12 Feb Your Feelings Can Change in 6 Steps: Part Two
Emotions are the greatest resisters to change, but you don’t have to surrender yourself to them. By presenting your body as a living sacrifice, you can learn to change. If you missed part one, click here!
5. Do it even if it is uncomfortable. Clasp your hands together in front of you with your fingers interlocked. Notice which thumb is on top. Now cross your thumbs and put the other one on top. Does it feel uncomfortable to you? You’ve made a change that your body isn’t used to.
When you start to change your posture, your tonal patterns, or your facial expressions to respond to another person, it’s uncomfortable at first. It feels like having the wrong thumb on top.
I’ve been around some people who almost explode when they get mad. I tell them, “Chill out!” But they answer, “Well, that’s just not me. I’ve always had an Irish temper.” They stay in what feels comfortable and familiar. They want the old thumb to stay on top. But what is comfortable is not always what is good, nor is it the only possibility.
6. Breaking familiar routines. When you get in your car, you probably have a certain routine you follow. You’ve been doing it so long that you’re not even aware of it. But if you get in an unfamiliar car, it becomes very obvious. The seat is not adjusted to where you like it, and the accelerator is a little stiffer than you are used to. So you react. It’s not the car that you don’t like, it’s having to do different things with your body. Physically, we tend to be creatures of habit.
Have you ever tried to get comfortable in a hotel-room bed? Well, it’s nearly impossible for me. When I was twenty, I could sleep on any bed, but now it has to be just right. I have to have three pillows, the just-right covers, and a certain room temperature. Don’t try to tell me that presenting your body is not important!
Paul said to present your body as a living sacrifice. Just as you have a certain driving position or a certain sleeping position, you can have a certain position of joy, happiness, and enthusiasm. There is a certain way you can carry yourself. Your natural driving position should be one of joy, happiness, excitement and enthusiasm for the things of God. When you have this position and trouble does come, instead of automatically getting depressed, you can present your body in joy. Sure, you might have to detour for a minute or two. You might have to get up, adjust the pillows, and roll the covers back for a minute. But you can adjust your body for happiness instead of depression.
Try smiling. Now sing Jingle Bells. I can prove to you that what you do with your body influences the mood you are in. You could sing a few more Christmas songs and start to feel happy.
By your actions, your faith is made complete. James 2:21-22 says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works and by works faith was made perfect?” One translation says, “Faith without corresponding actions is dead.”
When you begin to present your body, you dislodge hindering beliefs that are in your life. You tell the hindering beliefs what to do by telling your body what to do. You say, I’m not going to react that way this time. I’m telling my body that we’re going to do it another way.”
If I’ve had a bad day, if my back is sore, or if I had a disagreement with someone, when I tell my body to raise my hands and worship the Lord, my hindering beliefs are all going to say, “No, we don’t want you to do that.”
What you do with your body breaks those negative patterns in your life. If you’re going to change your life by changing your mind, one of the most significant things you can do is present your body as a living sacrifice. Notice that it’s not a dead sacrifice; it is a living sacrifice. Your thoughts plus your emotions equal your beliefs. Your beliefs affect your behavior, and your behavior affects the results you get in life.
Do not allow hindering beliefs to determine your behavior. Don’t allow those beliefs to tell your body that it’s sleeping on a bad bed. You must tell your body, “We are going to do it this way from now on.” When you start using your body as the tool God gave you, you can dislodge and break the negative patterns you have had all your life.
James 2:24 concludes, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”
There are certain things (works) you can do with your body that will help you release your faith. When your faith is released, you can dislodge hindering behavioral and emotional patterns in your life simply by presenting your body.
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