Monday, November 24, 2014
The D Word
Nobody really likes that word because it has such a negative connotation to it. We might think of our childhood or even in rearing our own children when we might have been grounded or when daddy went to grab the belt. But, the kind of discipline we are going to talk about is not one we need to fear. It is actually one we should embrace because it comes from our Heavenly Father and he wants nothing more than the absolute very best for our lives. If we will only heed his pruning, pursuing, direction, and yes, even discipline, we will reap a bountiful harvest in our lives. Just look at what Hebrews 12:11 says about it:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
I went through a period of time where God was disciplining and pruning me in the area of my emotions. One summer, God began to peel the layers back like an onion and revealing the underlying problems under every emotion, feeling, and reaction I was having towards my family. I never realized how much I allowed myself to be controlled by my emotions. I would speak hurtful words and make irrational decisions based on what I felt in the heat of the moment. It constantly threw me into vicious cycles of pathetic attitudes, pity parties and always crying “Why me?” When really it was me that was the problem, not other people. I needed to learn to hold in the reins and taper off the knee-jerk reaction to spit out the first thing that would come to my mind. Whether it be right or wrong, true or not, you were going to hear it!
I began reading an incredible book God laid on my heart by Joyce Meyer, who is one of my favorite Christian authors, called Living Beyond Your Feelings. I swear that book was written just for me! The biggest revelation I received when reading that book, that no one ever had told me, was that however I feel when I wake up or in any given moment during the day, I do not have to submit to that feeling or emotion but instead can CHOOSE differently…better.
I say all this to say that before you can ever learn to be at peace with anyone else, you need to learn to be at peace with yourself. I saw what I was doing to myself and to those around me, and I didn’t like it. I even got to the point where I did not like me very much. Thank God that He intervened when He did. I began to learn to be at peace with me.
First, He had to undo this tangled mess of emotions that wrapped around me and it was not an overnight thing. Day by day, I received a new revelation, a new word. The more time I spent in His Word, the more it would truly reflect back to me the image of the woman He created me to be. Through that process, He began to take out all the junk: bad attitudes, poor decision making, irrational thinking, overreactions, spiteful words…yea it was ugly.
He began replacing those bad attitudes with joyful attitudes, loving responses, careful decision-making, and wise words of wisdom. My internal dialogue began to change about the world around me, when I began to make an effort to change it about myself. God began with disciplining me from the inside out.
This was an excerpt from Arm Yourself: Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God. Click here to order your copy today!