Monday, September 26, 2011

Optimist Challenge Day 4

Special announcement: Since the winner of last week's drawing has not contacted me yet, I have randomly drawn a new winner! The new winner of Renee Swope's book A Confident Heart, and a free writing journal, is karend3, who posted her comment on September 16, 2011 12:55 PM. If this is you, please send me an email with your physical mailing address.

Now for today's challenge:

Choose to live as a victor, not a victim. 

1. a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency
2. a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency
3. a victim of misplaced confidence

There is no denying it, life can be hard. In fact, maybe today, the above definitions seem to define exactly how you are secretly feeling -- suffering because of another person's hurtful words or actions; deceived; cheated; missing your confidence.

But if someone were to describe you to a friend, would you want them to describe you in the above way? I know I wouldn't!

No matter what has happened in our life, we can be a victor.  We can achieve victory over our circumstances, and victory over the lies and negativity that Satan loves to fill our hearts and minds with, IF we choose to be victorious through Christ.

We are always walking towards our destiny - and we have more influence over our destiny than we might think.

I heard a quote last week from a preacher on the radio who was talking about attitude. He said,  "We cannot control if a bird flies over our head. But we can control whether or not we let that bird build a nest in our hair."

What that means is that the devil will constantly try to fill our heads with the wrong kind of thoughts. That is his job as the destroyer, and we cannot control the devil's tactics.

However, we can control whether or not we allow those tactics to infiltrate our minds and build a permanent nest. We can rebuke his ways of thinking, and adopt God's ways instead.

When bad things happen, we often allow negativity and pessimism to take control over our thoughts and actions - in essence, building a nest in our hearts. We may even embrace that negativity, even if inadvertently, and subconsciously convince ourselves that our rudeness, cynicism, anger, and/or lack of consideration or love for others is completely justified.

After all,  when life has dealt us a bowl of lemons, who in their right mind feels like making lemonade?

But making lemonade is exactly what God challenges us to do. He encourages us to take the bad, and turn it into good, by allowing Him to rule in our hearts. Ungodly thoughts, or behaviors, are not justified anywhere in Gods Word, despite how we have been wronged. In fact, as much as we may not like it, God's Word says just the opposite.

The only way to live a victorious Christian life, is to focus on the mercy, grace, love, hope and faith that is available in Jesus.

Mercy lets us know that we are forgiven, and that we have the power to forgive. Grace lets us know that our own slates are wiped clean. Love gives us the motivation to love.  Hope helps us latch onto the promises of God. And faith infuses us with the power to overcome the hardships we encounter, and learn to live as a victor.

When we neglect to acknowledge these heavenly gifts, and instead focus on the all the things dished out to us that we did not want or deserve, life can become meaningless and empty, and eventually, feel void of happiness and optimism altogether.

Christ set an amazing example for us, of maintaining an attitude of love and compassion, despite how He was treated or the circumstances that He found himself in. It is a role model that we can never live up to, but one that we can look to for encouragement of how we want to be.

1. a person who has overcome or defeated an adversary; conqueror.
2. a winner in any struggle or contest.

Which V-word do you want someone to use when describing you?

Day 4 Challenge Activity:   Choose to live as a victor, not a victim.

Stop right where you are, and pray. Make a choice today to embrace the mindset of a victor, and make a promise to God that if you have been feeling like a victim, you will be seeking His strength to work towards changing your mindset about yourself and your life.

Ask God to help you forgive those who have hurt you. And then ask Him to help you forget their transgressions, so that your heart can be free to be happy. You see, when we spend each day feeling bitter and hurt - like a victim - we are allowing the people who have hurt us to hurt us again and again, every day - and most likely, they have moved on and are enjoying life. So although we can never fully forget, we can let go of what they did to hurt us, and not give them permission to have dominion over our thoughts.

Choose joy today, and rebuke the devil out loud (yes, I said out loud!) - let him know you are serious about your commitment about changing your attitude. Make it clear to him that you will no longer continue to live as a victim, because you have a victorious identity in Jesus Christ.

Optimist Challenge Day 4SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Joyful said...

Tracie, the Lord is using you so much to capture my thoughts right now before they run down paths that will only lead to discouragement and depression.

"We cant always choose what happens in our life, but we can always choose our own attitude."

AMEN! Though I am being tempted big time to allow myself a pity party right now because of my Dad's cancer diagnosis, it will only pull me down as well as lose precious 'happy' time with my Dad.

Today...I choose joy!
Happy Valentine's Day my sweet friend,
Love & thankfulness,

Anonymous said...

I'm striving to live today victorously, through Jesus Christ! Thank you, Tracie, for your encouraging post today!
When negative thoughts pop up let us choose to take these thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Lori - Mesa, AZ

Crystal said...

Dear Tracie,

Today I choose to be a Victor through Jesus. I will seek Him in all I do and especially what I say.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Carmen said...

