Continued from here.
In my last blog entry, I asked why it’s so hard to stay connected to Jesus in every area of our lives when Jesus promises much fruit as long as we stay connected to him. I think one reason this is so difficult for me is that I don’t choose to stay connected in the moment of conflict. My natural inclination is to react immediately, and I think I need to press the pause button and remind myself not to detach from the vine.
Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions, is really helping me with this. She stresses the importance of having a procedure in place for those “unglued” moments so you can pause before disconnecting from the vine. She explains the five steps and shares her personal plan. She then encourages you to develop your own plan.
I am pleased to report that I am making progress using my plan. Here are the five steps that work for me:
- “Help me do this right” – This reminds me that my natural inclination is to react wrongly. I need to depend upon God to stay connected to the vine.
- Four fundamental beliefs — I remind myself that God loves me, is good, is with me, and is in control. I typically “forget” at least one of these whenever I start to come unglued.
- “It doesn’t matter what I see. It matters who You are.” – This helps me remember that God is bigger than whatever I am facing.
- “I know my God is able. He was faithful before, and He will be faithful again.” — This reassures me that God really is going to work this situation for good, no matter how impossible it seems in the moment.
- “Help me do this right” – Repeating this phrase reminds me that how I behave in a trial affects more than just myself. Other people are watching my reaction, so I need God to help me set a good example for others.
Since I have started applying this procedure in my life, I have been more successful in staying attached to the vine at the moment of decision. Rather than simply reacting and detaching from the vine, I am choosing to stay attached. It only takes me about 30 seconds to run through the steps, and then I am better to think through my response rather than simply react.
[Graphic: Cover of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. Courtesy Amazon.com.]