Those that know me or hang around me for very long figure out very quickly that I am a picky eater. I am not sure why I am that way, but it's just the way I've always been. Sometimes it is the textures of foods I don't care for. Many times its the very taste of items that I don't like. There are many foods I will not eat because of the way they are processed or grown. My pickiness covers all food groups from vegetables to meats to desserts. I have to admit it drives my wife crazy because she is just the opposite and will eat almost anything.
Of course, I realize that what I eat is ultimately my choice. Whether I eat healthy food or eat junk food; whether I remain picky or broaden my food horizons, the foods at my table are there by my choice. While others may present foods to me or even insist that I eat them, my table is characterized by the foods I like and choose to eat.
As you go through life, you're going to have to make decisions on what to allow and what not to allow in your life. Many times, you will be surrounded by negative people and negative thoughts. We live in a terribly negative and critical world and sometimes you are going to be on the receiving end of the criticism. In thinking back on my own life, I have received my share of critique. In many cases, I let the criticism just burn me to the core. I knew that I shouldn't, but I took my eyes off of God and, instead, focused on the criticism. I was miserable and I let the opinions of others control me. Over time, I learned that I was in control of what I allowed into my thought patterns. In short, I became "picky" about what I allowed in my life—just like the food I allowed at my table—focusing on the good of God and not the negative of others. In fact, I found the three "foods" that I can never allow at my "table:"
- "You're Never Going to Make it Through This:" How many times have we all heard this in our lives? Too many to count, I would imagine. I could tell you story after story of dead-ends in my life and how it didn't appear I could make it any more. In every case, when I was at my end, God took control and saw me through. Don't listen to those who tell you that you're never going to make it. Instead, realize you are exactly in God's hands and HE will work HIS perfect plan through you.
- "You're Not Good Enough:" As a teenager and young adult, I always doubted myself and second guessed everything I did. I didn't have a lot of self-confidence and I was often jealous of the talents and abilities of others. After a lot of heartache, God finally showed me that I am uniquely created in God's image. I stopped comparing myself to others and began focusing on my God-given talents and abilities. Instead of listening to others tell you you're not good enough, remind yourself that you are special in God's eyes. God gave you just enough for what you need to accomplish at this time in your life. God will continue to mature you and grow you based on what you need at a particular time in life.
- "Everyone is Against You:" If you haven't discovered this already, eventually you'll find that many people in life simply don't want you to succeed. I have found that jealousy is the primary reason. After all, it's much easier to make yourself look better by knocking others down. Maybe its the promotion you didn't receive because someone else worked against you. Maybe its lack of support from friends or family and you are on an island by yourself. Whatever the reason or whatever the cause, never forget that while some in the world may be against you, God never is and is always in your corner.
As you are setting your table in life, avoid these three "foods" and thank the Lord for providing you with everything you need for this day and for your circumstances.