Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lie No. 9: I Can't Help The Way I Am

Whether there is a major issue in your life that you attribute to your upbringing or a past experience, or it is simply your daily attitudes and actions, I can almost guarantee that each and every one of us (including myself) have believed this lie through and through.

"Our house is so tiny, everything gets on my nerves."
"My job is so stressful, I can't help being irritable with my kids when I get home."
"It's that time of the month."
"My hormones are going crazy."
"I'm so exhausted; I just can't function."
"My parents never affirmed me, and I've never been able to feel loved."
"My mother and her mother were both manic-depressive; I guess it just runs in the family."
"I had an abusive childhood; I've never been able to trust people."
"My ex-husband constantly put me down; he destroyed my self-esteem."
p. 72

We have all claimed lies either exactly like these, or probably very similar, to try and explain why we do the things we do, why we are the way we are, rather than taking responsibility for our own actions. "Everyone should just know better than to try to talk to me before 9 in the morning." "I'm not responsible for anything I say or do when I first walk through the door after work; I'm hungry and tired and everyone should just understand that." The list goes on and on, just fill in the blank. The problem is, when we try to place the blame elsewhere, we begin to believe that it is outside our ability to fix the problem- if we didn't cause the problem, then surely we have no power to change it. But when we acknowledge that the responsibility is ours and ours alone, we then gain the power to do something about it.

While our experiences, past and present, have a great influence on our actions, they do not, by any means imaginable, control them. Only we can do that, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

"We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin... Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin... Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace." Romans 6:6-14

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