bad habits, Bible, Christian Life, Christianity, confidence, devotional, fandom, fear, forgivness, God, inspirational, Jesus, motivational, My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, New Testament, Old Testament, pain, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Sonic Rainboom, understanding
Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Sonic Rainboom”
This episode is kind of a landmark to me. Not just because it was when Rainbow Dash learned how to perform the Sonic Rainboom “reliably” as her signature move, but something a bit deeper than that…it got into one of the real nuances of Rainbow Dash’s character. Namely that, for all of her boasting, bragging, attitude, and smugness…deep in her heart-of-hearts, she is insecure with an inferiority complex. She’s constantly worried about not doing well. She’s constantly fearful at being a screw-up and a mistake. And part of the reason she milks every bit of praise and acclaim she can get is to make herself feel better about herself, because her own confidence in her own abilities is abyssmal.
Sadlly, a lot of people in the world are like that. A bad life experience, a fear, a downcast personality trait, or memories from childhood can skew people pretty horribly. It can impact their whole outlooks on life and personality, either in ways the world views as “positive” or “negative”. On my part, I know one individual who constantly wants to care for everyone around her and worry about them even when it does no good. The reason is as a child she saw her brothers being physically abused by her father and felt helpless, and into adulthood she has the mindset that she wishes to “take care of everyone” to make up for not being able to do anything when she was younger. I know another individual who constantly points out everyone’s faults, mistakes, mess-ups, and errors and criticizes them for it. The reason is she has no self-esteem of her own and she can only make herself feel better about herself by pointing out how others have made mistakes. I myself have the horrible habit of getting angry and shouting whenever things go wrong that I will be judged on. That’s because as a child I was always made to feel whenever I didn’t perform perfectly on schoolwork that it was because I was “too lazy” or “didn’t try hard enough”, so that nowadays I get angry at things as if to prove to myself and others that I really wanted to succeed.
I don’t know if they’ll ever show anything revealing why Rainbow Dash is so insecure and faithless in her own ability, but even if they did, the point being is in real life we run into a lot of people who do things that annoy us. Maybe they talk too much about how much they earn over us. Maybe they always have to have the last word. Maybe they act bossy or pushy. When times like this happen, it’s important for everyone, but especially us as Christians, to not succumb to the knee-jerk reaction to assume “that’s just the way that person is”. Maybe they aren’t aware of how they’re talking or impacting other people. Or, if they are aware, it might be covering up something much deeper about them or their personalities that even they don’t know about.
If someone does something either good or evil to us, we all need to remember that, ultimately, the only person’s personality we’re responsible for is our own. We can’t change someone else’s behavior; but we can always change how we respond to it. As God desires to help us with that. In 1 Peter 5:6-7, the Bible reads: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” And in Ezekiel 36:26, in regards to restoration of the former sinful children of Israel, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” And in Phillippians 1:6, Paul states: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” This applies not only to purifying ourselves of any unrighteousness or evil in our own actions, but in how we respond to others.
And in doing so, it might do us some good to try and be more understanding (where reasonable of course) rather than immediately dismiss individuals who put us off with their behavior or traits. I know when I’m agitated or frustrated and that gives way to fuming, cursing, or shouting, what helps me a lot is always when someone is calm and asks me what’s wrong. Just the act of explaining and hearing someone say “man, that does sound irritating…I’m sorry about that” defuses me quickly because now I see someone else knows I’m really trying to make something great and not blaming me for it when it goes wrong.
Just like with Rarity and Rainbow Dash, concern for a friend can bring out the best in you to override your worst.
And as far as our own bad behaviors or tendancies are concerned, if we’re aware of them and working to get rid of them but can’t seem to shake them, then we should realize that many negative traits are often symptoms of something deeper. We should pray to God for revelation of the core issue, no matter how ugly and painful it might be, and, if necessary, get the help we need to resolve it.
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, whenever someone is cruel, mean, loud, obnoxious, or displays some other trait that I have a hard time understanding or sympathizing with, please give me a kind and understanding heart and eyes that see as you see, so that I might realize if there is anything that might be a hidden hurt or pain or fear that I need to look past responsible for their behavior. And if I too am guilty of acting in this way, please show me what is the root cause for this problem so that I can get it resolved and become more complete and ‘perfect’ as you wish for me to be. And thank you for all of the friends and loved ones in my life who have ever taken time out to get to know me better or stick with me in spite of my flaws and mistakes. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”