Which Way Are You Going?

Disappointments in life are inevitable.

Discouragement is a choice.

We spend our early years programming our minds and establishing our lifestyle default modes. A default is a setting or value automatically assigned. Touch a hot stove and you mentally set a default never to do that again. This is true of moral and spiritual choices also.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. one of the most brilliant of our former Supreme Court’s Associate Justices said, “It is not so important how we stand, but in which direction we are going.” As a default the direction is often set, but here is good news, it can be reset. Exhibit A is the Apostle Paul. At a room in Damascus he reset his default and dramatically changed the direction he was going in life. Like Paul, some of us had many of our mental defaults made in a worldly environment. However, God never intended for us to live according to the world’s ways of doing things.

Evaluate your mood defaults. How do you react to given events? Think of a few mood impacting events and how you respond to them.

The type of change we can make is the kind spoken of by Martin Luther: “The devil is a grumbler, every Christian should be a doxology.”

Recently many people have been disappointed in the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. Long ago you set a mood default regarding such losses. Your mind is powerful. Things start with a thought. You can change your responses by changing your mind. Again I say:

Disappointments in life are inevitable.

Discouragement is a choice.

Therefore, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV) Don’t think like the world. “Do not be anxious about anything (even a presidential election), but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

To do this requires that “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ….”  (II Corinthians 10:5 ESV)

We need to pray with the Psalmist, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 ESV) This is a Bible way of saying, “Reset my default.”

To do this you must be able to say, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11 ESV)

Then you can “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus….”  (Philippians 2:5 ESV)

When you do, you can experientially say, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)

Now is a good time to pause and have a default reset session.