Who is causing you the most trouble right now?
Is it your boss? Unreasonable deadlines? Micromanaging? Lack of encouragement?
Is it a friend or roommate who’s acting selfishly?
Is it a family member? A child who won’t listen? A spouse who doesn’t understand?
So who is it? Right now, who in your life is causing you the most trouble?
I don’t know who it is for you, but I’ll tell you who it is in my life. It’s me. There’s no one else in my life who even comes close to causing me the problems and trouble that I do.
If there’s tension in a relationship, it’s because I chose to act selfishly or respond poorly. If there’s stress, it’s because I procrastinated or over-committed. If there’s debt, it’s because I bought something I shouldn’t have. If I have a migraine, it’s because I’ve chosen to worry myself into one.
And what’s at the root of my problem-causing?
I don’t believe God. It’s that simple. Rather than trusting Him, I assume I’m going to have to take care of myself because He’s not going to come through. Or I believe I know what’s better for me. So I do what I want. What will give me pleasure. Or make me happy. Or comfortable.
Maybe you can relate. Think about it…
No one else puts unhealthy food in your mouth. No one else makes you look at pornography. No one else turns on the TV and compels you to watch it instead of exercising. No one else stands over you until you’ve put in an hour on Facebook instead of reading your Bible. No one else forces you to make credit card purchases you can’t really afford.
You get to choose. And so do I. No one else.
That means that we have tremendous power to help ourselves…or hurt ourselves. And what I find is that when I make choices that don’t line up with God’s way of doing life, I hurt myself. I get into trouble. I dig myself a hole.
And for me, it all comes down to whether or not I will believe Him. Will I trust that He knows what is best for me? That He has my best in mind? That when He gives a command that it’s meant to protect me and provide for me?
Our problems aren’t caused by a lack of money or someone else treating us poorly or bad weather or the policeman who pulls us over for speeding. Our biggest problems are caused by us.
Again, we get to choose. That means we can’t ever say things like, “She just makes me so angry!”
She can’t MAKE you do anything. You get to CHOOSE how you will respond to whatever she does. You can choose to trust God in the heat of the moment. You can trust God to defend you so you don’t have to defend yourself. You can choose to trust God so you don’t say things that will make the situation worse.
But we won’t trust God if we don’t know Him. And we won’t know Him unless we commit to spend time with Him.
And we won’t even commit to spend time with Him if we continue to insist that the problem is someone or something else.