Merriam-Webster defines the phrase “Dont take it personally–To be offended or upset by what someone said.”
Urban Dictionary expands the definition: A Phrase people use as a disclaimer to make an excuse to say or do something rude or mean to you to prevent you from having a poor self-image or so there won’t be repercussions and make you feel they still like you even though they probably do not.
Yesterday I listened to a Motivational message that expanded the meaning of “Don’t take it personally” further. The speaker clarified the actions of the people who we are familiar with are the ones who bring chaos [disruption] to our lives. She focused on the negative impact of overlooking the hurtful spoken words and unproductive behaviors on our spiritual, mental, and emotional health. The summation was to consider the consequence of your spiritual loss, and for that very reason, we should “take all chaos personally.”
Chaos is usually not a one-time occurrence. It is the person’s ongoing habit or behavior. We know the phrase, “Thats just the way he or she is.” How often do we overlook the chaos by not taking things personally? And what are the consequences?
What is chaos? In everyday language “chaos” implies the existence of unpredictable or random behavior. The word usually carries a negative connotation involving undesirable disorganization or confusion. stsci.edu
The scientific definition states the behavior is unpredictable or random. But chaos also includes predictable behaviors, spoken words, and lifestyles.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2)
God created us to live in a state of well-being–to have optimal mental and emotional health. His promises ensure that we will enjoy the joy and peace that only comes from an Omnipotent God. Interacting with the people we love, yet who refuse to embrace God’s standards of righteousness will cause us to have mental and emotional instability. Often the source of our mixed feelings and roller-coaster emotions of unbelief, doubt, worry, and anxiety are caused by unequally yoked relationships.
Chaos Causes Spiritual Decline
Chaos disrupts our relationship with God by preventing spiritual growth and development. Chaos results in becoming double-minded. We know that something is not right. Knowing that the person is unwilling to change, we intentionally overlook the confusion they bring into our lives. Spiritually, it is a lose-lose situation. We lose the motivation or energy to pray without ceasing or studying and meditating on the Scriptures. Eventually, the disruption destroys our gifts of joy and peace. We cannot endure the turmoil of their chaos and enjoy a peaceful life!
God’s Instructions on Being Unequally Yoked
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?: (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Most are familiar with this scripture that causes our minds to automatically think that only unbelievers cause chaos. But believers also cause chaos and confusion. The chaotic believer [who acknowledges God, prays, and attends church] has the most significant impact on the other believers who strive to serve God. Still, they readily deny the effect of the chaos on them.
Chaotic believers: “Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:5)
Real-life examples of issues causing chaos among believers: Debates of pro-life vs. pro-choice; Is Jesus God?; we are under grace, God understands and readily forgives our intentional sins; gossipers; chasing the success of the career ladder; financial problems [high debt, careless spending, the love of money]; not giving tithe and offerings; sexual immorality [fornication, homosexuality, adultery, wife and husband swapping]; unmarried cohabitation–posing as roommates; secular habits [profanity, drinking, music and TV programs; smoking, drug use, pornography].
Sadly, this list of sinful behaviors among Christians is not an error. Listen to the sermons and read the social media posts on the issues causing dissension among believers who tolerate confusion from other believers. Chaos has interrupted the lives of many who were steadfast, causing them to fall away from God because of the influence of misguided “Christians.”
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14).
Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith….(1 Peter 5:8-9)
God has provided us with Spiritual guidance–the Holy Bible, the Holy Spirit who gives us wisdom and discernment, and guardian angels to protect us from temptation. Be aware that Satan is effectively using the emotion of love against us. He knows how to use the people we love to bring chaos into our once peaceful and joyous lives.
The price of compromise is spiritual disorientation. We are torn between obedience to God and maintaining a relationship with the people we love. Always remember, your inheritance of eternal life is based on faithful obedience. And because we are patiently waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus, “Always take the disruption of someone else’s chaos personally!”
Prayer: God, we desperately need your help. We have included people in our lives who have brought chaos and confusion. Please give us the strength to separate ourselves. We desire the joy and peace that comes from serving you. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.