But I don’t really feel happy. The past couple of weeks have been less-than-average and I find myself very discontent–especially at night. My last post claimed that when I’m trying to fall asleep, I thank God for the blessings he’s provided. This is still true, but only because I made the claim on my blog and now feel obligated to fulfill it–not because I’m naturally overflowing with gratitude lately. To be honest, trying to talk to God in gratitude recently has been a fight. It takes a forced and intentional decision, because it’s honestly not something I feel like doing–which I’m not proud about.
Self-compassion is key; I should never beat myself up for having negative thoughts or emotions. The last thing God wants is for us to hate ourselves. But there is a difference between beating myself up and fighting my negativity. There is a time when we need to fight ourselves (our minds, our emotions, our desires) because we live in a sinful world where we think, feel, and want things that are undesirable. In this situation, battling against myself and toward positivity is a battle I should be fighting.
“Tie a noose around your mind
Loose enough to breath fine and tie it
To a tree tell it, you belong to me, this ain’t a noose
This is a leash and I have news for you
You must obey me.”
Our minds and hearts might fight when we attempt to guide our thoughts and feelings toward godly attributes. They might throw a fit and claim that we are trying to kill them–that fighting these ungodly desires is not natural or healthy. But the ways of the world are not our ways, Christ followers.
Philippians 4:8 may be a common verse, but it is not necessarily common practice; “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
We are called to activity fight against the negative. 1 Timothy 6:11 instructs us to actively “flee from all this [“foolish and harmful desires”], and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” The pushback that we feel from our emotions and desires isn’t a sign that we should stop trying to guide and guard our hearts and minds, but instead a very real reminder that we live in a broken world. This is a battle worth fighting.
“Sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind.” —Migraine, Twenty One Pilots