|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Resilience”
Our Bible verse for today: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Reject learned helplessness and the easy path of victimhood.”
Pastor John Ortberg tells of a research project conducted at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s. Lab animals were put in a box and given small shocks. At first, they moved and jumped and tried to get away from the source of the shock, but to no avail. No matter what they did or where they moved to, the shocks still came. Soon they learned to stop trying and to just accept the shocks. Then they were moved to another box where they could avoid the shocks by simply moving a few steps in another direction. But they didn’t even try. Instead, they continued to accept the shocks even though they didn’t have to. It was learned helplessness. They had a sense of helplessness that they had learned through their previous circumstances and even though the circumstances had changed, they still believed they were helpless to do anything to improve their situation.
People get like that too. They learn to believe they are helpless. Then they convince themselves that they are victims. And then they stop trying. This results in low emotional intelligence (the opposite of what we were discussing in yesterday’s devotional). It also results in a sad life lived well below the potential of the individual. This is not a thriving individual who is living life well.
Resilient Christians reject learned helplessness. They reject the easy path of victimhood. The way they do that was discussed in an earlier devotional in this series regarding the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. That lesson taught us that although we don’t always have control over what happens to us, but we do always have control over how we respond to what happens to us.
For instance, you can refuse to give-in or to give-up. It really is true that nothing is over until you give-up. Therefore, as long as you refuse to give-up, you can still find ways to make your situation better. This is the attitude the Psalmist was expressing in Psalm 121:1. He knew that there was always help and hope waiting for him if he would turn in faith and expectation to the Lord. Maybe his circumstances would get better, but even if they didn’t, the Lord would give him the strength and courage to deal with his circumstances in a dignified and noble manner. There is no giving-in or giving-up, no learned helplessness or victimhood, in the words of Psalm 121:1.
I encourage you to reject learned helplessness and the easy path of victimhood. Do not give-in or give-up. With the Lord there is always help and there is always hope!
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