"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."
This was interesting to me this morning... sometimes I don't want to take responsibility for myself, and I’ll blame everything on other people. You know... I am who I am because of this horrible society that teaches me to be this way. I am who I am because someone harmed me in the past... I am who I am because I grew up in a dysfunctional family. :) And you know, all of us have challenges in life. :) I can't think of a family that isn't dysfunctional in some way... or a society on this earth that doesn't teach people to behave badly in some area... and I don't know anyone who hasn't been harmed in some way in the past. All of these things are part of our lives... part of what God factored into the plan. I am not trying to diminish anyone's experience at all... I am just saying that God knew you would have to go through this. God knew that I would deal with the things that I am dealing with in my life... and he provided a way for all of us to triumph over these experiences. He provided a way for us to learn and become more than we could ever hope for ourselves. We have to learn to rule ourselves, to think before we act... to balance the temporary against the eternal. We have to learn to love the people around us, even when they aren't who we want them to be. Even when they seem to have more than we have ever wanted. Instead of being a city that anyone can walk into and ransack... we need to own our actions, we need to control our impulses... and if we can, then we will have some protection against intruders. People can no longer push our buttons and "make" us react badly. We choose how to react. We will no longer be kept from relationships because of fear... we can choose whether to be vulnerable or not. And choose how we react to rejection or pain. We will never have our souls tarnished with hatred, because we can choose whether or not to let it enter. Not that it is all easy, of course... but choosing to take responsibility for ourselves is freeing. Nothing else can control us unless we allow it to... it makes life so much more interesting. :)