Daily in Christ 8/23

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by Neil Anderson

August 23

REFLECTING REALITY

Proverbs 23:7 
For as he thinks within himself, so he is

Telling someone that they shouldn't feel the way they do is a subtle form of rejection. They can do little about how they feel. The real problem is that they have a wrong perception of their situation which is making them feel the way they do. You can't change how you feel, but you can change what you think.

For example, suppose your dream of owning your own home was in the hands of a lending institution which was screening your application for financing. All your friends are praying for the loan to be approved. But you get home one evening to find a message on your phone machine that you didn't qualify. Where would you be emotionally in just a matter of seconds? At the bottom!

Now suppose you're getting ready to break the bad news to your spouse that your dream house is still only a dream. Then you listen to the next message on the machine which tells you that the first message was a mistake. You actually did qualify! Now where are you emotionally? The top! What you first believed didn't reflect truth, so what you felt didn't reflect reality.

Imagine the real estate agent, who knows that you qualified, stopping by to congratulate you before you heard the second message on the machine. He expects to find you overjoyed, but instead you're in despair. "Why are you depressed?" he asks. "You should be happy." But his encouragement is meaningless until he tells you the truth about your loan. If what you believe does not reflect truth, then what you feel does not reflect reality.

The order of Scripture is to know the truth, believe it, walk according to it, and let your emotions be a product of your obedience. When you believe what you feel instead of the truth, how will your walk be? As inconsistent as your feelings. But when you believe and act on the truth, your feelings will reflect reality. Jesus said, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them" (John 13:17).

Prayer: Lord, I commit myself to follow Your Word and do right. I want to enjoy the positive emotions that come from obedience.

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