Here’s a great post about how we can react when we are situations that are rubbing us wrong! It’s not always easy to be “controlled” in those moments! My friend Bradley Grinnen gives a thoughtful view on confrontations….”Don’t Engage…Be Present”
Full disclosure… I am unmistakably a believer. In this space I often use the term ‘The Divine’ to refer to the Higher Power. Please allow yourself to replace ‘The Divine’ with how you’ve come to know and understand God.
The world has a funny way of bumping into us and completely changing our inner state of being. One moment we’re happy and content, going through our day, and then BAM! Someone that we really don’t feel good being around runs into us with the kind of passing comment that can immediately derail us. We end up having 4 or 5 different conversations with that person in our head for the rest of the day. Maybe we tell them off. Maybe we logically box them into a corner and then knock them out with the tremendously practiced words we’ve worked so hard to come up with. All in our head…
The book of Proverbs in the Bible is in the old testament and comes right after that big, comforting book of Psalms! Proverbs is a shorter book. One that I learned a long time ago that you can read one chapter each day and get through it by the end of the month. There are 31 Chapters! It’s perfect! I love Proverbs because it’s all about learning how and why! It’s the perfect start to a day – getting my mind set on how I need to behave and act so that I can bring others up in their walk through life and to head me on a path of success! I wanted to share with you what it is that I wrote many years ago in my well loved, torn to shreds, falling apart, can’t-throw-it-away Bible.
“I’ve pondered over Proverbs since I was a little girl, I’ve prayed for wisdom. To know what my Father in heaven knows, to think like Him. To see with my Fathers eyes the hearts of others. I’ve searched for the answer as to ‘why’ my whole life… Wisdom starts with obedience unto the Lord, and is followed through with discipline. Neither of those things can begin in our lives without the fear of the Lord. (Fear – The thought that my actions would disappoint or hurt another or get me into some sort of trouble which in turn, stops me from doing that act or behavior…) To fear is to not want the punishment that would come from the behavior or to not want to break God’s heart (disappoint) over my sin (missing the mark).”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me (wisdom and knowledge) your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”
When we gain wisdom and understanding we gain the ability to grasp our own hearts and how they were created. We gain the ability to think through situations that we don’t like and appreciate them anyway. We develop character (in time) that leads us to patiently wait and diligently work toward our goals. We start to understand the heart of God and how He purposes life together. He gives us instruction in every area of our lives…why wouldn’t we want such knowledge??!! My heart aches at times to know all the why’s in life!! I have had so much “junk” happen to me! When I’ve gone down, it’s been in such monumental ways that most stand in utter disbelief… Let’s put it this way…I relate very much with Job (the wealthy, prosperous man in the old testament who lost it all!! …and suffered greatly!). However, the Bible talks about understanding God’s heart and knowing why He purposes things the way He does! He has a plan…for me…and for you! It’s NOT to beat ourselves up and to cut others down! No Way!! It’s to learn compassion and patience and to gain understanding.
I believe that I’ve gone through so much so that I can help others with first-hand knowledge of how it feels to be so darn defeated!! To get knocked down over and over and over and to get back up no matter what; To stand tall in the midst of accusations and trials is something I know full-well. When we go through “stuff” the purpose is to help (encourage, strengthen) someone else who is going through it as well! It’s never to hide or be ashamed. Some of the troubles in my life have come from my own sin (falling short or missing the mark – missing the standard that God has set for me and for my good. He was trying to protect me, but I blew it!). Even through that, I can be secure knowing that God loves me regardless!! People might not…but God does and I can be forgiven no matter what I’ve done. God can make it right and use it for good in my life or in someone else’s life! We all (last time I checked all meant all…) have missed the mark, blew the standard, and sinned. There isn’t one sin that is better than another in God’s eyes…Even the “smallest one” keeps us from entering heaven if we are not forgiven!
The good news…WE CAN be forgiven and stand tall again knowing that God loved us enough to pay for those mess ups and loves us enough to make something beautiful out of our lives!! All with His grace and love… It’s humbling to admit or talk openly about what it is that we do wrong! But God will never drop us (Our friends may be another story…we’ll make new ones!!) he will never walk away from us…NEVER!! Knowing this fact…starts our journey to wisdom!
