Do you get sucked into the Life Hack videos? I sure do. From cooking to planting to storage, all these slick memes and reels show me an extraordinary way to do my ordinary life. But here’s the catch. I may watch them but do I actually do them? Real talk, I hardly remember the new and improved way when I go back to my regular-rut-of-doing-it-the-same-old-way. Still, the maxim holds true. When you know better, you do better.
I guess this is why God has been giving me these pithy phrases. And unlike the life hacks, these phrases sting and sear. Note the definition.
Pithy: concise and forcefully expressive.
Ah, even in this writing I understand better His intention. We are inundated with thoughts, words, and pictures. Listen, the other day I picked up my phone to look at social media for a specific purpose. In a scant one minute, my emotions ranged from disgust over a certain recipe, to outrage over the face of a child being trafficked, to sheer delight over an intricate flower photo. I was so barraged, I forgot why I even got on in the first place. Ughhh.
But when God gives you a thought, word, or picture it’s different. It’s weighty and lasting because it’s meant to go deep into your being. Not just tickle (or exhaust) your emotions for a moment. Forcefully expressed.
Let these thoughts hit the mark.
- Ownership: freedom from enabling and entitlement
This one is packed. Enabling is when we take on someone else’s problems instead of empowering them to handle their own. Enter the rescuer and the victim. People who enable, and people who leech off enablers (wow, what a picture) both need a big dose of personal ownership. Whether it is parents who enable their should-be-grown children, lovers who enable each other, or employers/employees who enable, we all need a wake up call to be personally responsible for ourselves, our choices, and our consequences and allow others to do the same.
We reflect God’s heart when we honor free will in ourselves and others.
“Each one should test his own work. Then he will have reason to boast in himself alone, and not in someone else. For each one should carry his own load.” Galatians 6:4-6
Entitlement is when we falsely believe that we are owed something, should be exempt from, or try to escape hard work and effort. Entitlement in short is “You should do the hard work for me because I am special.” We hear lots of funny jokes about millennials and what they think they need to survive. The reality however is our nations are full of people who are either family rich or family poor and they believe that someone else’s labor should support them.
This is counter Kingdom. God views work as holy. It is part of His gift to humanity that we work the garden He has given to us to steward.
When we were actually with you we gave you this principle to work on: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10
I could literally write a book about enabling and entitlement. But let me say to us all, get out of the way and let each person stand, or fall according to their choices.
Can you see how enabling and entitlement are the yin and yang of unhealthy relationships? The cure is ownership.
What can I own about my life and outcomes?
What can I acknowledge as direct results of MY choices or lack thereof?
What steps/directions/actions will I own to have a better life?
Jesus paid a high price for us to have personal power. Don’t waste it. Ownership is when we shoulder personal responsibility, self-govern, and acknowledge our actions, beliefs, and choices. We determine our lives without blaming or being codependent on someone else.
This is freedom.
“I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”