I hope this doesn’t sound like a sermon, because nobody should ever be forced to endure one of those…..Ha! Just kidding. 🙂
In all seriousness however, I have to keep hearing this message myself because culture is so pervasive and so influential. So, don’t own it, don’t adopt it, don’t claim it if it doesn’t belong to you. If God didn’t give it to you, it doesn’t belong to you. I’m talking about things like fear, anxiety, depression, stress, attention deficit disorder, anger, and just about anything else negative that we regard as an affliction.
It may be ON you, but it isn’t OF you.
This is especially true as we bring more awareness of mental health into our culture, because there seems to be this real push to claim our afflictions almost like trophies of shame. Hey man, I earned this anxiety.
Had an amusing conversation with someone about anxiety as in, “you’ll pry MY anxiety out of my cold, dead hands. It is hardwired into the very essence of my chemical composition and my DNA. Respect my anxiety!”
Like dude, you aren’t made out of concrete! You can’t hardwire a fluid creature whose very cells have now been regenerated and are not the same cells you had six month ago. Right?! We are not our six year old selves anymore, we are ever fluid, growing, and regenerating.
It was somewhat funny because said dude obviously also had no respect, or even any awareness of my own afflictions, needs, or mental health issues. Like, good grief, I’m not going to “respect the anxiety,” the anxiety really stinks! I’ve been there and done that. I got out of it by talking to the Lord in prayer. The first step is to pay attention to your words. I realized I claim things, I announce my ownership of them, I adopt them, as in, “MY stress.”
Life is a journey or a process, so when we are ready, we let go of things. I’m not trying to shame anybody who isn’t ready. I have not been ready myself, many times.
This isn’t about one person, but rather about a far reaching cultural message that tries to heal the things that hurt us, by demanding social acceptance and more awareness, as if the problem isn’t the problem, the problem is just that other people perceive it as a problem.
Don’t invite things in that don’t belong to you. And if God didn’t give it to you, then it isn’t yours to hang onto. He invites us into healing and wholeness. He came to set the captives free, but we have to believe Him and to be willing to reach for it.