If you want to gain more wisdom and understanding of how life really works, start in the book of Proverbs!! Pray for wisdom and understanding and read what it is that God has to say on the subject!! He is NOT silent that’s for sure! Read one chapter each day and circle the verses that stand out to you!! It’s funny to me that no matter how many times I go through this one little book, I find something knew that speaks to me! My life ebbs and flows and different verses mean more at different times in my life! Go through it and read it searching for wisdom…you’ll find it!! God promises!! 🙂
It’s interesting to me how so many think that without even beginning their lives or going through trials they can cut down those who have and share openly where they get their strength! Who are we to stomp on another for going after goals and achieving them through leaning on Christ! I am talking to fellow Christians.
I have entered into a Fitness world where I’ve been amazed at the time, dedication and openness from these people! They achieve and lean on Jesus through it all. Many of them share openly their beliefs and yet without even taking one look at that part, others cut it down! Why? Jesus says that As long as the name of Christ is preached, it doesn’t matter where it comes from. God knows we all walk different paths! We’ve all come from somewhere. Not everyone has been raised in the church or even a solid family. Not everyone has been given the “clean life” In fact, many have slipped and fallen numerous times! God loves those people!! He claimed that He came for the broken! He ate and mingled with them!! He loved their humbleness…that comes from living a life and knowing full well that mistakes and short-comings were made!!
How else are we to reach these people (myself included!) without stepping into their world and loving them right where they are at!! I don’t hide behind the Bible or Church…I do believe and stand on the promises that God gave me and have found them after much testing to be true! I also attend and give to the church…but it’s no excuse to cut down and judge others!! Shame on those Christians who do! God says to encourage others…so do it already!! “Give to one another in ‘Brotherly Love'”
I have found that competitions are one of the most encouraging, uplifting, cheering places both in and out of them!! I’m proud to be associated with all of those I’ve formerly competed with…without a doubt! No matter what size, what the suit looks like, if we have stretch marks, or skin that can’t be helped from losing so much weight-the others cheer on! Proudly exclaiming the long distance we all have come!! It takes hard-earned effort to get there! And very few in my limited experience say that they do it all on their own!! So many believe in the power and strength that they receive from Jesus Christ!!
Does Jesus need us to be thin and fit….no. He loves us regardless!! But to not be fit is to lack energy, inspiration, and many times deal with outright depression. Is that where God wants us?? I say NO!! He wants us to be at our best!! That way we are ready for whatever He brings our way!!
I can’t say enough how amazed I am with the lives that because I’ve gotten into great shape, that I’ve been blessed to know and touch for Jesus!! I’ve shared tears and laughter and stories galore already and I know there’s much more to come! Who am I to stop that work? To me, it’s a ministry in its own right!!
As for lusting…I’ve found ZERO of that within the competitions! None!! It’s just not even a question! I have found that outside of them, but I find that with being fully clothed!! I cannot control what others think… I can only do what God calls me to do and to do it with My BEST!!
This comes first for a reason. We were created with an area inside of us that is quenched best by connecting to something much greater than us. I believe in Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Saviour. In fact, I’m not sure how to separate myself from this relationship that I have. I was once asked to deny my faith in Jesus by a man who I adored. He asked me to give it all up. To him it was an intellectual thing and I could just let it go. This man was from Ireland. I thought about how to explain it the way he could understand. I asked him if he could ever just stop being Irish and from Ireland…. It is in and throughout who he is. So is my walk with God. It’s not a religion. Or Church. Or a building that I attend on Sundays. It is the lifeblood of who
I am. My heart seeks after God. I am not perfect nor have I arrived (nor will I ever arrive). I continually mess up. I sin (I once heard an explanation of sin as “Missing the Mark” from Steven Furdick @ Elevation Church. Beautifully put!). We ALL do this “Missing the Mark” daily!! We get tired, grumpy, walked on, forgotten and hurt. Sometimes we are the one hurting others. We do this without thinking sometimes and…we do it on purpose at other times!! We let our emotions just simply get the best of us! I do it…you do it… it happens. Personally, I know how awful I feel when I let my tongue go off like a race horse!! I’ve said and done some awful things! Later…I regret most of it!
God…looks at our hearts. He knows we get tired. He knows we get worried and scared. He knows we get hungry. He knows even better than we do how our emotions can get the best of us! I’m a Mom. I have four children of my own and two step daughters. When my kid were (are) younger, there are things that they do that I can excuse. They break something by bumping it. They don’t have total control over their bodies and move around way too quickly. Oops. Something I really liked gets caught up in their learning how to control themselves. I can excuse it, because I know that they are still learning. They didn’t mean to do it! I, as their mother know their heart! God sees us the same way. He knows our maturity and ability to handle the situation. He knows that we aren’t “all grown up yet” and can excuse us and forgive us and love us through our messes.
