“…this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
Almost every message I’ve heard or devotional I’ve read during the past two months has had this theme somewhere inside. I went through the journal I use for church and my devotions and pulled a few lines that I want to share (these aren’t my original thoughts, they are excerpts from the things I’ve heard recently):
- I want to live my life in front of my family so that they know the secret is Christ in me.
- It’s not about the container. It’s what you contain.
- Everyone experiences pain, grief, frustration and disappointment. Sometimes we focus so much on what is going on around us that we forget there are people who are watching. Get a hold of something so powerful (the secret of Christ in you) that will sustain you through every moment, so that it makes others want what you have…because they so desperately need it.
- God is more interested in my heart than my happiness.
- It’s not about the circumstances in my life, no matter how uncomfortable they may be. The point is to keep my focus on God.
- It’s not the circumstances in your life that make you who you are. It’s your response to those circumstances.
- God’s presence in my life makes all the difference.
As an extremely impatient person who likes to have complete control of my situation, these words are not easy to swallow! Last week I was given a terrifying example of why I need to apply these truths to my heart. It happened at the post office around 3:30 on Monday afternoon. There was a line (isn’t there always a line at the post office?) and the lady waiting in front of me was so unhappy about having to wait. She was dressed very conservatively in a long skirt and wore her hair in a neat updo. She looked more like a lady who would hand you a gospel tract and say “God bless you” than one who would absolutely throw a fit because she had to wait 20 minutes to buy stamps.
She turned to her husband for the third or fourth time and said very loudly, “I don’t understand why I have to wait! Why aren’t there more people working here?!” He was visibly embarrassed and tried to quietly calm her down, but she continued to make a scene. It didn’t matter that the woman was dressed like a nice little church lady – everyone in that post office line knew what an unpleasant woman she was. All of the sudden I felt like I was looking through one of the SnapChat filters that ages you 30 years – I saw myself in her. I have definitely said the same things to my calm and patient husband (although never quite that loudly).
It’s not about the container. It’s what you contain.
God wants more for me than to be a grouchy old lady who can’t stand to wait in line for 20 minutes. My response to my circumstances will determine the outcome – not of my circumstances, but the kind of person I will become! Since the secret is Christ in me, I won’t be able to change my impatient, controlling nature by just trying harder. I have to allow the power of Christ in me to do the work in my heart. God’s presence in my life makes all the difference!
Is there a situation in your own life where you need to apply the secret? It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory!
14 thoughts on “The Secret”
It was like when Martin Luther said something like, ” Cursed are those who say, ‘Peace, peace,’ yet have no peace”. God really isn’t interested in appearances. Some people are very good at appearing like they have a form of peace or godliness, but have nothing but chaos and ugliness within themselves. God desires us to have true peace (peace being just one fruit of the Spirit). If the focus is taken off of myself and how I appear to others and put on Christ, I will slowly become (maybe faster for someone else) who I was meant to be in Christ. And in turn, maybe win the approval of others, which is out of my control and not an end goal of mine anymore. I hope what I said was relevant and made sense.
That’s really good! Thanks for sharing, Laura!
I love that you said my response to my circumstances will determine the outcome. When I allow my flesh to control my attitude and get angry, it only makes the situation worse. Such a great message!
It’s not about the container. It’s what you contain.– yes yes yes yes!! This times yes plus a million.
I often get caught up in the fleshly world we live in. I then remind myself that I should be the example of a Christ-minded wife and mom. I need to focus more on what’s inside myself and others than what it looks like from afar.
It’s so easy to get our focus on the wrong places, isn’t it. Thanks for sharing!
Oh yes…the post office can often be a place of refining!! I was impatient one day when I was told I had to go to another post office to complete a form that was necessary to mail my package. I was very aggravated but his time but held my tongue( my face however was speaking volumes). When I turned to leave I a saw a lady from our church in line behind me, I was reminded that pitching a fit would have done very little to alleviate my impatience but could have ruined my testimony in the eyes of that person. Lesson learned. Thanks for the reminder!!
Oh yikes…yes, that would be super annoying! That’s a great example that we never know who is watching, and that they need to see Jesus in us!
Whitney this speaks to me so much today! I have also unfortunately been that woman on occasion! It is so true that I will not be able to change my nature just by trying harder but only by letting God’s love work through me. Also in going through some trying times right now the message that God is more interested in my heart than my happiness was definitely one I needed to hear today! Thank you so much for this!
I’m glad it encouraged you Tina – yes, we all have a little grouchy church lady in us from time to time. 🙂
Whitney, I love how you make this truth so practical & applicable. Thank you for the encouragement and your godly example.
Well, thanks Jenny…but my example isn’t always so godly. 🙂 I am very easily that bent out of shape church lady. LOL!
This is wise insight! Thank you for this reminder of Christ in me Who makes the difference!
It was good to look back over my notes and see the theme, for sure!