Archive | April 2012

Block Haters

 
The Christian that turns their nose up to other Christians that are not in their opinion saved enough or saved at all are not being godly or spiritual, but they are in fact being worldly (ungodly).

Whether you turn your nose up in private or prideful in public, God still sees the direction in which it’s in.
Good relationships are hard to come by and keep when your heart is rooted and grounded in prideful, judgmental hate.

If this is you, do everyone a favor and start loving yourself so that you may love others and God.

1 John 4:19-21
 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Post shared via Relationship Stuff

God’s Word vs. Your Feelings

Every day, we are faced with a decision: Will we respond to life’s circumstances according to God’s Word or will we react emotionally? The initial temptation is to react emotionally, but in every circumstance, it’s truly your decision. 

Let’s examine three circumstances you’re going to have to face at some point in your life. I’ve also included some questions to ask yourself, which I encourage you to answer honestly. They will give you a good idea of how big a part your feelings play in these circumstances.

Circumstance #1: Change

Everything changes except God, and letting all the changes in our lives upset us won’t keep them from occurring. People change, circumstances change, our bodies change, our desires and passions change. 

Most changes take place without our permission. But we can choose to adapt. Adapting doesn’t change the circumstances, but it does keep you living in peace and joy as you go through change.

First Things First

Our thoughts are the first thing we need to deal with during change because thoughts directly affect emotions. When circumstances change, make the transition mentally, and your emotions will be a lot easier to manage. If something changes that you are not ready for and did not choose, you will more than likely have a variety of emotions about it.

The Power of God’s Word

“Emotions rise up and then move out, wanting us to follow them. When I feel that, I know I need to take action.”

By acting on God’s Word and not merely reacting to the situation, you’ll be able to manage your emotions instead of allowing them to manage you. I strongly recommend confessing the Word of God out loud. Even though what you confess may be the opposite of how you feel, keep doing it. God’s Word has inherent power to change our feelings, bring comfort to us, and quiet our distraught emotions.

Ask Yourself

  1. How do I respond to change?
  2. Do I act on God’s Word or merely react to the situation?
  3. After the initial shock, am I willing to make a transition mentally and emotionally?

Circumstance #2: Waiting

If you have not developed patience, then having to wait may bring out the worst in you. At least that was the case with me until I finally realized my emotional reactions were not making things go any faster. 

We would all like to be patient, but we don’t want to develop patience because that means behaving well while we are not getting what we want. And that’s hard!

The Road to Peacefulness

The more we want something, the more our emotions will act up if we do not get it. Common sense tells us it is rather foolish to get into a rage over a parking space or other simple things people tend to get upset about. As you develop patience, don’t merely think about how hard and frustrating it is, think about how peaceful you will be when waiting never bothers you (see James 1:4).

Ask Yourself

  1. How do I behave when I have to wait?
  2. What situations are difficult for me?
  3. How do I act when I’m working with someone who is really slow?
  4. How do I act if someone takes the parking space I’ve been waiting for?
  5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do I handle myself when things don’t go my way?

Circumstance #3: Difficult People

No one likes being around difficult people. I think there are a lot of people in the world like that today, largely because of the stressful lives most of them have. People are trying to do too much in too little time and have more responsibility than they can realistically handle. 

When someone is rude to me, I can feel my emotions rise up and then move out, wanting me to follow them. That’s when I know I need to take action. I have to remember that the person being rude probably has a lot of problems. She may not even realize how she sounds.

Working with the Holy Spirit

I certainly remember lots of times in my life when people asked me why I was being so harsh. I didn’t realize that I was. I just had a lot going on and felt pressured, so the pressure came through in harsh voice tones. That didn’t excuse my bad behavior, but it was the root of the problem. 

I am very thankful I know the Word of God and have Him in my life to help and comfort me. But a lot of difficult people don’t have that. I have had to work very hard with the Holy Spirit for the ability to act on God’s Word when people are rude…instead of merely reacting with a behavior that matches or tops theirs. 

Jesus teaches us how to respond to those who treat us well and those who do not (see Luke 6:32–35).

If you are in a situation that requires you to be with one of these hard-to-get-along-with people every day, I urge you to pray for them instead of reacting emotionally to them. Our prayers open a door for God to work through.

Ask Yourself

  1. How do I react to people who are rude?
  2. Do I respond in love as the Word says we should, or do I join them in their ungodly behavior?
  3. Will I act on the Word of God and love them for His sake? Or will I react emotionally, perhaps acting worse than they act?
  4. Have I ever let a rude person ruin my day?

Live Beyond Your Feelings

Feelings will come and go. We can’t escape them, but we can choose to live by God’s Word and not our feelings. Even when it doesn’t feel right, we can live with an incredible peace and joy. I encourage you to go through the questions again and search God’s Word in every circumstance you face. He will help you live beyond your feelings!

 
This article is taken from Joyce’s book, Living BeyondYour Feelings.

What’s A Friend?

When I think of friendship I am forced to go to the Bible and read what it has to say and not come up with my own interpretations. Doing that in the past caused me to be in a lot of unstable, and unhealthy relationships with male and females. I truly must admit I’ve cried just as hard over female friends as I have over a romantic break up. So here is what I’ve gotten today from the Bible about friendship:

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

I think this scripture needs to be on a huge piece of wood hanging in my house for me to read often. I have to admit I have not chosen my friends carefully and have suffered for it greatly. There have been times in my life that I’ve let everyone in and wanted everyone to be a friend. In return I wound up with a broken heart of my own doing because everyone was never supposed to be a friend. But somewhere in my misguided mind I believed that to turn someone away from my friendship was mean. But the Bible considers it “careful”.
So how would one go about choosing a friend carefully; well I have a few suggestions. (Suggestions are just that, you can take or leave them, but here they are).

