Mark Affleck

Go Home! The Movie Is Over.

April 17, 2017
Spiritual Growth

Christians cannot expect to go through life without at least some pain and suffering, right?
Of course.
So why are we prone to do everything possible to avoid pain and “make people pay” if they cross us? Are we surprised that life on earth is tough? I mean, c’mon. People don’t stay in the theater and complain when a bad movie ends.  They get up, walk out, and get on with life!
Why don’t we do the same thing after a painful experience? Why don’t we shut down the negativity monster before his contagion infects our soul? Why don’t we seek God’s perspective so we can learn from the experience and then simply leave it all behind.
Today gave me a perfect example of this point.
As the day enters its fade to black, I am staring aimlessly at my darkened ceiling. The overhead fan has set the soundtrack on low with its steady and soothing hum. Sounds peaceful enough, but it is not. Inside my restive soul is an insidious intruder hounding me about the painful experience I had experienced just a few hours earlier when the rhythmic flow of my day had been hijacked. How I had been wronged. How it wasn’t right.
The angst coursing through my body begins to pick up as I hear “Survivor” droning on in the background with people hurling manipulating and hurtful responses to anything that upsets their plans. Man, how can these people act like this in front of 20 million viewers? But it’s actually fitting for me because I am tempted to do exactly that right now. Thankfully, God says don’t do it. So I haven’t, and I won’t. I am forgiving this person who hurt me today and turning to God’s light without complaining or seeking retribution.
“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Proverbs 29:11
I just walked out of that movie…and it felt great.
I learned a valuable lesson today. God taught me to ask him for the strength to quickly turn my hurts and pain and the unfair treatment I receive to him and walk away from them. He wants us all to be infused with his peace and perspective to focus on serving him and walking in his light.
That makes sense to me now when I consider how tempting it is to be selfish with a singular focus on ourselves and what matters to us. This direction from God to seek him first and early when we are “wronged” takes that focus off self so we can look around for others that need to see the Lord in action.
Blowing up self is the only way we will ever be able to befriend others, shoulder their burdens, and help them just as Jesus did for us. But how can we handle someone else’s burden when we are fixated on and gripping to our own self interests?
Are there any “movies” in your life that you need to release and walk out of today? If you know of someone who needs to walk out of a movie in their life, send them this blog.
Love God, Fear Nothing.

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