Defined by Negative

I don’t know about you, but it seems like I always pick the longest line possible. Bank, grocery store, drive thru, it matters not. It seems like the other lines speed by while I’m behind the guy who is taking out a second mortgage at the drive through teller.

The truth is, however, studies have shown that we actually pick the fast line far more often. Our brain is just wired (or conditioned) to remember the negative emotions associated with the slow lines. That’s why, no matter how many times a guy gets things right, his wife is likely to remember his bonehead moments with incredible longevity, emotion and detail.

But if we are not careful, we will allow our lives to become defined by those negative moments. I ALWAYS pick the wrong line, you NEVER think of me, I’m ALWAYS making the wrong choice. In fact, we can come to see ourselves as a total loser, a screwup, or unlucky, all based on a few anecdotal instances our brains choose to hold on to. Even when I probably make the right choice FAR more often.

Here’s the fact, whether I’m in the slow lane or the fast lane, I am a fallen creature in need of redemption through Christ ALL the time. So what if, instead of being defined by the negative, I allowed myself to be defined by grace? What if I realized that, in God’s eyes, I am viewed through the lens of His mercy, in spite of my sin, wrong choices and general boneheadedness? What if I understood and accepted that I live in a relationship with my Creator that is rock solid in His love, and that I’m free to grow, and try, and blow it occasionally, because ultimately I am unconditionally accepted in Him?

Maybe I’d find the peace, the excitement, and the stability of a life defined by God and not my negativity. I’d find the assurance of knowing that ALL of the steps of a righteous man are ordered by a God who doesn’t make mistakes..the good ones and the bad ones.

Even when I pick the wrong line.

  1. #1 by Jocelyn on February 9, 2011 - 2:05 PM

    Another great post Dave! Thanks for the ongoing reminders and challenges to live like we know we are loved and who it is that loves us.

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