Whenever someone comes to me for advice, I make sure they understand I’m going to tell them the truth before they tell me their story. This may come across as odd, but it’s because there have been plenty of times where people have asked me for advice when in reality they were really seeking confirmation of the actions they plan to take or actions they have already done. However, if I don’t agree with that person’s actions I’m going to let them know my opinion.
I’m as tactful as possible when I tell someone, “Hey, I think you were wrong. You should have stopped to consider ABC and then did XYZ to resolve the issue.” Most of the time, even if that person is mad, they appreciate my honesty. They know I have no desire to see them fail, so they know my intentions are in the right place. They know my goal is to save them from having to unnecessarily learn from the school of hard knocks.
Yet, I have lost some people because my advice didn’t align with what they thought I was going to say. Apparently, I wasn’t playing my role in a play that I didn’t even ask to be in. They came to me for advice, not vice versa. Despite the fact that they know me, they got upset and took it personally when I didn’t agree with their actions and/or methods. As Apostle Paul stated in Gal 4:16, “Have I become your enemy because I told you the truth?” They took my honesty in not approving of their actions as not being supportive when it was quite the opposite. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have bothered trying to stop that person. I would have just let you fall. I was trying to do what 2 Cor 7:10 says and save you from sin and regret.
Have you ever met someone like this? They ignored your advice, did it their way and it ended in disaster just like you said it would? Instead of this person admitting they were wrong, they place the blame on everyone else but themselves.
They are constantly playing the victim card when they are the ones at fault. You expect this type of behavior from children, but if you’re still doing this as an adult, you need to ask yourself, “Am I the problem?”
The way you can determine if you are the problem is by asking yourself questions like these:
- Are you constantly complaining about your circumstances?
- Do you allow negativity to stop you from experiencing success?
- Do often feel hopeless and confused regarding your life’s purpose?
- Do you oftentimes feel regret because you refused wise counseling on multiple occasions?
- Do others feel blessed or exhausted by your presence?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the majority of these questions, then you are the problem.
I know that may hurt to hear, but take comfort in the fact that we all at some point in our lives have been the problem. Once you admit that you have a problem you can diligently work toward a solution (Prov 6: 6-8).
You may be wondering, “How did I become the problem?” You got to this point in life because you were constantly lying to yourself. As time progressed, you allowed those lies to take root in your heart. As Matthew 7:16 says, you know a person’s good works by the fruit that they bear. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any “fruit” aka success/accomplishments ask yourself, “What seeds have I planted, or do I need to plant in my life so I can start producing meaningful fruit in my life?
Oftentimes, the answer to this question is none. This is because we spend so much time daydreaming about the outcomes we desire in life that we forget to work toward the goal.
I know daydreaming may seem innocent, but if you don’t have a balance, daydreaming can be dangerous. How many times have you achieved the desires you daydreamed about? I’m sure the answer is either never or rarely. The reason why is because when you daydream you don’t account for the hard work and sacrifice that it’s going to take to achieve that goal in reality. When you daydream you spend your time thinking about how great the world would be if everyone and everything adjusted to you so you could get your desire.
So many of us, myself included, fall into the trap of daydreaming what we wish we could be or have instead of going to God in prayer to see if he’s aligned with our request and work towards our desired goal. Allowing God to guide you is the only way that you’re going to start making meaningful accomplishments in your life.
There are no shortcuts in life. Whatever it is that you seek is going to take a certain amount of effort to obtain it. God knows exactly where our blessings are located. It’s our job to ensure that we’re in tune with Him and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to each location. Doing so will prevent us from committing a multitude of sins in trying to illegally obtain something that we weren’t meant to have at that point in time (James 5:20) Sadly, many of us never get to experience the wonderful gifts God has in store for us because we’re too stubborn, lazy, or surrounded by fools (Prov. 13:20) to allow Him to guide us.
The mindset of refusing to take responsibility for our actions and expecting the world to adjust to our every desire is foolish and setting yourself up for a lifetime of unhappiness. Stop daydreaming and admit that you are the problem. We’re at fault for the delay in achieving and receiving our blessings. We need to clean out our hearts, soul, and mind before God can bless us.
For example, let’s say an 8-year-old asks to drive your car. The answer would be ‘no.’ He’s too young and not in a position to handle the responsibilities that come with driving a car. Now if that same child was 18 and asked you that question, you may be more inclined to say ‘yes.’ Why? The 18-year-old will most likely have demonstrated that they are responsible. They have their license which demonstrates they passed a variety of tests indicating they can safely operate a vehicle. Most importantly, they feel that they have earned your trust and are confident that you will say ‘yes’.
I know that this may be hard to hear, but oftentimes, we’re the 8-year-old. Stop allowing your pride to get the best of you (Prov. 16:18). Put in the time to work on your relationship with God. Read His Word every day and then consistently apply it to your life. Consistency is something that I’ve struggled with so what helps me to stay on the right track is to create a checklist and write down my progress via my journal. Honestly, this is one of the main reasons why I created the Brand New You Challenge. I’ve got some personal goals that I really want to achieve within the next 5 years and this is going to help me ensure that I don’t deviate from my goal.
In case you’re wondering, what does it look like when you’ve finally arrived as a Christian? It means that you can go through life’s storms and hearing the word ‘no’ or ‘not now’ doesn’t crush you. Again, have a balance, if someone did you wrong or is intentionally sabotaging you, you can be angry but don’t let it lead to sin (Eph 4:26). You don’t allow some demons’ actions to control you or push you to the point that you’re angry at God. Getting angry at the one that has the power to help you will do you no good.
When you have the attributes of Christ (Gal 5:22), you can have peace in the midst of life’s storms (Phil 4:7). You don’t wait until a storm is over before you start feeling peace, joy, love the list goes on. You’re not living your life in anticipation. “I’ll be happy once I have XYZ,” or “I can’t wait until XYZ is over.” These won’t be sentences that dominate your life because regardless of where you are in life you’re going to enjoy the season where God has placed you.
Always remember that this too shall pass. If you have arrived life’s irritations may upset you but it won’t affect you to the point where you get angry at God and approach Him all crazy. Demons don’t take away our peace, joy and happiness, and other attributes of Christ. We have to give it away. When you give away your happiness you’re behaving like a demon which demonstrates that you still have not arrived as a Christian.
The good news is that if you’re listening to this episode that means you’re alive and still have time to change your ways. You don’t have to go through life as a victim. It’s time to get to work. Ask God for His guidance, do your part by getting the skills you need to achieve your goal, and consistently work towards building your relationship with Christ as you work on building up a history of wins that demonstrate to God that you are responsible. Show Him that you’re no longer susceptible to be tossed back and forth by life’s storms. Let Him see that you’re willing to fight to instead of allowing life’s storms to take you down.
When you’ve done all of that, you can rest assured when you ask God for the car keys, He’s going to let you drive.
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