We’ve all met them. They’re the ones that patiently stalk us….waiting.
Then, at just the perfect time, they introduce themselves and, if we’re not careful, move into the extra bedroom and become permanent renters in our lives.
And spiritual warfare begins. I see you rolling your eyes. But you know I’m right. There are forces in this world whose soul purpose is to destroy our happiness and security. They take their responsibilities very seriously and do a magnificent job. After all, these forces have the advantage of centuries to perfect their craft. Their resources and knowledge span time and eternity. And often, since we only have a short amount of time on this earth to learn how to combat their tactics, we’re powerless to stop them.
Hello, my name is Regret, and I’m quite positive we’ve met.
How much of our lives are wasted looking backwards and feeling sad about the things we’ve done…or not done. Regret robs us of moving forward towards brighter hopes and dreams. Regret would much prefer us to wallow in misery and throw a perpetual pity party. When we’re fixated on our past, it’s oh so easy to overlook the positive things going on in our lives. I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn from our mistakes. Acknowledging and using the past to help chart out a better future is a constructive way to approach life. I’m saying that partying too much with Regret can be counterproductive to anything pro-active. Think of it like an endless hangover.
Hello, my name is Guilt, let me destroy the life you’ve built.
You’ve heard of the buddy system? Well, Guilt seems to always be tagging along with Regret, hoping to benefit from the swath of destruction. After Regret is finished, Guilt tends to stick around to make sure we never forget the terrible decisions we’ve made in the past. Even if we’ve taken steps to rectify our mistakes, Guilt loves to drag them back out, putting them front and center at every opportunity…through our own self-defeating attitude, or through others who won’t let us ever live down what we’ve done.
Hello, my name is Doubt, and I’ll help you sort it all out.
But, what if….is the calling card of Doubt. By strategically offering what seems to be viable alternatives, Doubt is always stirring the pot of happiness, hoping it will boil over and ruin everything. And many times we’re oblivious to what just happened. Sometimes Doubt relishes the idea of using our intellect to help rationalize or justify our thinking, masking the truth. Then it twists our arm so we pat ourselves on the back on how smart we are. Doubt sometimes brings a clever little helper called Worry to ensure we don’t lose focus on all the negative possibilities and outcomes.
Hello, my name is Defeat, and I’m almost impossible to beat.
Defeat….that point when we just give up and give in. Defeat is sort of like being introduced to The Closer. In sales, The Closer is the one who seals the deal. The Closer gains the trust of the prospect and, in turn, makes the decision to buy an easy one. Defeat quietly buddies up to us and spends a lot of time getting to know our fears and faults…all the time whispering in our ear so not to be too noticeable. Then, Defeat creates a seamless method for us to just give up and lose hope in the future. Defeat fills our heads and hearts with trash talk, leaving little room for much else. SCORE, and the deal is sealed.
Hello, my name is Hope, and I can knot the end of your rope.
When Regret, Guilt, Doubt and Defeat are laughing as we dangle at the end of our rope, it’s time to call for rescue. And our rescuer is always Hope. Hope is the one that ties a secure knot so we don’t completely slip off the rope into the abyss. Hope points us towards a confident expectation of the future. And Hope always introduces us to Faith…in something. Consider Hope and Faith a saving Dynamic Duo because when we have hope, we begin to have faith the future will be better than the present.
But Hope and Faith rarely travel alone. They always bring an entourage that includes Grace, Love, Trust, Mercy and Forgiveness. For me, Hope and Company always bring a sense of peace to my life…even when it seems like it’s spiraling out of control. With them, I live not by random chance, but as a child of God with a clear destination. I am free to live my life without being manipulated by Regret, Guilt, Doubt and Defeat.
With Hope and Faith, I can learn from my mistakes and moments of weakness. I can look at terrible things that have happened to me and trust they’ve happen for a purpose. God’s Love, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness are always my bodyguards when Regret, Guilt, Doubt and Defeat come calling.
Hello, my name is….
Who is stalking you?