Recently, I was working in my Celebrate Recovery(http://www.celebraterecovery.com/) workbook. For those not familiar with this journey, it is a Christ-centered recovery program based on eight principles from the Beatitudes. It’s for people with hurts, habits, and hang-ups!
Getting out of denial is a step that is crucial to beginning any type of recovery.
Sometimes this time of year brings old conflicts, unresolved conflicts, new conflicts, stale conflicts, same ole conflicts up to the forefront in our minds.
We wonder if things will be different this year, or maybe we hold out hope that a person has changed. Perhaps we wonder if we’ve changed all that much. It comforts me to know that Jesus never changes. He is a Rock, a Strong Tower. (Psalm 18:2 and Proverbs 18:10).
I have to remember I can only be responsible for me. How other people act is not my responsibility.
Today I was talking to someone about how a specific family situation is going to turn out. The person was speculating that if the family member didn’t respond to her good gesture, then this would be sad to her. If the family member does respond, there’s a possibility the response could be with a sharp, snarky retort. For this situation, it would be desirable if the family member responded kindly and with manners. This surely would be proof things were changing or had changed.
Thanksgiving is coming, and likely, most people will be with other people. Some of them we see regularly and others only on special occasions. Can we get along? With some core ideas to cling to, especially for the Christian, I think it is possible. The Bible says, cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). One of the questions in Celebrate Recovery is
“What areas of your life do you have power(control) over?”
As believers in Christ Jesus, I submit we do have control over some significant aspects of life. The most important and life-changing is our relationship with Jesus. We can talk to Jesus anytime, anywhere.
On Thanksgiving day, when you are with all those “others,” you may find it stressful. You may need to slip away and have a little talk with Jesus. But don’t wait until that day. You can prepare for that special day by spending extra time with Him. Here’s some ideas:
- Look for some verses to claim( controlling your tongue, focusing your thoughts, gentle conversation, etc.)
- Write out these verses
- Pray out the verses over your life and commit to obedience. These verses can become your life, help, and strength.
It’s nice to think about Thanksgiving and being together with the ones we love. We want to have warm feelings and hope for the best. But the reality is, we all struggle, and there are dynamics in families that may or may not ever heal.
- We have to get out of denial
- Accept the way things are
- Keep our focus on Jesus.
If there is nothing we are responsible for in unpleasant situations, then get out of the way and let God be God.
The one thing you can control is your relationship with Jesus. He loves you. He understands your situations. Focus on Him and make some intentional choices to read His word, write out His word, and pray His word.
Prepare your heart for Thanksgiving.