If you squeeze an orange, orange juice will come out, right? And if you were to squeeze a lemon, lemon juice would come out. You wouldn’t send an apple through a juicer and expect pineapple juice to come out.
So when you squeeze a Christian, wouldn’t you expect a Christian attitude to come out?
Unfortunately, many of us are just the opposite. When we are pressed, we might overflow with irritation or distress. Myself included. At times I can be great about remaining upbeat and positive. But I still get aggravated more often than I would like. Usually it’s like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I will be ok with a little bit of stress here and a little bit of stress there. But then suddenly there is one final blow.
As Christians, we don’t have to be rocked by the waves of this stressful world, for Jesus left us with a precious gift – His peace.
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27 NLT
So I am vowing to make a change today. When I am squeezed, I would like for the love and peace of Jesus to flow out of me. I want to display the peace that surpasses all understanding, even in times of trouble. But how do we do that?
First of all, we have to put God first. This will build a solid foundation. We have to have time with Him each day. Reading our Bible, meditating on His Word, and soaking up His love are key. If we don’t have His love inside of us, how can we show His love to others?
Also, we have to watch what we feed our minds and hearts. When we turn on the television, or listen to the radio, or open a book – are we taking in something that will nourish our souls? Or are we taking in worldly things? These things have a way of seeping into our thoughts, even after we have turned them off. So be careful to fill yourself up with good things.
And another thing that helps me a lot, is to remind myself all throughout the day of God’s promises and love. Memorizing scriptures that pertain to different life situations is helpful. And I give myself pep talks. Sometimes we have to be our own best friends. We have to tell ourselves that God has got this. We have to tell ourselves that everything is going to be ok.
Sometimes we think that when we become Christians, God is just going to snap His fingers and change our attitudes. But the truth is that we have to take a stand when it comes to controlling our actions.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. – Romans 8: 12 NLT
Recently, things at work have been getting me down. It seemed like every single project that came my way was a disaster. In these situations, it can be easy for me to get discouraged. I want everything to go right, and I want to do well with my work. But that is not always realistic. So on one particular trying day, I had to keep telling myself over and over not to get discouraged. I told myself that it was just work, that everything would be fine in the end, and that God was by my side. This helped me to stay focused, complete some of the work that was piled up, and eliminate some of the stress.
So tell me, what comes out of you when you’re squeezed? Do you get easily discouraged under pressure? If so, will you join me and make a vow today to turn things around?