Throughout our lives, resentment, anger, worry, fear, and stress led us to react in ways that caused chaos in our emotions and relationships.  We hoped that controlling everything and everybody would protect us emotionally and physically. It didn’t.

And oddly enough, no matter the result, we reacted the same way each time. And surprise, we had the same horrible results.

I can remember as a kid, window shopping on a chilly evening with my grandfather.  We came to a hardware store and the lights were turned off making it difficult to see in the window.  My grandfather leaned over close to the window, trying to see and touched his nose to the cold window.  He jumped back and then leaned over and touched his nose to the cold glass again. 

Yep, the same result: He jumped back again.

As funny as that was to see, that behavior is an example of insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time.  Don’t worry; we’re not talking about being crazy, we’re talking about bad decision making. This begs the question, have we had enough of the results to make positive changes in our behavior?

Only you can answer that question, but I can show you some things from the Bible that will help you change your actions and decisions.  First, you must know the truth and Jesus makes it clear, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” (John 14:6).  You must believe that Jesus is the only power able to restore us to sanity, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  (Philippians 2:13)

If you’re one of those who say, “Life’s ok, it’s people I can’t stand.  They just don’t act the way they should or (truth be told) the way I want them to act.

Think about what Romans 15:7 says. “Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ accepted you.”

Ouch!!  That one hurt. 

I felt it big time.  We must learn to have reasonable expectations of others and ourselves.  Stop relating to others in the same old ways.  Look to God through prayer and the study of His word to learn how He would have you relate to others.  If I may suggest a simple prayer, “Father teach me to accept others as they really are, not as I would have them be!”

Once you begin to accept others, it becomes easier to stop fixing the blame on them for all of our mistakes and hurts.

I know that many things just happen in life, but have you stopped to think that how you react can make matters worse. And contribute to your depression and bad decision making.  If you choose to forgive and love like Jesus, your attitude will change to become an attitude of gratitude and joy.  

I hope you noticed I didn’t say happiness.  Happiness is dependent upon circumstances.  Joy comes from living like Christ and unlike happiness, joy lasts for eternity.

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By R H Clark

Ron is a retired pharmacist with 42 years of experience. He and his wife Kitty have been on mission trips to Thailand and Columbia. Ron lives in Rockport, TX and enjoys fishing, hunting, and riding motorcycles.

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