1) Pray about each encounter you have with people of interest and not. Some people may be called to be your friend that you would otherwise over look and vise versa.

2) Instead of having walls up, have boundaries set in the beginning and then adjust them accordingly as the friendship and trust develop.

3) Pay attention to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit in reference to your relationship, He will inform you if you have a friend and their purpose in your life.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

This scripture is a definition in my opinion as to what the character of a friend should be. It doesn’t mean that a friend is to love perfectly, but that they will love you at all times. And in Christ we are called brothers and sister as well as friends, so the second half of this scripture lets me know that when the going gets tough, my friendship with true friends will keep going. If you have had friends that are all for the good times but vanish in the bad, you know what that feels like and it’s easy to see who’s who when those times come. But be careful not to lump everyone in that category, as some true friends will fail you. I just believe it will look differently, like they will be sorrowful that you were hurt or that they may have disappointed you instead of taking the “Who Cares” stance.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

In a way, these scriptures are some what saying the same thing. Basically a friend, a true friend isn’t going to tell you what feels good just for the sake of making you smile. If they can’t be honest and truthful at all times, then you might as well just consider them your enemy that kisses you and smiles in your face with hate in their heart.

I have not said all that I’ve wanted to discuss on this topic but like my best friend said “Don’t overwhelm people with too much info at once.” So as I read and study this last scripture that’s listed below, I will pause. This one has a few different meanings in my head so I have to dig deep. The different translations can throw me off sometimes so I’ll get to the bottom of it and return later this week to close out this segment. Thank you so much for reading and may your friendships be fruitful!

Proverbs 18:24 

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

24Some friends don’t help, [a]but a true friend is closer   than your own family.

Proverbs 18:24

New International Version (NIV)

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

New King James Version (NKJV)

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[a] But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Post courtesy of The Relationship Stuff

Fight for Your Right to Smile! (5 Ways to Relieve Stress)

Having a bad day? Bornattwentyfive shares with us some ideas for relieving some stress in life.

You ever have one of those days where it seems like everything that could go wrong has? That was my day last Thursday. I realized one of the jobs I recently started, I absolutely hate. I broke my Iphone and then my laptop started acting up. I was so frustrated I wanted to scream. Finally when I was at the end of my rope, I remembered my favorite quote “This too shall pass” and I started to feel a little better. I thought I’d share with you today, these 5 Tips to Relieve Stress:

1. Put Down Your Cellphone and Put Your Computer Away- This one is tough to do, but I guarantee if you put your cellphone down, and turn your computer off for a half an hour, you will feel a burden lifted.

2. Take a Break from Someone Who Stresses You Out– We all have that one friend/cousin/sibling who always has some drama going on. It’s all well and good to be supportive, but it’s hard to deal with someone else’s stress if you are struggling with your own. Tell that person that you’ve got a lot you’re dealing with at the moment and that you’ll call them the moment things are in order.

3. Be Thankful– Even in the hardest of times, try and remember things that you are thankful for. A therapist friend says that keeping a thanks journal and writing down three things a day you are thankful for makes most people feel less depressed. It helps them to see what they still have that is good in their lives.

4. Get Some Sleep– It’s hard to not feel stressed when you are not getting enough sleep. Very few things feel as nice as waking up well rested.

5. Have a Laugh– We’ve all heard the quote “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. Nothing puts me in a better mood than watching a comedy. So next time you’re down, turn on Comedy Central, or call that girlfriend who always has you laughing. Laughter will definitely lift your spirits.

Hopefully this post will encourage you to smile the next time you’re feeling stressed out.

Emotional Emptiness

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

 

Emotional emptiness is a set up for frustrated and insecure living. If I ignore my emotional bank account with bad behavior, I can easily become overdrawn and withdraw into my silent shell. There are ‘late fees’ that result in broken promises, missed appointments, and angry outbursts. Emotional emptiness easily leads to chronic exhaustion.

Unhealthy emotions, like unresolved anger, overcome those running on emotional empty. In addition, good things like serving others can suck the joy and gratitude from your life if you are not emotionally whole. Resentment runs rampant when your emotions are on the edge of emptiness, so guard your heart with the Holy Spirit’s help and wisdom.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22

So how do you know if you are approaching emotional emptiness? If you are emotionally spent, how do you replenish your emotional bank account? One sign of emotional fatigue is when your feelings are easily hurt. You take too much personally without appropriating forgiveness and trust in the Lord’s ability to handle the situation. So invite God to grow your character during challenging times.

One way to involve Jesus in your emotional barrenness is to write out your fears, and talk it through with the one whom you totally trust. He will give you courage to encounter those you fear with humility and courage. Lastly, make regular appointments with encouragers who lift you to the Lord with their affirmation and prayers.

Look for those who remind you to place your hope in heaven. Emotional fullness is created in a prayerful pace of living. Protect your emotions as they give understanding and insight into yourself, people, and the Lord. Above all else, trust in the peace of God to make whole your emotions, and to guard your heart.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7)

When can I block out weekly time on my calendar to guard my heart and replenish my emotional emptiness?

Related Readings: Proverbs 15:30; 22:11; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22