DRUM Roll…The winner of the book Give-away for Fur Elise, is….Sherry Martin. Sherry, please contact me at Kathyspeak AT aol DOT com with your mailing address. You get to read Peggy Sue Wells’s wonderful book.
When we respond to people and circumstances, it feels like there’s not too much going on at the base of our motivations. We are just responding because that’s what the situation calls for.
But wonder if there’s something more that is motivating us? Couldn’t that be significant?
For instance, I don’t like it when something happens that makes me feel like someone thinks I’m not telling the truth. I’ve always prided myself in telling the truth and being dependable. Therefore, isn’t it reasonable for me to get upset when someone says something that makes it seem like they don’t believe me?
In our new book we share the premise that what we are hearing or experiencing brings a reaction (that may not be very holy) because it contains a “Message.” It’s not always what is actually being said or experienced that creates our reaction, it’s the Message we believe we are hearing that comes along with it.
But many people believe, “I don’t have any choice but to react that way. That’s just the way it is.”
When we explain that there’s a “Message” attached to it that is creating their ungodly reaction, it’s hard for them to see that.
But let me give you an example.
I’m a senior citizen. I qualify for getting the senior citizen rate at the movies. I love paying less!
But let’s say (this is fiction!), one day when I stand at the ticket counter and say, “Senior citizen’s rate please.” The ticket gal replies, “Oh, I don’t think you are a senior citizen, you sure don’t look like it. I’ll have to charge you the full price.”
What is my reaction going to be?
It could be anger that I’m not being believed. She’s telling me I’m a liar. I’m mad!
It could be joy. “Yippee! Someone thinks I look young! Someone thinks I don’t qualify as a senior citizen. It’s my lucky day!”
Which will I choose? Won’t I react based upon which “Message” I choose to focus on? Will I focus on the Message that I’m a liar or will I focus on the Message that I look young? Of course, there’s a strong possibility I’ll have conflicting feelings: I’m mad and I’m glad. But which will win out? How will I react toward the ticket counter girl?
Answer? Whichever “Message” I receive at that moment. It might not even seem like a conscious choice but you and I will “hear” some Message of some sort. We may think our “feelings” at that point control the situation but listen to what author Lysa TerKeurst writes:
“When someone else’s actions or statements threaten to pull me into a bad place, I have a choice. I do. It may not feel like it. In fact, it may feel like I am a slave to my feelings–but I’m not. Remember, feelings are indicators, not dictators.”
And we believe that feelings indicate what Messages we are believing. And wrong reactions are based upon Messages that are lies.
Interestingly, even though the ticket girl’s belief about me isn’t true, I could still choose joy based on wanting to consider myself young. (I’m responding based upon a lie!) I might even pay the full price in celebration!
TWEET this: My responses are based upon my beliefs, whether true or not.
This example, I hope, shares an interesting perspective. The truth about how I interpret life is based upon my beliefs (whether true or not). It’s not just that, “Oh, this is the only way any one would respond. I’m not responsible for my reaction. I didn’t choose it, it’s just there.”
The next time you respond to a situation in a way that you know doesn’t honor God, stop and ask yourself, “What Message did I think was being communicated to me or about me?” You may find an interesting answer.
If you do, share it as a comment. That way I can learn and so can my readers!