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Combating an If-Then Mentality


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I recently read a quote by well-known pastor and author Tullian Tchividjian which said, “If you detach every time things don't go your way, it reveals just how much you've built your identity on winning.”  The thought stuck with me and I pondered situations which provoke the detachment about which he speaks.

Academic difficulties…

Financial pressures…

Relational struggles…

…The list could continue.  

I tend to live my life with an “if-then” mentality.  If things go my way, then I will be happy.  If this situation changes, then I’ll be comfortable.  What happens is that my security and emotions become attached to my circumstances and their hypothetical improvement.  Thus begins the detachment and identity crisis Tchividjian identified.

What’s the alternative to letting circumstances – good or bad – define my life?  One step in the right direction is to let the truth of God’s Word be the lens through which all circumstances are evaluated.  What do I know for sure to be true right now?  What has He already accomplished on my behalf?  What does God say about this?  What difference does knowing Jesus make today?  

Try asking yourself some of those questions and coming up with biblical answers.  You might discover, as I have, that regardless of your circumstances, you can agree with King David who acknowledged in the present tense, “my cup overflows.”

Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

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