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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : religion : religion April 6, 2020

3/22/2020 2:12:00 PM
Have A Breakthrough Not A Breakdown
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith
Emanuel Reformed Church

A lot has happened in one week in our country. Restaurants are closed. People in five states have been told to stay at home. Many men and women were told they no longer have a job. Schools are closed and gatherings of more than 10 people are discouraged. Most churches cannot meet right now for worship, and even community Lent services have been canceled. We can’t hug our neighbors and many people who have a job are working from home. In the face of these unprecedented restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic what are God’s people to do?

Well known Christian educator and pastor Chuck Swindoll shared some wisdom years ago that can help us have a breakthrough - not a breakdown.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, and a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”

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We cannot change the fact that the world is facing a dangerous pandemic. We cannot change how it is affecting our lives. The 10% of what is happening to us is out of our control, but for God’s people it’s a good time to have a spiritual breakthrough and not a mental breakdown. What we can do is ask God to give us His power in the 90% of how we react to all this with a Christ like attitude.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10
8 We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

During Lent let’s remember that the disciples’ world was falling apart too, and Jesus knew his hour of suffering was getting closer. The government is telling us now that things will get worse before they get better. Jesus said the same thing to his followers too. He warned them of the persecution and hardships in the 10% to come but he gave them hope to help them live in the 90% where God could help them react with a Christ like attitude.

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Christians can live 10% in the pain of Jesus’ crucifixion and 90% in the power of his resurrection. Let His resurrection power rule in your life today and you will have a spiritual break though – not a mental breakdown.

Rev. Smith is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church and can be reached at 828-962-8196 or

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