Saturday, October 18, 2014

Change Your Definition

I want to encourage you today, with the words Wayne Cordeiro in his book "Attitudes that Attract Success"

One way to cultivate staying power is to change your definition of an event or circumstance. After all, the way in which you define your circumstances will determine, to a large degree, how you will respond to that event.

Consider it all joy, and watch your faith grow.

I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for many years. Eugene is known for, among other things, frequent gray skies and rain. Being from Hawaii, the absence of the sun's warm rays on my body took a toll on me, especially during the winter. Believe it or not, I actually resorted to buying a sunlamp one year when I felt I was about to die from a lack of solar exposure!

I remember walking to a coffee shop with a friend one November morning when it began to rain. Not looking forward to another rainy day, I complained, "Rain again! I wish it would quit.!"

My friend's response surprised me. "Hooray!" he cheered exuberantly. "Rain, I love it!"

"Why in the world are you celebrating this horrible weather?"

"Because that means it's snowing in the mountains. Ski season has begun!"

My friend was an avid skier. He had defined "rain" as heralding the beginning of a great ski season. I, on the other hand, had defined it as cause for another day of depression and sunlamp therapy. Between each event and your attitude concerning that event lies your definition of that event.

Consider [define] it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (Jas. 1:2).
James instructs us to define our events carefully because how we see our circumstances will affect our attitudes and actions. Not only does James tell us to define them carefully, but he also tells us to define it all as joy! Not just the good times but all of our circumstances, including trials, are to be defined as cause for joy. 
How can we possibly do that? Read on, as James continues:
Consider [define] it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking of nothing (Jas. 1:2-4).
We get to define it all as joy, even our trials, when we know the positive outcome any event can have on our lives - deepening our faith, producing endurance and making us complete and lacking nothing. Wow! Now that's powerful promise!

Change your definition, considering it all joy, and watch your faith grow, your endurance increase and your life become complete. You'll lack for nothing, simply because you've chosen to define things the way God defines them. 

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