Today might be one of those days. You know what I’m talking about. A day where you’re wondering if you could be different, if your life could be less painful and more meaningful. I know how you’re feeling. I’ve had plenty of those days myself.
But walking with giants like Henry Cloud, John Townsend and Dave Stoop, I discovered a different path than the one “nice Christians” were supposed to be on. Dave and I put that path in our book, Take Your Life Back. We also included in there how you can get to that path from where you are now.
What we want you to understand with Take Your Life Back is this is the life God wanted for you all along…before all the hurt, bad choices and shame took over. This isn’t just an improvement on something that’s flawed; it’s the restoration of a wonderful gift God made just for you!
So what’s so good about it? At the end of Take Your Life Back, Dave and I spell out 31 different characteristics of the life taken back. These are all qualities of life that were part of the original “base model” God intended for us to have, but that sin and its consequences have rendered useless. I want to share three of these qualities with you today:
When you live the reactive life that comes with pain and shame, you end up looking and acting like a scared turtle. You stay tucked safely away inside your shell. You know too well the danger of letting your real self venture outside into a world that threatens you with more pain and shame.
But when you confront the past and take your life back from all that stuff that makes you reactive, you discover the beauty of living beyond yourself. You discover how much more fulfilling it is to share than to be stingy. You wake up wondering who needs you or who needs what you have and what do you need to do to share the awesome blessings that have come upon you.
In the reactive life, there’s nothing to be grateful for. Everything is a mess. You’ve lived hurt ever since you can remember. This awful state of living is either the fault of what somebody did to you, or it’s the result of a long list of bad choices. Either way, you’re stuck in a situation you don’t like, and you’re certainly not happy or grateful for being there.
When you take your life back, you are now able to see beneath all the scars into the beauty that God created. You see that beauty in you! And that gives you a new, grateful heart. You then begin to serve from a grateful heart as an act of gratitude. You want to serve as our Lord served you. You want to leave a legacy of serving. You choose to serve because it is a rewarding proof that you have the power and freedom to choose something rewarding rather than something degrading.
In the reactive life you have nothing, so there’s nothing to give. You hoard what little you might have because you’re certain that somebody’s going to try to take it from you, whether it’s love or money. You hoard because your “stuff” is all you really have.
When you take your life back, your eyes are opened up to the extreme generosity of God. You now understand the value of your true self and know that exceeds any amount of material wealth you could ever have. So you give…
You give because you are generous. You have matured in this life to a place where you don’t need much and you love to give to those who have nothing or lack something in an area where you can help.
If that sounds like your life, that’s awesome! I’m so glad you’ve taken your life back! Hopefully, you’ve arrived at this place where you can share with those who are in need. This Christmas isn’t going to be stressful for you. You’re not going to worry about what you’re going to get, or whether you’re getting enough stuff for the right people. You’re just excited about the opportunity to give, and to see the goodness flow through you into others.
If that doesn’t sound like your life, then start the process of taking your life back and discover the richness and fullness of life that God wants for you. It’s all right there in the original packaging. You just need to undergo the restoration process to get yourself back in “mint” condition.
Find out more about Take Your Life Back, and about the Take Your Life Back intensive workshops being offered in 2017. Resolve to make 2016 the last year you settle for a reactive life and move toward all that God has planned for you right now!
If you would like to give to New Life and help support our ministry, call us at 1-800-NEWLIFE, or click here to examine all the ways you can help others take their lives back.