“It’s much easier to behave your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of behaving. Don’t wait until you feel like celebrating; celebrate until you feel like it. . . . Refuse to be taken prisoner by emotions that don’t reflect reality.”- Andy Stanley
Andy Stanley concludes Chapter 18 of Enemies of the Heart as he notes that if you feel a bit intimidated looking God in the eye and accusing Him of owing you something, you’re on the verge of a breakthrough. As a result, you soon realize the truth. We owe God a debt we couldn’t pay. So Jesus paid that debt for us on the cross. Hence, that forever erases the possibility that God owes us anything.
And, Pastor Stanley stresses, we owe God everything – including an apology. Most noteworthy, Andy observes, the lie that God owes us something keeps the heart of jealousy beating. Thus, in order to rid ourselves of jealousy, we must face up to and expel this dangerous idea. When we do so, that frees us to move unhindered in God’s direction. With boldness, we bring all our let downs and distresses to Him. In the process, Andy exhorts, we will find mercy and grace.
But, Pastor Stanley notes, you’re just getting started. Now that you’ve wrestled your jealousy to the mat, there’s a new habit to develop that keep jealousy in check. Celebration. As you celebrate the success of those you envy, you conquer those emotions that potentially drive a wedge into a relationship. Expressing the truth frees you from the emotional bondage of jealousy. Consequently, refuse to allow dangerous emotions to rule over your behavior. Finally, as Pastor Stanley states, “there’s something powerful and liberating about celebrating the success of other people.”
Today’s question: What makes it hard to celebrate until you feel like it? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The inevitable firestorms of life”