Are you troubled by things you’ve done, by what you’ve said to people, or by what people have said to you? Are your words typically supportive, or do you find yourself often critical, caustic or hostile?
Colossians 3:17 says “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God and the Father by Him.” (KJV)
When you speak or act in a way that you know in your heart to be wrong, you pay with your emotions. You chip away at your own self-respect. But one of the most important principles that you can apply to your life is that your mental health is in your control. YOU are the one who must CHOOSE how to respond to individuals and situations in your life that are less than perfect.
You might say, “If only this person would change, then all these wonderfully warm friendly qualities would be released in me.” Not so. Nobody can cause you to be angry, stubborn, immovable, inflexible, and easily irritable. Your behavior is determined by your spirit, and your spirit involves you and God. It’s a unique relationship. It has nothing to do with anyone else.
Romans 13:1-2 says “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers for there is no power but of God and the powers that are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power resists the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive unto themselves damnation” (KJV). The NIV puts it in a gentler way: “will bring judgment on themselves.” You see, your behavior makes a difference to you.
Don’t allow yourself to drift away from allowing the Lord to fill your heart with His Spirit day by day. Nobody can stop you from calling on God to fill you with His love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, and patience. Do what you’re doing and saying in His Name, as though He were right there with you. Let Him help you feel the relief of walking through life with a thankful spirit.
Philippians 2:2-4 tells us to “let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves” (KJV).
Becoming preoccupied with the negative qualities of anyone or anything in your life causes you to lose sight of good things. The Creator of the universe laid down His life for you. He has chosen to put the emphasis on your spiritual life. He has chosen to give you of His Spirit, and to make your burden light. He gives you the ability to honor him in all that you do and say.
Take a step . . .
Are you presently holding on to a heavy burden? Open your heart to God’s Spirit and let Him fill your life with joy, peace, love, kindness, and gentleness. Take a moment to pray this prayer:
Lord, help me to be conscious of the fact that You have something to say about the way I interact with people and situations in my life. Help me to be more aware of my response to the tasks that are given to me and how I interact with people. Today I choose to commit what I do and say to You, looking to You for that spirit of joy that you died to give me, doing it in Your Name. Help me to remember I do this with You by my side. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.
Read Colossians 3:17, Romans 13:1-2, and Philippians 2:2-4.
This is a summary of Dr. Brandt’s message Biblical Behavior.