In Matthew 9, there is a story of a paralytic who is brought to Jesus for healing. What he received was forgiveness for his sins. In that moment, the paralytic was faced with God not meeting his expectations.
How often are we like this paralytic—coming before God with expectations that He wants to shift? We do not see the need to shift and become stuck in our expectations like the paralytic stuck on his beggar’s matt. We want people to come take care of us in our time of need because God didn’t answer our expectations. Our paralysis grows the longer we remain in this one spot.
We can avoid this kind of existence by living with humility; this is an understanding of our flaws and our dependence upon God. When we know that our own wants and desires are fallible, we are released to forgive the injustice we feel in our lives and walk forward into a new life. We hear God’s answer—His differing answer—and we are ready to receive it and walk in it. The result is a greater life than we thought we could have when we brought to Him our expectations.
Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:20–23, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Solomon’s use of imagery in the description of the heart being “the springs of life” demonstrates an understanding of the interconnection of all parts of a person. The state of the inner man or heart affects us in so many ways. If the heart or inner man holds onto grievances, it can actually affect our thought processes and our physical body. One bad day then can lead to another bad day.
To therefore come back to the promises of God rather than dwell on grievances and hurt is far more beneficial for our lives.
We can look at Bible personalities and assume that they were “extra spiritual” or supernaturally enabled to do great things. Why else would a woman leave her family, home and culture to follow an old woman to an unknown family and culture that worshipped a different god?
Perhaps it was simply that they made wise choices. Some of the dilemmas they faced are not so different from those we face today.
Philippians 2:4 “Let us look not only to our own interests but to the interests of others also.”
When in an argument, I come back to the thought that it’s better to win the relationship than win the argument. To achieve both is fantastic but a rarity.
To enforce an opinion may cost the relationship. We may win the fight but then have caused a rift with another that is never healed.
Therefore consider. In any given conflict, what is the objective beyond the situation? To win the particular situation or to maintain the relationship? Sometimes in losing an argument, we learn by allowing the other, their way.
When facing crises and painful situations, it’s difficult to live according to biblical teachings. When one chooses a standard other than principles of the Bible, the likelihood of experiencing something like depression increases.
Jesus is the ultimate example of looking to God when emotions run high. Even though he never sinned, he did feel the temptation of giving in to his emotions. Mark 4 is a prime example of Jesus being tempted while he spent forty days without food.
Let us focus on God, in doing so the intensity of painful emotions are reduced.