31 January 2011


When things get tough my tendency is to get critical. 

That might be a good thing, if I was looking at myself and not other things. Its easy to blame the circumstances, the times, the other person. Looking in the mirror is harder. Its also healthier. 

When you're aggravated at life let me encourage you to try some godly reflection. Get some time alone or with someone you trust and work through some questions like:

  • Why does this make me so mad, so fast? 
  • What is it that I want most out of this situation?
  • Why do I dwell so much on these things? (A good follow-up to this one: Is it a "God thing" or a "me thing" that keeps me coming back to this issue?) 
  • What unhealthy ways have I learned to deal with this that need to change before it can get better?
  • What passages of Scripture do I know that relate to this issue?
  • What promises does God give me about this area? 

It's true that looking in the mirror is tough. In fact, as I wrestle through certain seasons of my life Paul's frustration resonates with me: "Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me." (Romans 7.21). But infinitely more encouraging is the reality that though we struggle we are not dependent on sheer will power alone for success, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (Philippians 2.13).

Sometimes looking at our reflection reveals mountains of motives, emotions and even revealing revelations about what's going on inside, under the surface.

And thanks to Don Wolgemuth for the refreshing reminder: "The first obstacle in working with young people is you" You can check out the full post at The Resurgence.


  1. Fantastic post Dan! Bravo. I love it.

  2. ahhh.....the blasted mirror! Combine that with the Light turned on and boy it sure can get ugly! He is faithful to pour out grace (I think this means that we are able to actually see that we are surrounded by it) when we take nice long looks and until the reflection once again shines the face of Jesus.

  3. This is so right on. Good list of questions for reflection.

  4. Came back to this post because I have been very critical today, wanting to lash out and complain about a lot of things...all the time asking myself why I'm so "cranky" today. The message this morning was fantastic so why didn't that soothe my heart? so kept asking...I think that it is because something very hurtful is happening and I have absolutely no control over it. For application this morning, Pastor asked where we find peace...and pointed us to the God's Sovereignty, His Providence, His Infalibility, and His Love. So will I find peace in God or continue to fight? I'm working on surrender, joyous surrender.