We are the enemy

We usually think that the enemy is an outside force. Of course, we believe and even blame other people for hurting us, however, we are usually the ones to blame for the majority of our pain.

How often do we embrace anger, negative thoughts, or misinterpret words? How often do we withhold forgiveness and love? How often do we judge others, instead of trying to understand them? How often do we choose easy over what really needs to be done?

I am nodding my head with my hand raised.

The realization hit me that I can be my own worst enemy. Outside forces only have a fraction of the power of us. We are the ones who make the daily decisions. It’s not just life’s big decisions that matter. Our days consist of small decisions that truly mold our lives.

Hitting the snooze button is a small thing, but the simple choice affects me all day. If I sleep through the time that I set aside to write or read my Bible, then I start my day without spending time with my Lord. If I don’t exercise, then my body remains stiff all day and that causes me additional pain. When I fail to prepare my food and just grab something at a restaurant, then I usually get sick from gluten. The sickness stays with me for days to weeks. If I am not doing what I need to be doing, then I’m hateful with family. Procrastinating and then rushing to meet a deadline cause me stress.

My thoughts are another critical component of my life. When I get stuck in the negative, repetitive patterns then I cause myself additional pain. Especially when I’m overthinking or obsessing over a situation. While the enemy might sneak thoughts into our mind, he cannot make us believe them. That is our choice — to dismiss them or nurture them.

Realizing that my daily actions make up my life causes me to pause and think about what my daily life looks like. How do I spend my time? Are my thoughts helpful or harmful to me? When I decide to focus more on what I do, then what other people do to me, then I’m able to advance in my life and become the person God created me to be.

Every day we should watch our actions and pray for guidance. When we become conscious of our shortcomings then we can take the necessary steps to overcome them. God has grace for our every need, and He can help us overcome the enemy. We are not in this alone. He is with us — every step of the way.

Candida Sullivan is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband and kids. For more information about her books or to schedule her for your event, email her at candidasullivan@yahoo.com.