No one willingly walks into a trap. This Type A Lady finds herself doing it over and over again, however. The bait is just so …tempting. I step in without thinking.
Here’s a little lesson on avoiding traps scattered about our life trails. Trust me. I’ve had to learn the hard way. I’ve got lots of bruises from struggling to get out from under that cage.
Here is your “Trap Avoidance Checklist.”
1.______Understand who sets the trap.
2.______Recognize the bait.
3.______Realize Jesus can release you from the trap
4.______Stay close to Jesus so you can avoid traps in the future
Let’s take a closer look:
1. __Understand who sets the trap
Satan is the trap setter. He knows our weaknesses and he baits the trap to help us step in. Satan is the source of evil. Satan is our enemy and the source of the lies that tempt us to fall into the trap. Just read John 8:42-44:
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
– John 8:42-44
Satan helps you believe lies which get you tied up with frustration. Once you are trapped, your actions and reactions get all out of whack. Like a domino run, things start collapsing, people start getting hurt, and the blame game starts.
If you understand who sets the trap, you can avoid playing the blame game. For example:
Your husband didn’t make you pout and complain about his lack of understanding. Trapped!
Your kids didn’t force you to lose all cool and scream like a banshee in the grocery store. Trapped!
That successful friend didn’t cause your feelings of inadequacy or jealousy. Trapped!
Those church folks didn’t make you feel under-appreciated. Trapped!
Satan is working overtime to mess up your relationships and scramble your brain. Remember that Satan is your enemy, not those humans who share your life.
2. ___Recognize the bait
Picture a mouse trap. If you’ve got a lot of those little critters invading your basement like me, you take a trusty trap and bait it with something mice are tempted by.
I’ve written to you before about the baggage we all carry around (Check it out under the topic: Baggage)
Old habits, preconceived notions, fears and phobias can emerge from out past and play into how we interpret situations and communication.
I sometimes feel trapped by the following:
–frustration –bitterness –pride –fear –remorse –guilt –sadness –anger
–insecurity –jealousy –self-doubt
The devil knows these dandy little qualities are lurking in your life. They may stem from your childhood or hurtful experiences. Some can be harnessed for good, if they are under the direction of a life-settling Savior.
Under the control of the father of all lies, however, they can keep us trapped and struggling to get loose.
The mice in my house take the bait. The poor little guys have no chance. They can never escape. We can.
3. ____ Jesus can release you from the trap
Jesus has pulled me out of the best of traps. The first thing He’s taught me is to stop panicking and pray.
Step back from the situation you may feel trapped in. SLOW DOWN AND SHUT UP (Sorry, but that’s the best way to express it!)
Remember the words of Psalm 16:7-8. This will calm you down and help you think.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
— Psalm 16:7-8
I’ll close with this Psalm. We’ll tackle checklist #4 later! Stay tuned and watch out for traps!