God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. I John 1:5
…whosoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked… I John 2:6
Do you battle the blues?
Are you easily angered?
Is gluttony your Go-To when something’s got you grumpy? A pint of ice cream or an expensive trip to the mall?
Moods matter. They impact our thoughts, words and relationships. Untempered testiness can leave long-standing scars on our hearts and lives.
Two verses from I John offer us assistance in battling bad moods:
“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5
How might the word darkness be interpreted? In Him is no… confusion, distraction, anger, frustration, envy, discontentment, gluttony, greed, self-absorption, hatred… So when we’re feeling frustrated or infuriated, it’s clear we’re out of sync with God’s peace that passes understanding. For example, when you’re angry at yourself for eating mindlessly, so you feel bloated as a pot belly pig, it’s time to douse the darkness. How do you do that? Let’s see what John says later in his letter.
“…whosoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked…” I John 2:6
It seems the pathway to a godly walk is abiding. What does it mean to abide in Christ? Let’s consider and expound upon Merriam-Webster’s insights:
To wait graciously. To endure life’s messiness and mistakes without yielding to darkness. To bear patiently (without indulging.) To tolerate (discomfort.) To accept what’s happening without objection. (Honestly, how often do you hear yourself complaining about something or someone?) To remain stable or fixed on the Lord. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus…. Consider these truths about abiding:
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13 His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land. Psalm 25:12-13
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
He who abides in Him “…ought to walk in the same way in which He walked…” Mercy! That’s a tall order, isn’t it? How did Jesus walk? How did He invest His days? Telling people about His Father and His own divinity was His greatest joy. He wanted all to understand Who He was and why He had come. His sole purpose was to glorify God. How’s by you? Do you pray every day for opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with those who don’t know?
Jesus actively engaged with people. He listened to their pleas and heard their hearts. He didn’t schedule His days around his own interests or enjoyment but was always seeking to love. He had no interest in the culturally cool crowd, but in fact, sought the company of the deplorables (Republicans were around back then? Oooppss, sorry, couldn’t pass that one up) and downtrodden. After a decade-plus of carpentry, His personal needs were met in his last three years of ministry solely by others’ generosity. He surely wasn’t concerned with His career path. How could you walk like Him during your work days?
Jesus also spent prolonged, intimate time with His Father. He snuck into the woods to pray and seek the Vinedresser. He and His Father were One. He never walked alone. That relationship was His foundation and fountain of strength. When was the last time you walked in the woods with your Wonderful Counselor? Like a fruitful branch, do you abide in the vine?
There it is. We learn to walk like Him as we abide in Him. Remain fixed on Him. Dependent upon Him and His direction and protection.
Though this builds our spiritual strength, what does it have to do with our foul moods and physical frustrations? What about your discouragement and defeat over that cinnamon scone you scarfed?
Be honest, have you ever gone on a feeding frenzy because you were angry? Or lonely?
Have you bailed out on a walk because you were tired or overwhelmed?
Do your moods regularly impact your food and fitness choices? Likely. And not uncommon.
But saints, you are NOT common. You are filled with the Holy Spirit of the God Almighty who instructs you in the way in which you should go. When you abide in Christ the distractions and frustrations of the world wane.
Remember, God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (or temptation.) Psalm 46:1
Memorize, verbalize and internalize:
Though I walk in the midst of trouble (temptation) You preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemy (Satan who wants me to succumb and fall.) Your right hand delivers me!
Oh friends, don’t let your moods distract you into a ditch. Abide in your Father who yearns to help you overcome your weak flesh. He who is in you is greater than any temptation you might encounter.
Abide in Him that you might walk like Him.