Loving Where You Live
August 1, 2022
Successful, satisfied living is only possible if you understand, accept, and make peace with where you live. For instance, if you hate cold weather and snow, and you only enjoy life when you’re wearing shorts and lathering on sunscreen, you’re going to live about half of your year in misery if you live in Northeastern Ohio. You’ll likely make everyone else some degree of miserable too because your complaining and spewing will spread.
If moving is unwise or impossible, you will have to decide to be miserable and ineffective the rest of your life or wisely and cheerfully make the adjustments to life where you live and find the joy. Now, some people feel that way and they do move. They head south if they have the finances and ability to do so. Of course, they find out when they get there the weather may be better, but Florida life isn’t perfect either, particularly if they are separated from family. There are adjustments to be made everywhere. Wisdom is knowing your address and the unique challenges of being there and deciding to live well within that framework.
This is never truer than spiritually. To live the way you have been called and graced to live, you MUST know your address. You must understand what it means to live every day where you live. For starters, every one of us is earthbound. This is where we live and until God decides differently, we can’t change that fact.
Jesus was a straight shooter. He always told the truth and laid out the situation with clarity. He said, “In this world you will have trials, trouble, and tribulations.” That’s part of the climate, part of the environment at your address. Sometimes that knowledge frustrates and confuses us. We think, “I thought following Jesus changes everything.” Well, it does, but not everything right now.
You and I live between the “already” and the “not yet.” Jesus has already accomplished by His death and resurrection everything we need for our past, present, and future. But because of His great love for everyone and His desire for us to know Him, He has not declared the end to opportunities for people to come to know Him. We are headed for the fulfillment of everything, but this world is still our address. “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.” Hebrews 13:14
The world itself is broken. The weather shows that. The changing landscape of the planet and universe shows it. The brokenness brought to humanity by sin even breaks minds and bodies. Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions—disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. Those are all around us and impact life at our address.
While we live on this planet, the spiritual war still goes on. That means we need to understand that we live in a war zone.
“And you need to be very clear on this—that great spiritual war is fought on the turf of your heart, and it’s fought for control of your soul. Your life is lived every day in the middle of that war. It’s a war of doubt and faith. It’s a war of submission and rebellion. It’s a war of anxiety and trust. It’s a war of wisdom and foolishness. It’s a war of hope and despair. It’s a war of allegiance and disloyalty. It’s a war.” – Paul Tripp
This war is waged in your mind. There are a couple of secrets to living with joy at your address in the war zone. First, remember that Jesus said He would never leave or forsake you and that He has already overcome everything! Then, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Refuse to be miserable in a place that has Jesus in it. Refuse to drag your feet through life, but instead find great joy in being His person, in His place, fulfilling His purpose. He’ll help you make the necessary adjustments, and you will find yourself loving where you live.