Friday, September 5, 2008

Choosing Not

I learned one of my biggest life lessons at a women's ministry conference some ten years or more ago.

It was about choices.

Now of course the concept of making choices wasn't anything new to me. But what the speaker enlightened me about was "choosing not to".

As in choosing not to get upset or angry when someone says something you don't like.

Choosing not to be offeneded when someone does something unkind to you.

Choosing not to feel slighted when someone leaves you out, inadvertently or on purpose.

Choosing not to fly into a rage in the heat of a disagreement. (Particularly useful for married couples.)

Choosing not to be vindicative or spiteful, not to retaliate in kind when you've been hurt.

Choosing Not.

The choice is yours.

This was eye-opening and life-changing for me. I was never one to hold grudges but after a disagreement, it might take me a while to cool off.

I'd never thought about having the ability to control my emotions simply by thinking in terms of making the positive choice of choosing not.

Not to be angry.

Not to be frustrated.

Not to be fearful.

Not to be cynical.

Not to be distrustful.

Not to be hurt.

Not to be offended.


The choice is mine.

This made a huge difference in my life. Initially, I had to talk myself through situations, and occasionally I still do. I found myself saying, "Maybe she meant to hurt my feelings but I choose not to be hurt." Then I took a deep breath, exhaled...

And I'm wasn't.

Do this enough times and it starts to become second nature.

Talk about powerful. It's one of the most freeing concepts I ever learned.

If you want to know more, you can get the tapes here.

Peace & Blessings,


Chicki said...

This is why I hate to hear Christians say, "I couldn't help myself." That's such baloney. We always have a choice, and the mature believer must make the choice that will please God.

Patricia W. said...

I totally agree. But many Christians view that only in regard to the "big" things in their lives--children, employment, career, marriage, etc.

How many people think, when faced with an opportunity not to be offended by some minute slight, that's it yet another opportunity to show Christian witness by taking the high road rather than acting out or getting angry and asking for forgiveness later?

I think if we could get more Christians to mature in this area, rather than worrying about preaching, prophecying, speaking in tongues, and other spiritual things that have their place, to be sure, the world would be a better place.