“He can run but he can’t hide”- A statement quoted by Joe Louis, One of the world’s greatest boxers of all time in response to an interview question regarding Billy Conn- “If he runs, will you chase him?” Billy Conn was anticipating a ‘hit and run” in one of their upcoming matches; however Joe’s response confidently implied that Conn could attempt to escape from what he feared but eventually he’d have to face it.
Our mind is a place where imaginations, fantasies, good and bad thoughts, logic and understanding are processed, eventually resulting in our attitudes and actions. The mind has the ability to do whatever it’s trained to do by what we “choose” to allow in and meditate on. When a situation arises, however we choose to process that situation, determines our perception of the situation. Sometimes our perceptions are right, sometimes they’re not. Either way what floats around in the mind will eventually exit….right on into our hearts and spill out into our actions. As much as many of us may want to or convince ourselves that it’s possible; we CANNOT hide from ourselves. We may escape for a while but eventually we succumb, having to face our realities but before you get discouraged, facing these realities is actually healthy and very beneficial. How do I know? Because, the health of our minds has everything to do with our ability to function properly and who doesn’t want that? Everything we think about are only actions waiting to happen. If your mind’s thought process is unhealthy/toxic your emotions and actions will expose it. For example: Someone who is constantly complaining and being negative may reveal an unhappy and unsettled person even if they portray to be something different. Someone who’s always gossiping, making jokes, speaking negative about others directly or indirectly and who finds themselves in everyone’s business reveals someone struggling with insecurity, lonliness or identity issues. An angry, defensive or violent person reveals someone who’s been hurt or experienced some kind of tragic event. If you’re struggling with forgiveness you may find yourself being negative, hateful, spiteful, constantly repeating offenses or what someone did to hurt you. Simply talking about it makes you fire off. You may be struggling with unforgiveness that has turned or is turning into bitterness. People who have a hard time trusting or getting close to others, they think everyone is against them or talking about them may be a person who’s been hurt by an individual and yet to experience healing in that area. A prideful and arrogant person, who puts others down and only exalts themselves and the ones closest to them may actually be holding onto their accomplishments to replace a void, insecurity or emptiness. All of these individuals at some point have either replayed scenarios or meditated on a certain feeling for so long that eventually it begins to come out in their words and actions. A person that’s confident, whole and focused on themselves tend to be more uplifting than critical, loving that unloving, forgiving than unforgiving. Just a positive person, other than other challenges they may be having to face.
A good man produces good out of the storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart. ( Luke 6:45) Simply put, whatever resides in the heart, good or bad makes its exit through the mouth,(what we say)and we reap the benefits of whatever is taking place in our hearts as the heart is connected to the mind, so I challenge you to ask yourself, what are you thinking about everyday? And let’s be honest with ourselves or we’ll cheat ourselves of being truly free and producing good fruit in our lives. I think it’s safe to say we all want good fruit. Not only for ourselves but for those around us. I’ve been challenged in my own life to face my demons so my children won’t have to. How we choose to respond to things, shape our lives( children included). There’s a saying that goes: “The apple don’t fall too far from the tree” A child’s actions are a result of what’s going around them or being sown into them. Although they have their own little personalities, they pick up most of their traits from their parents or whoever they are around everyday. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. (Let that marinate) At one point it was discouraging to me to watch my children suffer from some of the same things I’d suffered from or having to reap the benefits ( the not so good ones) of something that I had sown. It challenged me to stop running from myself and face that woman I saw in the mirror everyday. Was that easy? Not hardly! Was it necessary? Absolutely!
Many of us want to be good Samaritans or positive influences to those around us. Many of us may have even done good works for the sake of appearance which in turn can do more harm than good because once people see us for who we truly are, we can easily become a stumbling block for others and many won’t take us serious or heed to any advice we have to offer because they respond to what they see and not what we say. Can we blame them? Do we not operate the same way at times? When people say one thing but do another? It can be discouraging to get into relationships, friendships, partnerships, ect. only to find out weeks, months or even years that this person is not the same person as when we met. This is why I always stress to people who are seeking relationships to refrain from making emotional life time commitments without getting to know people. Watch their actions and reactions to different situations and they should do the same with us. I stress to my children often to not be eager to consider someone a BFF that you just met on the playground. Yes, we want to be friendly, we want to be cordial with everyone and we don’t want to walk around with a chip on our shoulders and skeptical of everything and everyone. I’m simply saying give things time to work themselves out. None of us are perfect but striving ( with God’s help and intervention we will eventually) so in doing so, we must take an honest evaluation of where we are mentally if we want to reap healthy benefits in life. It’s not hard at all to cover up or try to convince people that we are okay or even more educated or religious than others but under careful observation, our true self seeps out in the things we constantly find ourselves saying and doing. I don’t care who or where we are in life, the real “US” will find its way to surface and guess what? If it does, its okay. Yes I said, It’s okay. God wants the absolute BEST for us, whether we realize or acknowledge it or not, after all we were created in the image of CHRIST. However, because of sin, we are corrupt by nature UNLESS you are born again. It is only then that our sins are forgiven and washed away. We then live a life of sanctification which is where you may be now if you are a believer and if you are, you are still in a good place but we must come out from hiding and address the concerns that God would have us to address. The issues that lie beneath the surface. I suppose when we’re running from something, we eventually run out of places to hide which is what Joe meant by his statement to Mr. Conn.
Our hearts and minds can only take so much before exploding and breaking down. When I broke down for that last time, God was able to intervene and he’s been rebuilding me ever since. My desire is to encourage you not to let it get so far out of your reach that you have a meltdown like I did. As I am being changed, there are many layers that are being peeled away on this journey of sanctification but once you are exposed to the TRUTH(God’s truth) you take it for what it is and you respond with a victory mindset instead of a defeated one. You realize that we’ve all fallen and are flawed but every day above ground is a chance to work on YOU. The “real” you, not the one we display for our jobs, at church and on social media but the you that nobody sees. The you that you have to face everyday when you’re all alone with your thoughts. We all have thoughts and again if we’re honest, they’re not all good, godly thoughts but we have the power to turn those thoughts OFF, shut them down, make them obey the word of God. You have that authority.(Read 2 Corinthians 10:5-6)
Understanding your position in Christ gives you access to spiritual gifts and power that you can’t maintain on your own or without a relationship with Jesus. Without Him, we are left with our own devices. Those devices will fail you but God’s word is alive and when used with prayer, faith, thanksgiving and obedience, you will defeat and overcome the strongholds in your life. Your mindset will begin to change and not too far behind that, you will begin to see the fruit of what you’ve been thinking and meditating on. Your walk will be a little different and your talk will too and THIS allows people to see the GOD in us, when we walk by the spirit and in the fruits of the spirit. Our lives are not just to be lived for ourselves but for others. We’re all apart of this big plan God has for us and we’re ALL needed so start today to ask the Lord to search your heart, to begin to heal what’s hurting and to fix what’s broken in us so that we can walk in freedom and victory! You’re worth it because Jesus died for you to have it!