Attention everyone: the world is not against you.
It’s become so normal for me to respond to “How are you?” based on how my day is going. Or more importantly, how things are going for me that day. On a day when my friends are paying attention to me, my customers at work are nice, and my siblings are behaving, I would say my day is going well. On a day when my boss is being unreasonable, I’m feeling ignored by my friends, and something doesn’t go as planned, I’m more likely to respond saying “I’m okay, I guess.”
It’s taken me a while to realize just how normal it is for me to be fickle with how I’m feeling. Hour to hour, things change. Being upset, of course, isn’t a bad thing. Things in life are bound to get us down sometimes. But I can’t help but think we’ve become accustomed to letting our emotions run our lives, so much so that we can’t push past a little bad news and make the most of a day.
I’ve let circumstances define me. I’ve let myself become a victim because I think I deserve better than I get. I’ve become accustomed to this sense of entitlement, that when things don’t go as planned, it feels wrong to me. But here’s the thing.
I’m not owed anything in my life. Everything I have or don’t have is a direct result of God’s plan for my life, whether or not I’m in favor or it. God’s gifts are purely gifts. The things I do or do not get are not necessarily punishments and rewards for the things I do. Yes, God rewards those who are faithful to him. But that doesn’t mean that every good thing in my life comes because I’m being good and being rewarded.
Christians do this all the time. When life is peachy and we’re getting everything we think we deserve for being good people, we’re likely to think that we’ve done something right and God is rewarding our behavior. But when a tragedy happens, friends leave, money is low, or we aren’t where we want to be, we think “Crap, what did I do to deserve this?”
Our God is one who delights in blessing us with every good thing. We don’t stop to think that the things that seem to not fit in our lives are actually perfectly in place. When we presume to know what’s best for our lives, we forget that God is the one in control. So when life isn’t going according to our plan, we think something is wrong. So of course it makes sense that our circumstances rule our moods.
Facebook emotions are a perfect example. “It’s raining.” Feeling annoyed. “My boyfriend isn’t texting me.” Feeling sad. “
Of course it’s normal to feel down if things are hard. But I think we’ve become too entitled to “having a bad day” that we don’t do much to push through it. The last two weeks were really hard for me, and I slipped into a state of complacency. I was too weighed down by my circumstances to remember that we’re called to rejoice always. Always doesn’t mean just when things are in our favor. It doesn’t mean when things are hard but you feel strong enough to handle it. Always means always. Rejoice always is something we hear so often. It lost it’s practical application to me. Life is a big exciting adventure that can’t be fully experienced when we’re letting our emotions run our lives. We need to get over this sense of entitlement, acting like victims, and press on to what life holds.

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