I’m reading a book right now. It’s called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. In it the author talks about 7 practices and paradigms that help every person become effective. To be honest I read half the book over the last 2 months and realized that it hadn’t sunk in, so I went back to the beginning. Needless to say I’m thankful I did cause it’s starting to hit home.
Habit number 1 is called the Habit of Proactivity. In this chapter Stephen Covey talks about the fact that we as human beings have been gifted with the ability to become self-aware. He talks about how, unlike animals, we can, in a way, separate ourselves from ourselves and perceive what is happening within us at a spiritual, emotional, and mental level. We can become self-aware. This may seem simple, it may seem obvious but the reality is that this is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. He not only gave us the ability to be self-aware but He gave us a free will. He gave us the ability to not only perceive what’s happening within us but to make decisions based on that information.
Again, maybe it seems obvious and your wondering, “Trev, what’s the big deal?”. But the thing is that this is where freedom as humans comes from (outside of the issue or sin, we know where freedom from that comes from!). Here’s the life changing thing about it. No one and no thing has the ability to control you. So often we say, or hear people say this, “They are making my life miserable!” “Life just sucks right now!”. “They make me SO MAD!”
What I’m getting at here is this. YOU GET TO CHOOSE! No one makes you do anything. Obviously there are certain situations where you have to do something and there are definitely people in horrible situations that they don’t have a choice but the issue or self-awareness and free will goes beyond our circumstances. Free will goes down to the core. You can’t control if someone does something to you, BUT you can choose how you’re going to respond to it. You’re going to decide if you let that thing effect you or not.
Stephen Covey uses the example of a Jew who was imprisoned during the second world war. While locked up naked and cold in a small room in a concentration camp this young man realized that while the Nazi’s had taken all of his freedom, abused him and killed most of his family there was something that they could never take. They could never take his ability to choose how he was going to respond. He began to practice this new found freedom and before long he was liberating other prisoners. They were prisoners but free. He developed relationships with the guards and in the end made it out of the camp alive. This is the power of self awareness and the gift of proactivity.
What I want to say to you today is simple. You get to choose. So what are you choosing? Are you letting other people control your happiness, success, freedom and joy in life? Are you deferring and giving others control over you. There are a lot of difficult situations but in every situation you always have a choice. Choose God today, choose the truth, choose peace and life and worship and hope and love. Join me as we rise up in freedom and free others with us along the way!