see.
If we rewind back to the beginning of this post, faith stretching seasons are often just that, seasons that Christ uses to refine, teach, mould and sometimes we are broken so He can rebuild us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (or sound judgement). 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB).