Many of you are going to be with family over the next few weeks to celebrate. But for some of you, it won’t feel like celebrating. It will feel painful, difficult or frustrating.
These get-togethers aren’t pleasant experiences for you. You won’t want to go. You’ll want to hide. You may even have thoughts of becoming sick rather than being around certain people. Or, maybe you have already started thinking up all the excuses you can use to leave early or not go at all.
Don’t do it. Don’t give into the temptation.
I challenge you my friends.
Relationships are tough. But they are tough because we feel like we have no control over them. We feel that other people have act in certain ways for our relationships to be better.
None of this is true.
Consider this. Just because your mom comments on your weight doesn’t mean that you are fat. You are the one saying this to yourself in your head. Just because your uncle Larry loves to rant about how wonderful your cousins are doesn’t mean that you are a pathetic loser. You are telling yourself that.
They are all just thoughts you are choosing to think.
You can totally think them if you want! That’s just fine. It is your CHOICE. But, if WANT to ENJOY family get-togethers, you might have to start thinking something new. Or have a change in perspective.
One of the biggest perspective changes was that I get to choose how I feel. It doesn't matter what people say or don't say. It doesn't matter what people do or don't do. I have control over how I feel.
If I have control over how I feel, then I choose to feel something other than anger, frustration, anxiety or annoyance.
I choose to love. Because love feels really good!
I challenge you to choose love. Paul writes….
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.Ephesians 4:2
Wouldn’t that be awesome? Living in love…
Soak that in.
Think about how good love feels.
Now live in it!
Your family will still not behave the way you want them too. That’s ok. It doesn’t have to mean anything about you or about them.
You can totally let it go. And live in love.
Not in a 1970s, hippyish sort of way. Just in truly abiding in God and His love.
How you ask?
Managing your mind. Take a stand for yourself and those around you. Don’t let the evil one destroy your relationships. Even if you’re the one that’s right. Even when you feel justified. Even when you don’t feel like trying.
Choose to see a different perspective.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.1 Peter 4:8
Believe me, love feels so much better than the frustration, anger, annoyance, pain or disgust.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. John 15:12