I hope you enjoyed your weekend (and extended weekend for some of you). Before I begin the post, I just wanted to acknowledge all of our service members (past and present) that have contributed to our freedom. The selfishness you and your family portray every day will not be forgotten by us. So thank you.
Yesterday, our pastor spoke on a topic that I had been thinking about the night before. He used the passage of an invalid man that met Jesus in John 5:1-9. The man had been lying by this pool in Bethesda for 38 years, waiting to get into the pool. It was believed by the people then, that an Angel would stir the waters of the pool and whoever got in first would be healed. In the passage, Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well. And instead of saying yes, he told Jesus why he hadn’t been able to get in the pool for the last 38 years.
And that was the question our pastor had for us…did we want to get well? Well from what, you may ask. Anything that is hindering us from moving forward in our lives; areas in our lives that range from unforgiveness to loneliness. Our pastor said that if we wanted to get better, we had to do three things: eliminate excuses, believe boldly, and act accordingly.
Excuses can be our biggest hurdle from achieving the things we want in life. Sometimes it can be easier to make an excuse for not doing something than to try. If we want to lose weight, we can make the excuse that we are too busy to go to the gym every day (or a couple of days a week). If we want to go back to school to advance our career, we can make the excuse that it is too expensive or that it does not fit into your family schedule.
When listening to the sermon (and even now as I write this post), I can think of two excuses that have prevented me from pursuing certain things. For example, making friends post-college has been the hardest thing for me. I have tried book clubs, going to community events, joining small groups at church, along with other activities. But due to my introvert nature, it is difficult for me to create new friendships. I am very shy around new people and am uncomfortable beginning conversations. So I just stopped trying even though all I want is to hit the town with close friends.
And if I look closer, another excuse that I have used in this and other situations is my need to be 100% certain of my actions. I went to two book club meetings then stopped because I wasn’t 100% certain we were going to be good friends or not. I do this not just with relationships, but with dreams, my writing, you name it. However, I will not even be 80% certain of something if I don’t try it for a while. And if I continue to let a label (i.e. introvert) define me, I will miss out on great potential relationships and experiences.
What you believe about yourself and your situation can make a big difference. Although we may have heard negative things from others and repeated them to ourselves, there is no need to continue that thinking. You are beautiful/handsome and smart, you have value and you will do great things in this life. We have to take captive every thought that is not in accordance with what God has said about us and replace it with what He has said about us (2 Corinthians 10:5). And if you want to learn more about what God has said, you can download the YouVersion Bible app and search through it.
At this point, you have identified and eliminated any excuses preventing you from advancing, as well as exchanged negative beliefs about yourself with positive beliefs. The next step is to act on these new beliefs. If not, then we will be like the invalid man waiting by the pool for 38 years for something to happen to us.
There’s this quote that works so well with this post. It states that insanity is continuing to do the same thing, but hoping for different results. And like my pastor has repeated many times, “if you want something different, you have to do something different.” So what are we going to do differently to move forward? Are we willing to take the road less traveled, if need be? Are we willing to do the uncomfortable? If so, we will be on the path to living fully alive and achieving our goals…
I hope this post has helped you or at least given you something to think about this week. We all go through struggles and insecurities, but know that I am here for you, just as you are here for me. Together, let us eliminate excuses, believe boldly, and act accordingly. Thank you again for reading! If you liked this post, please subscribe/share/like/comment. And if you want to hear the entire sermon, click this link. Have a great week everyone.
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