Now, just because I understand doesn’t mean that I look the other way. There is still a lesson in the broken pieces. What my child did was still wrong and needs to be addressed. They need to help clean up the mess and apologize for their mistake. I will smile and love on my child letting them know all is well AFTER they apologize and ask for forgiveness. Just the same, we need to address what it is that we’ve done and ask for forgiveness from those we’ve stepped on or hurt. It’s hard…but necessary not only for them, but for ourselves. We need reconciliation in our relationships and in our walk with God himself! Our Heart needs to feel at peace and one with Our True Source of strength!
It’s a rare moment when you come across someone who does this. However, when we have been wronged, we are to be at the ready to forgive. This process needs to happen long before it’s asked. For me, it’s all about looking into the mirror. I do the same dumb things that others do to me so how can I accuse them of being so awful when I go and do it too!!!??? It gives me the ability many times to understand the one who wronged me!
A year or so back, I had someone tear me apart from limb-to-limb verbally. This guy cussed and swore and called me some bitter names. Had we been face-to-face I’m not so sure it wouldn’t have gone to blows. It was bad! He was doing some service work for me and didn’t do what I asked. When I questioned him about it, he lost control of his tongue completely!! Clearly, the venom coming out of his mouth was from way more than me questioning him. However, I was in tears and angry and hurt all at the same time. My husband stepped in the conversation taking the phone from me (because no one talks to his wife that way…period!! Good man!!), and the venom continued at him!! Needless to say, we had nothing good to say about that business. I even avoided driving down that street for a long time so I wouldn’t have to be reminded of “That Man!”
This past Sunday I was in church like usual and a man come up to me with tears in his eyes asking me to forgive him. All I could say was for what? I didn’t know this man and I didn’t remember anyone wronging me. As he explained who he was, I knew. All I could think about doing was giving this poor man a hug letting him know it was all ok…especially now that he addressed it! Water under the bridge!! It takes an honest and humble person to admit when they are wrong. Clearly, he wanted to attend church (he was new there!) without having to think about what all happened over a year ago! Chalk it up to a bad day, being way too hungry, stresses of life…whatever. “We have all sinned and fallen short!” Last time I checked…all…means all!
That reminds me…I have amends to make from my past as well! Be sure to forgive and to ask for forgiveness…just see how much love is poored out within you. Let go of those hurts…they are not worth holding onto. They hold you back from following your heart and block the goodness from flowing through you!
Ever notice how when things go wrong and you are at your wits end….just when all energy and resources are used up….that’s when hope whispers one last time
It’ll be ok. Gods got this!! All you need to do is trust Him and ask!
it’s darkest right before the dawn!
Many times we ask, but like a child wanting a certain toy at Christmas. When that child doesn’t receive what they thought they were going to get, they are disappointed and even mad inside! Asking like this means we are not there yet. We haven’t come to the place where no matter what happens, we trust that God has this with our best interest at heart!
God will give you the desires of your heartbut…
God reads our hearts better than we do!! He wants us to develop character like perseverance, patience, kindness, & selflessness. These qualities come to a person when they’ve been tested by the fire of trials in life!!
Next time you are having difficulty-I mean really struggling wondering where exactly is God in all of this….Remember He loves you and wants greatness for you not just a wish granted! He’s got whatever you are going through and will provide all that you need. Even if it’s at the last minute!
I’ve lived…and through that, I have had some great experiences and some real disappointments. I’ve crashed and burned too many times. I have scars on the inside to prove it and sometimes they make me cry. Weep really.
I have tried in my life…and I have failed.
At times, others have given up on me as lost…it’s over! Left flat on my back.
But it wasn’t true! The lights were and still are on! The pulse is still racing. My heart is still pounding and there’s breath still in my lungs.
You know what?
Let the odds be against me!
Say that I can’t or won’t or shouldn’t!
I’m too old
I’m a girl
I’m too broke
I’m not enough
I’m too pretty
I’m not pretty enough
I’m too heavy
I’m too thin
I don’t come from the right family
I’m not educated right
I’m not an expert
I don’t care!
I’m not stopping! I have a dream and I know, that I know, that I know I can!
AND I WILL!!
I will achieve all that God has planned for me! I’m ready…His timing & His plan, but I’m ready for the green light! I will continue to walk through the open doors He has for me and go for my dreams giving Him praise all the way!
Don’t let others dictate what dreams you are allowed. Who are they to say that it’s not possible? If God has placed on your heart desires and dreams , than honor and trust Him and you go for it!!