Do you have an easy life? Are you happy? Do you have plenty of money in the bank? Are all of your relationships going well? As you may have discovered, "the easy life" is a myth. Every life is full of challenges. No matter what it might look like on the outside, every day has difficulties that must be overcome.
Many people who look at my life now assume that things have always been easy for me. They see a successful ministry and the relationships that I have with my husband and my kids and they assume it's all been a bed of roses. But those people have no idea what I've come through to get to where I am. They don't know about the abusive childhood. They don't know about the years of struggle, trying to build this ministry from nothing-the strain it put on my family, my friends, and even on my church.
Someone posed an interesting question to me not long ago. I was asked what I thought was the key that helped me through all the hardships I had to overcome. From the time I was young, my life was a wreck. Because of childhood abuse, I hardly had a single healthy relationship. And my relationship with my husband, Dave, required so much work just trying to overcome the dysfunctional thinking patterns that had been ingrained in me from childhood.
I don't think I really began to get healthy until I learned to face the truth about myself. It was always so much easier to blame someone else for the problems I had. It took no courage for me to point the finger of blame in any direction other than myself, ignoring the important role I had to play in my own emotional well-being.
The Amplified Bible says, And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free (John 8:32). And that is the key: to be bold and courageous enough to face the truth about yourself. That's what brings true freedom-freedom that lasts. God's nature is to confront issues and deal with them. We never win a victory by running away from our responsibilities.
It seems easier to try to change someone else so they are more pleasing to us or to blame them if they upset us or make us unhappy. It's natural to look outside yourself for the cause of all of your problems. In fact, one of the primary strategies of the enemy to keep us from dealing with the issues that affect our behavior and attitudes is to get us to focus on others and what they are doing to keep us from being happy and achieving success.
We have to shake off that tendency! Think about the thoughts that have been running through your mind or the words that have been coming out of your mouth. Have you been blaming others for things that you should have accepted responsibility for?
I've been saying this for years, but it remains relevant today. We seem to look at everyone else through a magnifying glass, but somehow we look at ourselves through rose-colored glasses. When we look at ourselves, we don't see problems. We don't see bad attitudes. We don't acknowledge our own bad behavior. But we seem to recognize all of those things in other people.
It is easy to put the blame on something or someone else. How many times have you said (or thought), "If you didn't act the way you acted, then I wouldn't be mad all the time!" Doesn't that sound childish to you? Mature adults take responsibility for their own actions and attitudes. They don't blame others. They are bold enough to face the truth about themselves. Just because someone else acts a certain way, you don't have license to be mad all the time.
The psalmist David wrote in Psalm 51:6, Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart. David knew the danger of falling for the deception found in him. He realized that he had to face the truth in his "inmost heart." He understood that being honest with himself was more important than anything else. In fact, he knew that it was the desire of God Himself!
How about you? Have you been avoiding the truth and blaming your negative actions and attitudes on others? Maybe it's time for you take a step of courage-to find the boldness you need to take a hard look in the mirror and allow God to reveal the truth to you. It is the only way to be truly free!