Thursday, July 19, 2012

We Are Not Defined By What Happens To Us

The Bible teaches two very important principles that many seem to have forgotten. In life, there are both crosses and crops. Let me explain.

Crosses are those things that we must bear. Everyone has one. Health ailments, family issues—these can be crosses. As we age, our bodies break down—no matter how much Botox, weave, and face cream you use, your body will age. Black may not crack, but given enough time, it will certainly chip. Many of us have crazy family members. In fact, I would venture to say that we all have at least one family member who is at least a little psychotic. These are all crosses. There is nothing we can do about them. We have to bear them, but they are used by God to develop patience, humility, and empathy.

However, there are also crops. Let’s examine these using the first example above. While health issues will invariably come, we can certainly exacerbate those issues by failing to take proper care of ourselves. Eating poorly, failing to exercise—these can also lead to health ailments. However, in this case they are crops, not crosses. These are the crops that are the result of what we have sown. If we make poor choices, we may get by a few times, but eventually we will reap what we sow.

Why is this important?

We have to be able to discern the crops and the crosses in our lives. If it is a cross, then pray for the strength to bear it. Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth talked about a thorn in his side. God’s response to his pleading for removal of this thorn was simply to remind him that God’s grace is sufficient to handle whatever he was enduring.

If it is a crop, learn from it. Vow to never make the same mistake again. Do not repeat past mistakes that put you in difficult positions. Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing expecting a different result. That is not a psychological definition of insanity, but I think it certainly works for stupidity.

No matter what, we are not the mistakes we’ve made. Nor are we the crosses we have to bear. We are more. We are not defined by what happens to us but, instead, by how we respond.

- Lawrence Ware
(To read Lawrence's full bio, click here.)
*photo via Pinterest


lavettemb said...

I recently came to this conclusion. Very true.

MzTrayJay said...

This was right on time, thank you!

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