Monday, February 6, 2012
...Whatever is Right...Part 2
I hate introductions.
I also hate waiting, freezing, dieting, weird hair growth (and not on my head), pimples and the fact that I may never have a biological child. I hate those things deeply. Passionately. And even though I've declared this stupid disease will never own me, I've had days when I stare in the mirror and feel like I'm suffocating under a list of ridiculous symptoms.
I cry. A lot. I feel alone and forgotten. I forget to ask for knowledge, and remember that I wouldn't be able to identify knowledge if it hit me in the face. I feel hopeless. And then? Then, I get very, very angry.
Sometimes, on really bad days, I rant to God. I tell Him that I know He can, so why won't He? I ask Him to direct my path, but rarely believe He actually will. I ask Him to make it stop--whenever and however that's possible.
And that particular attitude follows me into every. single. relationship. It pursues me through my classroom doors. It sits next to me in church. It buckles up in my car on the ride home.
Because no matter how I look on the outside, my heart? Often feels like a dark, ugly shade of gray.
Since my days at U of I (circa 2001), I've working to "take captive every thought" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Beth Moore's Breaking Free was the first indication I even needed to consider my thought life. Eleven years later, I wished I would've processed the lesson in its entirety.
When it comes to "right," it's easy to gloss over the concept of right thinking or right attitudes, but the Bible has a lot to say about our thought lives.
Hebrews tells us that God "judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (4:12). Paul reminds us that, in giving, attitude is as important as the gift (2 Corinthians 9:7). We are reminded to put off our old selves and "to be made new in the attitude of your minds" (Ephesians 4:23).
Those few examples are enough evidence to convince me that our focus on something right isn't just supposed to lead to right action. It's supposed to generate right thinking.
I'm not entirely sure that right thinking is always positive thinking, but I know that it is God-centered--in recognition of who He is and what He can do.
Attitude clamps me in manacles. I get my feelings hurt easily. I dwell on those hurts. I pull away and isolate myself to avoid subsequent hurt. And then...then, I think about all the ways I've been wronged. I wallow. I stew. But rarely, if ever, do I consider what is right in the perameters of my mind.
And I desperately need a reminder.
Bad attitudes fester. They become malignant. Without treatment, they will invade every part of life until it's impossible to see any light at the end of any tunnel. In fact, it becomes impossible to see the tunnel at all.
It turns my mind to what I know about Him. That He is good. That I belong to Him. And, I hope, it's the reminder I need to put the effort into taking my thoughts captive so I can finally think "right."
Whatever is Pure