Dear Tracie, today's reading show me I"ve been living like a victim, believing satan's lies. And now:
In the name of Jesus a declare a spirit of joy in my life giving me good thoughts and passing on people around me. Thank you LORD!

Happy Valentine's day to everyone!

Brandi said...

We are not born winners or losers, but choosers! How right that is...we choose our actions or reactions! This is a challenge...but a habit that can be changed because I choose to have the Christlike attitude that God wants us to have.

Anonymous said...

I too choose to live victoriously and stay on God's path for my life.
Joyful, I'm so sorry about your dad and will be lifting you up in my prayers. I have a friend who is living on prayers as her dear son goes through chemo.
Thank you for this challenge, Tracie!
God bless you!
Karen C.

Sheena said...

Ask God to convict your heart every time you feel the temptation to say something negative, or if you feel a criticism on the tip of your tongue or the desire to be inconsiderate to someone, and help you control your thoughts, your tongue, and your actions.

This will be my prayer that God will speak thru me and allow me to be gracious to others.Easier said than done.... but i am a victor in Christ so i am gonna keep on trying
Thank you for helping us in our walk with God.

Sweet Blessings
Sheena Jeremiah

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tracie.
God is using you to speak to my situation.
.... which V-word do I choose? As for me I choose VICTORY!

Enough about being a victim, enough about listening to satan's lies!!! I rebuke all negative thoughts in the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I choose to be a victor in Christ.
Thank you LORD!


Anonymous said...

I couldn't comment on Sat., but it was one of the best Sat in a while. I know it has to do with a lot more than just this post, but your posts line up with everything I am dealing with right now.
Thanks again!

Tracey said...

I've learned in my anger management class that sometimes when were sarcastic or say rude things, we don't always realize were doing it. This could be because we might be angry with that person for something they did. I recently went through this with a close friend of mine. I didn't even realize I was doing anything like this. I thought I was being funny but in actuality, was really hurting her feelings. Came to realize something was bothering me so I talked to her about it and hopefully everything should be good now.

Raspberrymama said...

Thank you for this post, Tracie!! It's timing is from the Lord on this Monday morning! I will choose to be a victor today! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

A victim of misplaced confidence would definitely describ me......But I refuse to allow the devil to win!. I am a victor!
Thank you so much for your words.

Laura said...

Amen! Today I'm choosing to be a victor through Jesus!

Jewels said...

I chose to be a victor through Jesus Christ my Lord so satan can stop hovering over me. With the strength of my Lord I will not fall victim to his lies. Praise to the Lord!

one-step-at-a-time said...

It is so easy to take on the role of a victim, but we have the wonderful truth of knowing we serve the ultimate victor who even overcame death. In his power we can do all things. Phil. 4:13

cupcake said...

Thank you for posting this.

Joanna said...

Many times I find the need to remind myself that others are not doing things "to" me; in fact, they are often oblivious to the effect of their actions. At times, I also need to remind myself that God is not doing things "to" me, but rather, "for" me. Thanks for the great reminder.

Janine said...

This Optimist Challenge has made me a lot more aware of just how negative I have become in my thinking and reactions to everyday things - - OUCH! I didn't think was that bad. For today's challenge, I will be making a conscious effort to replace the "L" I sometimes feel like placing on my forehead with a "V" for victor. Thank you for your words of challenge and encouragement this morning! Blessings to all who read this!

Kirsten said...

I've been reminding myself each day that I can either continue to drag myself down with the negative head-talk, or I can choose to give thanks in all things. The struggles don't have the power to determine my emotions or define me as a victim unless I let them.

Lynn Bowman said...

I am choosing to be a victor and to live victoriously!! Thank you!

Mary S. said...

Thank you, thank you. I was feeling like a victim this past weekend, letting negative thoughts control me. Get behind me Satan, I want VICTORY!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! THANK YOU!!! I am always in awe of how the Lord uses others to get His Word out, so that He can get your attention and make you listen! :) I have been living as a victim, I believe, for almost my entire life! From being horribly bullied and teased as a young child, to being molested as a yound child, being cheated on by the guys I've dated (including my husband)...I am angry and I have let satan steal my joy for many years now. I do try to control every situation in my life and it hasn't gotten me anywhere, except for causing more pain and heartache. I want nothing more to let go and forgive and give it all to God-I WANT THAT SOOO MUCH!! I will definately be praying more and I will choose to have joy instead of love instead of hate...I am choosing to be a victor!! :)
Thank you again!! God bless!!

Anonymous said...

I choose joy today!
Jesus paid the price for us and we are victorious!
I like the acrostic for joy:

J - Jesus
O - Others
Y - Yourself

If we put things in this order, we will have joy!


Debbie C said...

"I choose to live as a victor!" What an awesome post. Thanks for the reminder.

HeBGB said...

Thank you for the reminder. Loved the mention of birds flying overhead/birds building a nest in your hair. :-)