How do you respond when life treats you unfairly? What do you do when you are hurt by someone you love and trust? How do you respond when things are done to you by powers beyond your control? We all have stories of pain and disappointment. The question is how do you handle your pain and disappointment?
Many of us have allowed our stories to continue to affect our lives in unhealthy and harmful ways. We say and believe things such as, “I would have been a better adult had my parents raised me better,” “I would have done better in school if my teachers were better,” and “I would have done better at my job be it not for my boss or co-worker.”
At every stage along life’s journey we can find someone to blame for our struggles in life. Actually blaming others when things go wrong is nothing new. It started with Adam and Eve. When God asked Adam why he ate from the tree from which he was commanded not to eat, Adam said it wasn’t him but “the woman you (God) put in the garden here with me.” The woman then blamed the serpent (Gen. 3:8-13).
To blame others is our first response, and it comes naturally to us. But it takes hard work and determination to take responsibility for our freedom to choose in the face of life’s most difficult, painful and unfair situations. The thing we have to know and embrace with all that is within us is that regardless of what others may do to us, the one thing they cannot take from us is the freedom to choose how we will respond.
You can choose to let pain and unfairness shape the rest of your life, which many have done. Or you can choose to not let what others have done define you, or the rest of your life, your career, family relationships, relationships to the opposite gender, or your spiritual life.
When you allow your life to be defined by the pain others have caused, such as by burying it or ignoring the person, you are giving away the freedom to choose your response. But when you choose how you will respond, such as by confronting the person or situation in a healthy way or by forgiving, you are exercising your freedom and deciding how your life will be shaped regardless of what others have done or taken from you.
The freedom to choose how you will respond to whatever challenges you face in life is the most basic and powerful life-changing tool you have in your possession. Not even God will take that from you?
Whatever the situation you may face today, know this — you have the power and freedom to choose how you will respond. You could either respond in a way that continues to hold you prisoner to the pain, or you could respond in a way that is in your best interest.
Don’t give away your freedom to choose your response. Rather, reclaim your freedom by responding in ways that bring about healing and freedom.
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.