Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5 Minute Mental Makeover

If I’m a cross-cultural worker who is supposed to be like Jesus and love and serve others sacrificially, then why do I feel so grouchy and unmotivated to do anything?

These thoughts crossed my mind as I made a list of what I needed to do to get ready for our house church meeting last Sunday: 
  • Mop the kitchen and living room.
  • Clean the bathroom.
  • Make a pasta salad and a dessert.
  • Get out the dishes.

On a hot summer day, just thinking about all this activity made me break out in a sweat. My energy was sapped, and my thoughts went from bad to worse.  Who wanted to have a house church meeting anyway? Um, are workers like me supposed to even ask questions like this?

I needed an attitude change, and it was too hot to start working, so I sat down and prayed, “God, I don’t know how I can make it through this afternoon.  Please help!”  I opened my Bible, and Romans 12:1, 2 jumped off the page at me:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I read it a few times and sat quietly. In a few minutes my perspective changed, and I remembered two things:

1. My Life is Not About Me Being Comfortable

If I’m a living sacrifice, I don’t get to choose to serve just when it’s convenient and I feel like it. Of course I need to care for myself, but feeling hot or tired is not the end of the world.  My life is about serving God and others when He leads, no matter what the circumstances. That’s what being a living sacrifice means. Serving others is worship is action.

2. I Need to Have My Mind Constantly Renewed by God’s Word

My days start off well.  I wake up feeling positive, and spending 30 minutes with God gives me the encouragement I need for the day. But later things go wrong: a friend cancels our lunch date, or my husband calls to say he’ll be late.  Left to my own devices I complain, criticize and fret about getting my own way.  My attitude spirals into the gutter, and I need a mental makeover. 

Sitting down for five minutes to pray last Sunday helped me see God’s perspective, allowed the Holy Spirit to renew my thoughts, and reminded me that I could choose what to think about. Meditating on Romans 12:1,2 changed my attitude as I cleaned my house and prepared food. Instead of complaining, I prayed that my work would bless my guests.

Do you ever have days when you need a mental make over?  How do you handle it?


Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

Olive, I have to agree: the best way to get a mental make-over for me is to get into God's Word. That's why I always have a few verses that I'm working on memorizing tucked into a 4x6 photo album. I keep it handy and read over those verses several times each day. It's like a good cup of strong coffee for the soul, but sticks with me a little longer! Love your blog. I'll be back for more visits!

OliveTree said...

Kay, that is a great idea to use a little photo album for scripture memory. I am working on scripture memory this year, inconsistently, but I'm not forgetting it either! I use a small notebook, but what I'm not so good at is reading over the verses several times during the day. I'm going to try that, it's a great idea!

Thanks for visiting.

TJ said...

I have also had many days where my day has started off well with time with God and then I get derailed way too fast. If I am able, I sometimes give myself a timeout. If not, I try to keep my mouth shut until I can do so. Teenagers bring out the best and worst in me. Thanks for your thoughts and the verses.

Alida said...

Well I sure am glad to have read this!! Your reminder that this life is not about me being comfortable is timely. Thank you for this post.

Kris Thede said...

I find that putting on some praise music or music about the Lord takes the focus off me [where it causes problems and bad attitudes] and back on Him. This change of view helps me to deal with those problem days, minutes or situations.