Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Phil. 4:6 Message

Did you catch the word “instead” used there? I am struck by the fact that there is an intentional choice to be made.  I can worry or I can pray and trust God.  It is up to me to choose.  In pondering this, my thoughts quickly moved on to the bigger application of this word “instead”.

In the circumstance of life there is almost always an “instead” that can be chosen.  True, some choices are certainly more difficult than others, but too often we see only the difficulties and not the possibilities that might also be right there before us for the choosing.  For example:

Instead of complaining I can be thankful

Instead of life without purpose I can choose to discover God’s unique purpose for me

Instead of discouragement I can choose a new perspective

Instead of bitterness I can forgive

Instead of hoarding I can choose generosity

Instead of selfishness I can choose service

Instead of control I can choose trust

Instead of always running out of money I can choose to live on a budget

Instead of laziness I can choose initiative

Instead of retribution I can choose grace

Instead of not liking what I see in the mirror I can choose to get in shape

Instead of arrogance I can choose humility

Instead of negativity I can choose encouragement

Instead of seeing all the problems I can choose to become part of the solutions

Instead of living in the past I can choose to make new memories

Instead of regret I can choose courageous steps of faith

Instead of fear I can choose the spirit of power, love and self-discipline that resides in me

Instead of death I can choose “Christ in you the hope of Glory”

…and yes, for those of you who are filled with anxiety: instead of worry, I can pray.  There is a marvelous truth in verse 7 of Philippians 4: “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” 

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in this morning, ask yourself what choosing “instead” would look like in your life.

Live this week on purpose,
Ron Klopfenstein

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