Life is a struggle. From struggling with “mind over mattress” in the morning to dealing with fatigue at night, much of what we do everyday is a struggle. Our thoughts wage war with our heart. Our body fights disease. We struggle to live out our Christian values in a secular culture. We deal with people who resist us. We think we know what is right yet struggle with doing right.
As I write this I’m struggling with loving a person who is about as bitchy as they come. I don’t know how to be kind in this situation. I despise how this person treats people in anger and with disrespect. Verbal abuse and contemptuousness dominate. All I can do is pray. Maybe that’s enough to keep my emotions in check and allow some kind of love to manifest itself. I’m not in a position to make a difference in the situation. I struggle with what to do.
I also know that what I see in this person is true of myself. It’s really ugly! I don’t want to be like this. I struggle to be otherwise.
Yet, I believe our struggles can be transformed as we are – with a change in attitude and a change of heart.
By attitude I mean our thought processes. By a linking together some thoughts, we can conclude that our struggle is a good thing (based on James 1.2-8).
Begin by recognizing the struggle.
Accept the struggle as reality.
Believe that God is in the struggle.
Consider that good will come in the struggle.
Resist the temptation to escape the struggle.
Pray for God’s mercy and wisdom to deal with the struggle.
Fulfill your responsibilities as you struggle.
When we approach your struggles in this way, our heart will change. We will find ourselves responding to struggles calmly and enduring them patiently. We’ll discover new depths of strength and perseverance to carry on.
Progressively, our heart and character are being shaped by the Holy Spirit into the image of Christ. Struggles are God’s ways to shape us into His likeness.
Isn’t that worth the struggle?
Holiness only comes to those who struggle.
Now, struggle with this: one of the most goofy yet memorable TV shows from my childhood, Batman (TV Series, 1966-1968). Of the 378 “holy’s” in 120 episodes, none were “Holy struggle, Batman!” But our struggles are for our holiness. So, in my own goofiness, I’m connecting them. Maybe some goofiness will also help us cope with our struggles. “Now, to the YouTube Bat-screen!”