Powerdigm: The Cause-and-Effect That Isn’t

(This is an ongoing series on “powerful paradigms” that hold the potential to transform your life.)

Have you ever had a recurring problem in your life that just won’t go away? Maybe it was a coworker who constantly annoyed you. Before long, you started thinking thoughts like, “Every time Bob cracks a joke to his colleague when I’m on the phone, I can’t hear a word the customer is saying, and it makes me so mad!”

Or maybe you have trouble remembering people’s names, and you find yourself thinking, “Every time I meet someone new, I can’t remember their name, and I say something stupid.”

It’s easy for us to draw connections between certain situations and certain outcomes. We begin assume that Bob’s jokes are the cause of our anger, and we begin to assume that meeting someone new is the cause of our social mishaps.

But it’s not true.

The funny thing is that as long as you believe that Bob’s jokes make you angry, they probably will, because you’ve just made yourself a slave to your situation. The only way for you to stop getting angry is to find a way to change the situation–make Bob stop telling his crazy jokes when you’re on the phone! And the only way to avoid being socially awkward is to avoid meeting new people!

In short, the only way to live your life is to avoid certain situations because of the anticipated outcome. In other words, your only choice is to live a life controlled by fear.

Sometimes, breaking the power of these situations is as simple as disconnecting the cause from the effect. When we recognize that our anger is not caused by the situation, we receive the freedom to change our attitude. When we recognize that meeting new people does not cause our awkwardness, we receive the freedom to grow socially.

And if by chance we have lived our lives in fear, it is then that we have the freedom to define our lives not by the situations that surround us or by the outcomes we’ve trained ourselves to anticipate, but by the Spirit who lives within us. After all, He is a Spirit of freedom and of self-control.

So let me close off with some questions for you:

  • Can you recognize any of your personal cause-and-effect connections as actually being false?
  • What are situations that you have allowed to dictate your responses?
  • How would your perspective of these situations change if you were able to disconnect the cause from the effect?

It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, so live free!

For the King.

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