The Secret to Boiling a Frog

frog-pond-7855_640There’s a secret to boiling a frog.
Or so I’m told.
You see, at one point in time, someone experimented with methods and learned a vital lesson.
If you boil water in a pan and then toss the frog in, he’ll jump right out. Not effective for ending up with a boiled frog dinner because I bet once you catch it, the frog fights like crazy to avoid being thrown back into the boiling water.
But, apparently some persistent (and desperately hungry) cook, figured out the frog boiling secret. (Not sure why gently clubbing the frog over the head wasn’t the answer but perhaps the frog meat is tastier if it’s still alive right up the moment of cooking or perhaps the cook didn’t have a tiny little frog clubbing mallet.)
Anyway, frogs actually like water, so the trick is to put the frog in a pan of tepid water (nice, froggy), then slowly, slowly, slowly increase the water temperature until it comes to a boil. The gradual increase in degree will not be noticed by your frog dinner until it’s too late and he’s overcome by the water boiling up around him.
I am that frog.
I’m not one of God’s quicker picker uppers. When He wants me to get a message, He sends it to me in as many ways possible because I’m so slow on the uptake. Recently, I’ve heard three sermons in three different churches based on Romans 12:2a “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
Lest I miss His message, several devotions I’ve read in a couple of different books repeated that verse and also emphasized another: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5NIV
Then, in my reading of 40 Ways to Get Closer to God, I was reminded of the value of confession. We Protestants sort of threw the baby out with the holy water when we wandered away from the mother church and drifted off from the healthy practice of daily confession.
I tend to confess only when I feel convicted but spending a few moments every day reflecting on one’s thoughts and actions and confessing what was not in line with God’s word is a powerful and freeing discipline.
In an earlier blog post, I challenged readers to choose one verse and practice it for a week. Since I’d been hearing so much from God about the importance of renewing my mind, I chose the verse from 2 Corinthians and decided this week to take every thought captive.
What that meant was that Monday morning, on my drive into work, I prayerfully went through the thoughts that had crossed my mind so far that morning (by 7:30am). I’d been awake a little under two hours but as I reflected and prayed, I realized I’d already had thoughts of worry, irritation, bitterness, frustration, anger, worry, covetousness, anxiety, regret, desperation, condemnation, judgment, worry, and self-pity.
All before my first cup of coffee!
That’s quite a mental morning workout! I was shocked. I know that I’ve been functioning under a dark cloud lately but that was quite a wake-up call! I confessed each thought to God honestly and transparently, asked forgiveness where needed, answered negative thoughts with scriptural truth and affirmation, and then turned each concern over to Him.
I repeated this practice at intervals throughout the day. Rather than being a depressing exercise it was quite revealing and freeing.
The enemy will try all sorts of approaches to throw us off our game with God. I’ve spent a long time learning how to deflect frontal assaults. If Satan throws me into a pot of boiling water, I know to jump right out.
So, He switched up methods and resorted to slowly, gradually turning up the heat. I hadn’t been practicing the discipline of taking every thought captive nor the discipline of daily reflection for the purpose of confession so his tactic almost succeeded in sidelining me from the work of building the kingdom. No wonder I was struggling beneath a load of darkness and losing my joy!
I’ve continued this practice all week (and will probably continue it into the next). Bushwacking my way through the tangle of negative thoughts, worries, and unhealthy emotions takes effort but I already see the benefit in reduced stress, a growing sense of hopefulness, and renewed energy.
Has life been sneaking up on you? Have you taken stock lately of the thoughts that occupy the most real estate in your mind? Morning devotions is a wonderful discipline but even if you spend 30 minutes with the Lord when you awake, there are still twenty-three and one half more hours in a day. What’s going on in your mind then?
¬†Have you been sitting in a pot of water as it slowly comes to a boil around you? There is a way of escape. Frogs might be sitting ducks but Christians aren’t. We serve a God who is always ready to pluck us from the pot and turn down the heat.
Make time to reflect throughout your day. Take every thought captive and examine it according to God’s word. Confess what is sinful. Answer negative untruths with the truth of Scripture. Turn concerns, worries, and situations beyond your control over to God.
Try it. Let me know if your experience is similar to mine. Freedom is a beautiful thing – just ask the frog who escaped the boiling pot!

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    The Conversation

  1. Catherine says:

    Thank you for pointing us back to God’s Word and absolute Truth. The Chic-Fil-A firestorm is a perfect illustration of what you are saying. The farther we as a nation get away from God’s Word, the more we are open to being deceived by this “tolerance” issue. My heart is broken by the number of Christians who are on the side of boycotting this restaurant because its founder (a person) has exercised his freedom of speech right guaranteed under the Constitution, to worship God according to the Bible. Jesus loved the people of this world so much He died for us. This includes people of all races, creeds, and sexual orientation. We are called to love people just as He did. But no where in the Bible does it say we are to love sin. What God names sin, He hates. And we are to hate it too.

  2. Another excellent post, Lori!

    Catherine, I had the same thoughts when I was reading it. I read a book recently that discussed “tolerance” and how we, as Christians, are supposed to stand for what the Bible says is truth. We are supposed to hate the sin, love the sinner. We are all sinners, but that does not mean that we are to be so tolerant of sin that we begin to blur the lines of Biblical truths.

  3. Ah, Lori. once again the queen of connections manages to take us from happy froggies to convicted Christians! I agree with the how focus on a scripture verse can bring awareness to our gently warming waters. Great post.

  4. Love it lol. God has to club most of His servants over the head to get us to listen. Thank you for sharing. Angie:)