March Forward: Game On!

While many people were making resolutions and changes once the New Year starts, others have a different mindset. The warming weather isn’t just inspiration for change to those who want to look good for a summer in a swimsuit; spring is a season of birth and growth, a fresh renewal and I am one of those people who thrives making changes in the spring instead of on January 1st. My January and February were SO busy and non-stop I feel like only now can I re-group and focus on what changes I would like to see this year.

I encourage you to “March Forward” with me this month- after all, it is hard to make plans for the future when you are stuck in the past! I am going to assume that at some point in your life, you have played a game – be it a sport, a board game, a card game, whatever – you have experienced being a winner…or a loser. Despite the fact that these days it seems everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, in life there really are winners and losers.

God doesn’t want us to “just show up.” Although YOU ARE ENOUGH on your own to receive His grace and salvation (1 John 3:1), it doesn’t end there. You don’t just accept Jesus and then become perfectly happy and immune to pain. The “game” of life doesn’t end with you becoming a Christian.  In fact, most of the time it gets harder. You will be faced with challenges, obstacles, trials, temptation and other outcomes where you can either be a winner or loser. God so wants you to “win” these battles.

God not only wants you to win, but He wants you to win by trusting Him and doing what His Word tells you (John 14:15). One of the most important things to remember is that as someone who trusts God, you are not alone. You have the power, wisdom and courage through Jesus Christ that can outmatch anything the world throws at you: “In this world you may have troubles, but fear not! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)

Trusting God means you need to be honest with yourself and really figure out what is going on. If you go to a doctor and you are throwing up and have a fever for a week, he doesn’t just give you Tylenol and a glass of ginger ale. He will figure out what is making you sick, whether it’s an infection, virus, whatever, and give you medicine for that which in turn will make your symptoms go away. A lot of the times, your feelings are like this: symptoms of a bigger problem.

Here is an example: Stephanie is a gorgeous girl who seems to have it all, especially the attention of boys. She loves this attention and does a lot of things with guys she knows are wrong but does them anyway. Her reputation around school is becoming that of a flirt, boy-crazy, even of an “easy target” for guys who just want sex. Even her friends have distanced themselves from her…suddenly despite all the attention from guys, she feels totally lonely. Not only that she is ashamed of her behavior and feels worthless, even dirty. The more this reputation spreads, the worse she feels and the less she treats herself with respect, both in thoughts and actions. Stephanie’s problem is not that she is lonely; her problem is that she has a void in her life that she fills with behavior the Bible says is wrong, and is now suffering the symptoms of her actions.

Overcoming the games of life will keep your symptoms at bay. You need to learn WHY you are doing the things you’re doing in the first place, treat them and then know what it feels like to be healed and finally feel better! You have to fight to win the game! This month we will be talking about some of these: the Comparison Game, the Ego Game, the Blame Game and the Dating Game. There is no doubt in my mind you are dealing with one, of not all of these, things and if you aren’t now, you will be soon! This series will look at familiar games and battles in your life and take wisdom from the Bible that will help you overcome them and be the winner God wants you to be!

#journaljourney: What games in your life do you fear you are losing right now? What is your biggest struggle? Is it comparison? Pride? Forgiveness? Are obsessed with what boys think of you? Why do you think this is? What are some of your symptoms- loneliness, anger, worry, depression…I want you to write all this down because by the end of the month you WILL be able to identify your struggles better AND figure out how to treat them so you can start experiencing the fullness of your life that God intended it to be!

Scripture: Colossians 1:11-12, Ecclesiastes 9:11

 

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