Daily Devotions

Overcoming a Bad Day

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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

We are all susceptible to the occasional bad day. The question is how we respond. Will we get over it quickly, or will it ruin our day, or even our week? God has called us to model a Christ-like life, and why would anyone desire Christ in their life if it is perceived to be miserable? Now, we cannot expect to live blissfully every minute of the day, but we should have the ability to respond to situations knowing the Spirit is our guide.

Barry Davret, in his article, “How to Recover From A Bad Day In 5 Minutes,” helps us get a better perspective. He reminds us that we choose how we will respond to our day. We still retain control of our responses, even when control of situations may be taken from us. Davret continues his argument by sharing a quote by Victor Frankl. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Our choices define us and our level of trust and faith.

Davret then calls us to remember “Life as an Aggregate Instead of Isolated Events.” One setback and then another and soon we are telling ourselves that “we are cursed.” These lies we tell ourselves block out the truth the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us. Davret calls us to look at life with “The Twenty-Five-Year Lens.” That is why life experience is important. We have the arc of life to look back on when considering any moment in time. When we recognize God’s support in previous moments, it helps us better understand how God will assist us in this moment in time.

When we can stop long enough to think through our present emotion, we can regain control of our lives. When we respond thoughtfully, we take back control of our emotions and our lives. Doing this thoughtful process not only improves our wellbeing, but also helps others see that the Holy Spirit can make a positive difference in our lives.

Breaking the Toxic Relationship Pattern

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Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

None of us are perfect, so we all have had toxic relationship patterns. Breaking those innate patterns will determine whether future relationships will be healthy, or not. Carolyn Yates, in her article, “How To Break Toxic Relationship Patterns” helps us address these toxic patterns and change them so we can have healthier relationships in the future. This includes any kind of relationship from a working relationship, to friendship, to marriage. The same recommendation holds true if we are to sustain healthy relationships in our life.

Yates calls us to reflect on our own relationship patterns. The more honest we can be with ourselves the more we will learn and change. Yates quotes psychotherapist Melissa Lopez who states, “Without awareness and acceptance that something is a maladaptive pattern, it is impossible to move forward.” Looking at the family and friend dynamics throughout your life is a helpful key to unlock your relationship patterns.

Once we have identified at least some of our relationship patterns, it is important that we honestly hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We do this, according to Yates, when we “Slow Down the Conversation.” Both in conversations in your past, and in present conversations, try to focus on listening, without jumping to conclusions. Far too often we stop listening and make assumptions from our experiences, rather than listening to what the person is actually saying, thinking, and feeling. Sadly, these assumptions are often wrong and can have negative consequences. 

Next, Yates calls us to “Set Aside Time to Talk on Purpose,” with those we care about. The less purposeful our conversations, the more we tend to fill the void with assumptions. See each of these intentional encounters as “A Chance for Change.” If we do not believe change is possible then why even bother. This chance for positive change takes place through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We do not have to keep repeating the same toxic mistakes. With God’s help we can have healthy relationships that are good for us and others.

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