Remember Whose You Are

u_get_meContinued 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.]

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Remember Who You Are

who_meAs I shared in this blog entry, I have been in extreme physical discomfort for weeks from systemic hives triggered by exposure to poison oak. Oh, joy!

My doctor gave me a high dose of Prednisone to help my body settle down, and I struggled with emotional side effects from the prescription. By the end of the nine-day Prednisone treatment, I’m not sure I was entirely “sane.” I was extremely emotional and felt “crazed” by weeks of endless itching compounded by feelings of hostility in reaction to the medication. Let’s just say I wasn’t much fun to live with.

My physical and emotional health came to a breaking point one night. I sobbed before God and had a bizarre spiritual experience that I still have not fully processed, and I don’t really have words for what happened. The best way I can word it is that God showed up.

When God showed up, my perspective shifted, and I have been trying to process that perspective shift ever since. Two powerful messages that hit me during this bizarre experience were remember who you are and remember WHOSE you are. I had become so fixated on my physical discomfort that I had lost touch with the bigger picture of my life.

As for remembering who I am, I am a spiritual being having a physical experience. I was created for eternity, but my physical discomfort had distracted me from that focus. I was unable to see past my physical and emotional state of being, which was keeping me focused on myself – the fast track to misery. When we can remember that we are eternal beings and that whatever we are dealing with right now is temporary, we awaken to who we are. I believe this is what Paul had in mind when he said,

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” ~ 2 Cor. 4:17

When my focus is on the temporal, then everything I deal with – from minor annoyances to long-term struggles, becomes the center of my universe. However, when I focus on the eternal, I maintain perspective – that life is about so much more than whatever is vexing me, and this … whatever “this” is … will end. I don’t have to be consumed by whatever troubles I am dealing with because they are temporary, while I am eternal.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace pointing to herself and asking, “Who Me?” Courtesy Bitmoji.]