Before I can accurately evaluate something that happens in my life, I’ve got to ask myself the question, “Is it a cause or is it a result?”
There is a lot that happens in life that we can’t control and there’s also a lot that we can control. Sometimes it’s easier to say that we couldn’t help what happened. But I would like to urge you to wait and think for a while before you say that. You see, if we accurately judge the situation, then we might be able to avoid it happening again.
Let’s talk about the ’cause’ first. Sometimes we can’t control what happens, but we can control how we handle it. The ‘how’ is more important than the ‘what’ because it determines how the incident will affect our future. If someone throws you in the pool, you can’t help that you got wet. Now, what happens after that is your choice. Either you stay in the pool and stay wet or you get out the pool and get dry. You decide that.
Let’s talk about some more serious real life past situations. Maybe you were abused as a child (verbally or physically or sexually). THAT WASN’T YOUR FAULT! You did nothing wrong! You were innocent, yet something happened to you that you did not initiate or deserve. How does one deal with that?
You start by accepting the fact that you can’t turn back the clock. You can’t change the past, but if you hold on to it, it will continue to hurt you every day for the rest of your life. You have to make a choice to let it go. When you forgive, it sets YOU free. If anything from your past has plagued your thought life, don’t let it hurt you anymore. Get free! Don’t stay in the pool. Get out! Forgiveness is a tool that the Lord gave us so we can get free from any wrong that was done or said to us. Use your tools! We could call it a ‘freedom tool’! It sets you free! And forgive yourself. You did nothing wrong.
Now, let’s talk about ‘result’ situations. Here’s the deal: we must be willing to take responsibility for our part in any situation. We must be able to look objectively at the situation and say (e.g.), “I realise that I said such-and-such, and that is what caused the arguement.” We must then also be willing to apologise if necessary and make the effort to change the way we handle that situation. You see, we don’t defend ourselves and then overcome. We don’t blame someone else and then overcome. We repent and then overcome. No repentance, no victory. That’s how life works.
If we grow in character through our mistakes and also through the things that happen that we have no control over, then we will always be victorious. You just cannot be defeated when you are always growing! Either you win or you l….earn. Yes, learn. You never lose if you have the right attitude.