Thursday, May 25, 2006


Do you ever get cranky? Yell at your parents? Slam doors? Roll your eyes and mutter, "Whatever"? Sometimes life seems to conspire against us, and we just want to turn our backs on it for a while. But too often I'm afraid we excuse our bad moods or blame them on someone or something outside ourselves.

How much control do we have over moods? Probably more than we think. We can't make other people do what we want them to. We can't regulate our hormones, but we can understand them and refuse to let them rule our lives. And meanwhile, there are lots of other areas we can control.

Music. Some music makes us want to get up and dance. Some fills our hearts with quiet worship. Some makes us want to go smash windows. I can tell a big difference in my mood based on what music I listen to. I have a choice.

TV, Movies, Video games. Our minds record visual images and replay them over and over. They can make us sad, angry, happy, lustful--what we see affects our mood. We have a choice.

Thoughts. Some people don't realize they have as much control over their thoughts as they do. If someone offends us or hurts us, it's hard to shove those stewing thoughts aside. But God gave us a remedy in Philippians 4. "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

Lots of "whatevers" in there, but not the roll-your-eyes kind. Next time I'm tempted to mutter under my breath or slam a door, I'm going to try to remember God's "whatevers" and maybe go listen to some praise music. Want to join me? It won't change the circumstances around us, but it will change us.

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