Foolish people who do the same foolish things again are like a dog that returns to where it has thrown up.
Proverbs 26:11 (New International Reader’s Version)
Don’t let the cop-out, “That’s what I am” jeopardize what God desired for you to be!
Last night’s Facebook post by Me
Ever seen someone say or do something that makes you scratch your head, and when you ask them about it they say, “That’s what (or who, or how) I am”? It’s as if they give some “rationale” for their irrational behavior or talk. And the strange (and sad) part is that they think they’re normal!
One classic example is anxious behavior. Let’s say you have a loved one named who worries all the time. And on this particular day, she’s worrying over a financial issue. You go up to her and try to encourage her to trust in God’s goodness and care; not to worry over the issue. However, she tells you, “You gotta understand, that’s how I am, I get anxious!”
Now you look at your loved one and say, “Okay….,” however we’re a lot like her in similar or different circumstances. Many times we have attitudes, behaviors, or thoughts that keep us from what God has for us. And when confronted-like our friend above-we give some rationale defending such behavior. “That’s what I am” is a cop-out, plain and simple! It keeps us from having to confront issues in ourselves-if left unchecked-can be self destructive. Such an attitude will jeopardize what God could have us; and would want for us to grow into. We will ultimately get “stuck on stupid”-aptly described by the Scripture above. We’ll keep doing the same thing, giving the same explanation, yet going nowhere in the end….missing out on what God had for us because of who we “are”…
Sucks, don’t it?
Like in the above scenario, our friend justifies her anxious attitude. Then every time some challenge comes along, she reacts anxiously and her mind shuts down to any possibilities before her. She’ll find herself going nowhere as she is stuck in a stupid place that slowly disempowers her. She may get into addictive behaviors as “self-medication” to calm herself. Her health will decrease as her anxiousness turns into anxiety, which produces stress hormones that lead to numerous illnesses. She may also push away positive people that may have been willing to help her move forward. As time progresses, she’ll block any blessings or destiny that God had ordained for her. She may end up living a go-nowhere, disempowering, life. Like I asked: sucks, don’t it?
Today, let’s take the time to confront this issue inside us and see what it really is: a cop-out. We must look at ourselves honestly and see why are we acting such? Could it be some learned defense mechanism with childhood roots? Could it be that we’re afraid of vulnerability in some areas of our lives, so we put on these fronts? Or, do we really trust God with our lives? These are the issues-and probably others-that lie beneath our “That’s what I am” rationale that we need to bring forth and confront.
Also, if we confront this issue, we may start getting answers to questions that nag us deep inside: Why am I always broke? Why am I never getting over ____ illness? Why do my relationships suck? Why do I seem to be going around in circles in life? Why do those who have less than me do more? We may find that these questions stem from the “That’s what (who/how) I am” attitude and are keeping us from real God-given living. As we confront this, we can bring it to God in prayer and mediation; He/She will open our minds to positive alternatives that could bring us in line with what God truly wants for us: the abundant life.
Life is too good to be stuck on stupid and wreck what God has for us. Let’s move beyond that so we can truly live the abundant life God has for us!
(Photo: Abandoned House. Plainfield, NJ. 2017)