Friday, August 31, 2012

Regain Your Balance

A young student once asked an accomplished fighter, "Teacher, you never lose your balance. What is your secret?"
"You are wrong," the teacher replied. "I am constantly losing my balance. My skill lies in my ability to regain it."

So often we focus on the bad in our lives. We talk about what's going wrong, what we fail to do well, and the one microscopic thing that we believe is our greatest fault. Focusing on the wrong things is like rejecting a piece of award-winning cake because the frosting around the edge is crooked. Although it's great to have self-awareness, it's important not to let that paralyze us from moving in the right direction!

A couple of nights ago, I got into an argument with my husband, Jonathan. We were talking about how I many times failed to listen to him, and many times added too much input instead of simply letting him air his feelings...and he was right. I didn't mean to do it, and I didn't realize I was doing it. I could have been really discouraged or embarrassed. I could have beat myself up for talking too much and told myself I was a terrible wife, or held in feelings of insecurity and resentment. I didn't though, because those things aren't true. I know my identity in Christ, and can therefore move in the right direction because I have the greatest teacher to learn from! If the purpose of our relationship is to resolve arguments, not win them, then isn't the correct response love? Jonathan was trying to help me, and I knew it. In that instant I could have tried to change him, or I could haven't owned my own fault in the situation. I could have fallen over and lost my balance, or I could fight to regain it. So...I decided right then that I would improve 10%. I probably wouldn't change overnight, but next time we had an argument, I committed to myself that I would be intentional to listen at least 10% better than I did the time before, because before long, I would be a world-class listener, right?! :)

So here's my question. What are you doing to grow by 10%? Where do you need balance the most in your life?

What about letting go of some control? Your quick reactions? Your uncaring attitude? The finance struggle you'll never win? Your sarcasm? Reigning in your tongue? Ouch. Hurts, huh? We all struggle at different things, but what can do to regain identity in Christ is equally important.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24

The real you is a hand-picked magnificent masterpiece of God and he had plans for you long before you were born. You are precious to him, and letting one small thing get in the way of knowing that would be the biggest tragedy there could possibly be. You, yes YOU, are an overcomer, and you can definitely improve by 10%! I don't even know some of you and I believe in you! Before you know it you'll be up to 80% and wonder how the change occurred so quickly. Believe in yourself, and allow God to show you where you should change yourself. You're worth the effort. Give yourself a chance.

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
 Ephesians 4:32


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your post! It's exactly what I needed to hear! :)

Maegan said...

Thanks for this great post. I struggle with remembering I'm God-made and that Christ already paid for my sins. I tend to beat myself up, instead of letting go and resting on what I know is right and just.
I will try to be easier on myself 10% more each time a negative thought pops to mind.

Thanks again!

Chelsey B said...

I love the thought of doing 10%. I always get so focused on changing 100% all or nothing, failing and then going back. Controlling my tongue with my sarcasm has been my toughest challenge. I'll keep my mind on 10% just that at first. Your awesome. Thank you

Sara Englehart said...

Immediately my attitude is what came to mind. Lately my attitude in general has just been embarrassing. I can hardly stand to even listen to myself and the negative and judgmental thoughts that come into my thoughts. I was seriously convicted last night during a worship service and was able to repent, but I did not think of how I would change. Thank you for this Michelle. I will now start with 10% of a more positive attitude. You inspire me. Always.

Sara Englehart said...

Also, something that God really spoke to me a few months back was what Paul says in 2 Cor. 12:9
"... my grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap & began appreciating the gift. It is a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness."

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