The Bible tells us that the truth will set us free and for some a radical transformation can take place, as they are instantaneously delivered from addictions and unhealthy lifestyles upon putting their faith in Christ.
Then there is the rest of us, who for whatever reason, don’t see a similar thing happening.
Sometimes this is because we haven’t fully faced up to the truth about ourselves. This verse suggests there may be unpleasant things that we need to find out about ourselves before we can change.
Over the past five years, I have developed a checklist made up of three questions that I ask myself every so often to expose the truth:
- Am I playing the victim card?
- Am I blaming someone else for my failure?
- Do I need to forgive someone?
Why do I ask myself these three questions?
The reason is that I am the only one ultimately responsible for my well-being. I can’t change what other people think or do or what they have done to me.
I can only manage my response to them.
The responsibility rests upon each one of us to keep ourselves free from the controlling power of sin, unhealthy habits and particularly unhealthy emotions.
We need to “turn the tables” on unhealthy thinking.
So where did that phrase “turn the tables” come from?
Surprisingly, it comes from the time Jesus stormed into the temple and overturned the tables of those who had turned it into a market place. As a final act, Jesus drove those people out of the temple with a whip.
Christ summed up His actions by saying these people had corrupted the temple by turning it into a “den of thieves” (Matthew 12:13).
So how does this apply to you and me?
The New Testament says that we are the temple of God because the Spirit of Christ dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). And like the temple in Jesus’ day, thieves can also set up shop in our heart and try to rob us of life.
Like Jesus did 2,000 years ago, we need to overturn those tables and drive them out.
One of those tables that can set up in our temple is called “living in a victim mentality.” This happens when we continually blame all our problems or failures on what someone else said or did to us.
If we continue to do this, even if it was awful and it wasn’t our fault, then we are allowing this table to sell its lies that we will never amount to anything because of what someone did to us year’s ago.
While, I may not have control over what others said or did, I can overturn this table by choosing to forgive them and no longer blame them for what is going on presently in my life.
If I don’t do this, then that table will rob me of my future.
Yes, some horrific betrayals may have taken place in your life, but we can’t continue dwelling on it. We can’t let this thief hold us back. We must move on.
Even after driving out that lie, that thief may try to return and set up its table again.
When that happens, we need to overturn that table one more time by forgiving those past hurts, and then drive it out by choosing to forget.
Plant a stake in the ground and claim your temple. Over turn that table. Cut the cord that ties you to the past. Take up your whip and drive out the thieves.