|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Maybe your halo is too tight”
Although anxiety and despair have many causes, one of the big culprits is attitude and perspective. It’s how we think about things. And very often, that includes expecting too much from life, and from ourselves.
I’m paraphrasing a story told by author Brennan Manning: A man went to his doctor complaining of frequent severe headaches. One look at him convinced the doctor that the man was wired too tight, he was tense and stressed out. To establish a baseline upon which to assess the man’s overall lifestyle, the doctor asked him a series of basic questions.
“How much alcohol do you drink?” the doctor asked. The man was instantly indignant and huffily replied, “None! I never touch the filthy stuff!” The doctor then asked, “Do you smoke?” Getting even more offended the man said, “Of course I don’t smoke. Smoking is disgusting!” The doctor then proceeded to ask several more lifestyle questions and the man continued to get more and more perturbed at the nature of the questioning. Finally, he blurted out, “What’s with these questions? What kind of man do you think I am??!!” Without any further questions or testing the doctor said, “I’ve discovered the cause of your headaches. Your halo is too tight.”
The doctor wasn’t advocating poor lifestyle choices, but he was counseling the guy to lighten up a bit. He was taking himself and life too seriously, and he was expecting too much from himself. He, like us sometimes, was striving for perfection. But the only perfect man to ever live was Jesus Christ and … (news flash) you’re not Jesus and neither am I. Therefore, you’re not perfect and neither am I – and we won’t be this side of heaven. So … stop expecting yourself to be.
I’m not issuing you or me or anyone a license to sin. But I am saying that maybe a chocolate donut for breakfast every once in a while, isn’t really that bad of a thing. And yes, maybe you would be better off without that ten extra pounds of belly fat you’re carrying but seriously, is it the end of the world? And yes, you should pay better attention to Pastor Jim’s sermons, take notes, and do what he says, but … I forgive you, and Jesus does too.
You get the point. Lighten up a little, especially on yourself. Jesus came to give us life in all of its fullness and sometimes, that just might mean a big dish of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
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