Are you a victim, a child of the age of wrath? Or are you a disciple, a son of the age to come?
A disciple knows that even his perceived victimhood in this age is only temporary.
Years ago I picked up something from Tony Robbins that remains immensely helpful:
STATE effects STORY,
and STORY effects STATUS
The way that you feel tells you a lot about who you think you are, and who you think you are determines many things about the way you feel. This is a double-edged sword. Ignore your feelings, and ignore your “self.” Then again, listen to your feelings, and set adrift on a winding sea.
Slicing in both directions is the sociological notion that the best way to create a new habit (that is, to act against natural feelings until the feelings become natural) is to connect the new action to an altered state. (This, I gander, is the reason people drink at weddings….)
Inebriated matrimonials aside, the story that the world dictates to you about your state of life (Sitz im Leben), even though you seek to resist it, is its own kind of intoxication. Over time, the world’s definition of you through all its manifold media onslaught has its desired effect: influence.
Sober-mindedness begins with calling a mindless age what it is. You, Christian, know that you are free to speak and act with fearless dignity, even though you be bound with chains. …For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things….
Agency in this age is more than a Christian’s daily choice. It is that too. But it is first Christ’s promise to be with you, in you, as you, against you and yet all for you. As your convictions bloom with hope that the resurrection is real, you will find in that seedbed the blossoming of gratitude.
Adversity is a gift. Even the pagans know it. (The smart ones, at least.) Don’t miss out on the bonus content: it’s not just a hack for this life. It’s the ultimate “perspective REFRAMES story CONFRONTS state” pivot: what you feel today is no match for Jesus’ resurrection being a cold, hard fact yesterday, today … and tomorrow.
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,