The sinful actions that we took a look at yesterday don’t just spring out of nowhere. They come from our sinful thoughts and attitudes. Today we will examine some of these, represented by the branches and the trunk of our tree graphic.
In our example yesterday, we labeled our tree with three outward actions: yelling, lying, and tuning others out. Today we want to ask what thoughts and attitudes lead to these actions. In the cases of yelling and lying, we might find that these really spring from a fear of being rejected by others. We might be yelling to try to justify ourselves—to somehow “get through to them” that we are in the right. And we might lie to make ourselves look better in the eyes of other people or to avoid conflict. If these are the thoughts and attitudes that produced these actions, then you would write “Fear of rejection” on the trunk or branch of the tree graphic. In the case of tuning others out, it might come from a self-focus, or seeing yourself as the most important person. If that is so, you would write “Self-focus” and “Self most important” on the trunk or branches of the tree graphic.
Begin to ask yourself today what you are thinking. What are the thoughts and feelings that are behind your actions? Yesterday, you may have been able to list some of the outward signs of sin, such as losing your temper, being critical, or wasting your time in front of the TV. Now go back to your tree and fill in not only the fruit of sinful behaviors, but also the thought processes that produced the fruit. (Use the printed images from Day 1 or draw a simple tree. Use today’s image as a sample to follow.) Here are a few questions to help trigger your thinking:
Are you consumed by what others think of you?
Are you concerned that you aren’t measuring up?
Do you feel the need to be perfect?
Are you distracted by the television, the internet, shopping?
Are you feeling sorry for yourself?
Are you afraid? Worried?
James 1:23-25 ~ For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
God is showing me so much of where I need to be better. The reflection is sometimes ugly on the surface but He’s revealing to me the beauty and grace He has reserved just for me. A new thing, a new perspective, a new peace and understanding engrossed in the ills of the world and my surroundings, He’s tapping in and saying look at yourself girl, all that’s happening around you, YOU need to change the things that aren’t of me before you can expand beyond your immediate circumstances. It’s not often a comfortable place but it’s a necessary one to impact change and open the door to the promises we sabatoge. I’m starting now, battered but empowered. For His glory. He is able. Declaring victory and peace in my life. It’s already done. Love and blessings!
Prayer: Most Precious Lord Jesus, Gentle And Wonderful God, Truly Awesome And Ever-present Holy Spirit, Precious Lord Jesus, I love you. I praise your name even when the chaos of my life means I don’t know whether I am coming or going. My life is a harried and pressure-filled mess right now. Help me live more at peace with myself, with others, and most of all, with you. When I start to lose hope amidst the pressures of my life, stop me for a moment and call upon my heart to look up to you. When I start to lose hope amidst the pressures of my life, stop me for a moment and call upon my heart to listen to your sweet voice telling me how much you love me. When my harried life afflicts me hour after hour, remind me how your peace is just a prayer away. All these things I humbly pray in the name of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, my Mighty God, and my Ever-present Holy Spirit upon whom I can rely. Amen!
Written by: Cybill
Living at peace…OnPurpose!!
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