Continued from here.
The second perspective-shifting message I received during my bizarre spiritual experience was that I need to remember WHOSE I am. I belong to God. Thus, my behavior needs to be directed by God, not by my body, emotions, troubles, or anything else.
Vicktor Frankl, who was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp, shared these wise words:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Vicktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
This is the same thing that Paul tells us about our ability to choose our thoughts:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Phil. 4:8
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Cor. 10:5
While it is completely human and understandable for me to become fixated on my physical or emotional discomfort, that’s not living the righteous life that God wants for us. God has equipped us with the power to choose, so when I choose to allow my body or emotions to drive my thoughts, it’s a choice. I am choosing a bad attitude. And, let’s face it, whenever we are in discomfort or pain, our natural setting is going to be choosing a bad attitude.
If Vicktor Frankl could choose a positive attitude in a concentration camp, then I can choose a positive attitude while dealing with hives. If Paul and Silas could choose a good attitude after being severely flogged and imprisoned, then I can choose to focus on God rather than my problems, no matter how severe they are. I’m not going to do this, though, unless I remember whose I am.
I am not my own: I am God’s. I was bought at a price, and I need to behave like someone who belongs to God, even when I don’t feel like it.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with her hands over her heart, saying, “U get me.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]