Life – a seesaw?

Do you ever feel like your life is on a seesaw?

Are you a negative or a positive person in general?

Is the glass half empty or is the glass half full for you?

How do you view life? Your present? Your future?

Is your head spinning right now with all of these questions?

Ups and downs dominate our lives: emotions, feelings, goals, mindsets, spiritual walks, you name it, and it has its up and downs.

Like a seesaw, everything in our lives goes up and down.

Perhaps you spend more time in the “up” department. You are positive; you are cheerful; you are confident in yourself; your life is great. You are an amazing, smart wonderful person. Talents exude from you; success and outstanding accomplishments trail you all over the place. In your home, awards scatter your shelf; and let’s be honest, you are PROUD of it. Your seesaw is “up” as long as you are successful, happy, and everything is running smoothly. However, as soon as something is not going exactly your way, the seesaw flops! You got a B on your paper, you missed one too many questions on your quiz, you didn’t get that promotion you wanted, your best friend got a better birthday present than you did, you didn’t get the attention you thought you would in that new dress you bought, you didn’t lose the five pounds you had aimed for, your basketball team lost the championship – whatever it was, it caused YOUR seesaw to flop down.

On the other side, you might regularly spend time in the “down” department. In your mind, your life SUCKS! You are definitely not pretty enough, you definitely need to lose a few pounds, your acne keeps coming back, your job is boring, you hate school, you know you aren’t smart, your significant other is bound to leave you at any moment, your friends are only your friends out of convenience, you were definitely not dealt fair cards when you were born. Oh, sometimes your seesaw bumps to the “up” of the seesaw. Someone tells you that they think you are pretty. You manage to get a good grade on your paper. Someone compliments your hair. You get a pay raise at work. Whatever it is YOUR seesaw has gone UP! for a brief moment…but as soon as that feeling wears off your seesaw has dropped back down once again, and oh, life is just oh so difficult…

What is wrong with both of these pictures?  What’s wrong with the ‘up’ person? the ‘down’ person? Where are their focuses? The up person is up as long as his or her situations are going their way. As long as things, are just as they planned, they are Mr. Chipper! The down person is never ever satisfied with life. In their eyes, their life is a rock at the bottom of the ocean of life, and only rarely are they catapulted to the surface to enjoy the sunshine. Their mind is plagued with every negative thought imaginable.

Both lifestyles are wrong.

Where do you think the Christian mindset should be on the seesaw? If you said, right in the middle, you are oh so right! As a Christian your mindset should be right in the center of the seesaw of life. Life is littered with ups and downs. Downs cannot be avoided; ups  are celebrated. Both can be a bit dangerous to our hearts and minds. A Christian should be in the middle – able to conquer the “down” moments through their steadfastness in Christ; able to celebrate the “up” moments without them being the sole driving points of our lives. Either extreme have the tendency to pull us away from Christ if we are not careful.

Some people spend so much time up, they’ve lost themselves in the clouds. They’ve lost touch with reality, with people around them with God. After all, everything is so perfect why would they need to be around people and situations that would “cramp” their style. And God? Well, they need Him when something is going wrong, but when everything is fine, they are good to go! The ‘up’ person puts too much on self, too much on achievements, too much on accomplishments, too much on our prestige. Too much SELF!

But this should not be the Christian mindset.

The apostle Paul writes, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” – 2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Remember that without Christ, we are nothing. Don’t let your definition be the things you’ve done or the things you’ve accomplished – no matter how great they have been! Rather let your definition be Christ.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me – Galatians 2:20

On the other extreme, there are some of you who perpetually live down. Nothing ever seems to go your way, and in your mind, you are a failure. You set yourself up for failure. Everyday, you beat yourself down in the ground. Your seesaw has actually rubbed its way into the ground because you have convinced yourself that there is no way you are going up. How on  earth does that line up with the Christian mindset? Have you forgotten that you are an heir to Christ’s kingdom if you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? Uncomfortable and bad circumstances are apart of life, but negative thinking doesn’t have to be. Mentally, we can run ourselves into the ground, and satan loves every single minute of it. He wants us to be down so that our attention is taken off Christ and onto our circumstances, but there is a way to combat that too.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to  destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Test the negativity in your head and then compare it to scripture – is it true? Doubt it.

Throughout life, our seesaw is going to go up and down, up and down. One season of our life will be the best, but then something will come and upset the balance, and suddenly we will be flopping down to the ground. Right now, you might be down. Nothing seems to be going your way. Not one good thing is happening right now that can catapult you up. There is nothing to tip the balance.

Try to inch your way toward the middle of the seesaw. In the middle, you still feel when the seesaw shifts its weight. You still feel the ups and downs of life, but through Christ you can learn to balance those, and not let the ups put your head in the clouds and not let the downs lock you in the dungeon.

…for I have learned in whatever situation to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me – Philippians 4:11b – 13 (ESV)

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