Footsteps in Faith: What keeps anyone stuck in bad stuff

| September 12, 2014 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Stacie Kervin
2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment
25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division

What keeps us stuck in bad circumstances?

Whether it’s a bad job, financial problems, addictions, unhealthy relationships or even something as minor as a bad attitude, it can often seem like there’s nothing we can do to pull ourselves out of it.

Have you ever felt powerless in the face of situations like these? And is there something you could be doing differently to change your life, even when circumstances seem unchangeable?

There are five habits we need to quit in order to make change in our lives.

1. Giving in to compulsions. Compulsions are decisions we make without thinking. These are the things we know aren’t good for us, and if we stopped to think about them for a second, we wouldn’t do them.

But we don’t stop to think about them, so we do them anyway. When we give in to these compulsions over and over, we’re sacrificing our power to change our situation.

2. Saying “yes” when you mean “no.” Any time we say yes when we really mean no, whether it’s to an addiction, an obligation, a function, a committee, a nonprofit, an event, a good cause or a bad habit, we give away a little bit of the power we have to shape the life we want. Are you saying yes when you should be saying no?

3. Taking the easy way out. Every time we take the easy way out. The easy way out is never as easy as we want. If there’s some unresolved tension or conflict in your life, it may be hard to work it out, but it’s worth it to resolve a problem and move forward in your life.

Listen to the Spirit’s prodding. If there’s a tension God is asking you to work through, do the hard work of working through it.

4. Worrying about others more than yourself. Thinking too much about what matters to others and not enough about our own wants, needs, thoughts and ideas can sacrifice an important part of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with caring for others. But if we care for others at the expense of caring for ourselves, we sacrifice the power we’ve been given to shape our lives and ourselves.

Of course, the pendulum can swing the other way where we think too much of ourselves and not enough of others. Balance is key.

5. Living in fear rather than love. Fear steals our ability to love, and that steals our ability to take control of our own circumstances. Anytime we surrender to the notion that we have no power, we abandon the great power we have.

Is there something in your life that you think is unchangeable? A good place to start would be in prayer. Then, take steps of faith and start living in love rather than fear, and begin to do the hard work that may be necessary to make change in your life.

(Editor’s note: The five habits listed in this story come from the article “The Real Reason You Feel Powerless to Change Your Life” by Allison Vesterfelt.)

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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