Post courtesy of AmazinglyBrash
Post courtesy of AmazinglyBrash
Recently I found myself very disappointed in someone I considered a good friend. They did something to me that I felt (and still feel) was totally unacceptable and it was hard for me to swallow. I knew that I needed to forgive them and let it go but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it at the time.
Not wanting to hold a grudge, I began to quote any and every scripture I could remember (and maybe a few I made up) on forgiveness. But it seemed the moment I stopped quoting scripture, I got mad all over again.
Throughout that week, I kept rehearsing what happened and when I shared it with my husband and my sister, I got even angrier – it was like every time I told the story, the fire was being fueled. So I decided that I needed to stop talking about it because that was not helping the situation.
I’m sure you have all been there before …maybe it wasn’t a friend, perhaps it was a sibling, a co-worker, a neighbor or even someone at church. Whoever it was, they crossed you in some form or fashion and raised your blood pressure. You found yourself on this never ending cycle of anger because you couldn’t quite let it go.
In time, I realized that forgiveness is very hard in our own power… and at some point, I cleared my head and took it to God in prayer …and yet again, God amazed me with his ability to bring an inner peace in the midst of any situation.
Prayer is by far the greatest weapon we have. Prayer causes you to change your perspective on things.
While in prayer, God reminded me of the many times I had turned my back on Him. The many times I had disappointed Him. Yet, not once has He held back his forgiveness towards me.
He also reminded me that no one except Him is flawless, so I must not put people on a pedestal or expect them to never let me down. Yes, we expect certain things like respect from our friends, however at some point, we have probably all disrespected someone we cared about. How is it that we expect people to always be willing to forgive us but when the tables are turned – watch out!
Through prayer, I realized it was alright for me to be hurt by the situation, but it wasn’t alright for me to dwell there. God healed my wounds and gave me the courage to step back out and not allow this situation to dictate my mood, attitude or behavior towards the person who offended me.
There is something to be said about the power of prayer …next time I won’t wait so long to use it!
Written by Tanya James, Founder and president of The Master Plan. Tanya James is the author of From Promiscuity to Proverbs 31: Getting Off the Fence of Sexual Immorality. For more information about Tanya, log onto www.armedanddangerous.biz or www.themasterplan.biz.
Acceptance sets the tone in a trusting relationship. It ascribes value by making a friend feel special, especially if someone struggles with wounds from past rejection and hurt. Acceptance is an antidote for guilt and regret. It looks to bring meaning in the moment, not dwelling on former failures. It creates a non-judgmental, safe environment. Like a sympathetic nurse, it listens with empathy. Acceptance feels no discrimination or bias.
Who is hungry for your approval and acceptance? Is it a child, a parent, a friend, a co-worker or fellow Christ follower who needs to feel your warm words of delight in them? To not be an included team member is emotional torture. Passive rejection can be worse that blatant rejection. Indeed, an accepting attitude says, “I believe in you”, “I need you”, “I am for you”. You give others the benefit of the doubt. A person who feels your approval has nothing to prove.
“To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6 NKJV
Acceptance from Almighty God is found in Christ. He accepts the rejected. He invites those who wander from the faith to come home. Christ calls His children back from embarrassing situations and embraces them with open arms. His acceptance is unconditionally based on His love and grace. The Lord is looking for those in need of approval. He can’t wait to bless and believe in His own. Jesus accepts back those who have turned their backs on Him.
Therefore, accept others as Jesus has accepted you. Even sinners, you may ask? Yes, you can accept the individual without compromising your integrity. You grow in Christ’s character when others, who are unlike you, know you like them. You love those who love the world, without your loving the world. When you serve someone with competing standards, they tend to ask “why me”. Lovingly say, “why not you”–in order to bring praise to God!
“The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:3
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting me in Christ, so I can accept others in the same way.
Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman
And wished I were as beautiful.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch.
But as she passed, she passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs; the world is mine.
I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
“I thank you, you’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes; the world is mine.
Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
but he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join them dear?”
He looked ahead without a word.
I forgot, he couldn’t hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears; the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I’d go..
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
With ears to hear what I’d know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine.
This is just a simple reminder that we have so much to be thankful for! Give the gift of love. It never comes back empty!
One of the ways that I healed from an emotional unhealthy mindset was listening to messages and mini sermons several days throughout the week. Sunday is a great blessing and all, but when it came to feeding my spirit and renewing my mind I needed more.
This post is courtesy of I Spy God
One Sunday afternoon, my kids told me they asked their Sunday school teacher a question that she didn’t know the answer to.
“What did you ask them?!!” I blurted out, slightly fearful of what topic they dared to breach…
“Does God love the devil?”
Now there’s a question.
I can only assume that the Sunday school “teacher” they asked was one of the teen helpers and not the actual teacher, because I am sure the teacher has an answer to their question…but it made me think and wonder if what I thought was correct.
“Well, what do you think?” I asked back
“NO!” they almost simultaneously screamed… “he’s bad and so naughty!”
Does God love the devil?
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…” Genesis 1:31
God made the devil. And if he made the devil, then the devil is part of the “everything” Genesis 1:31 is talking about.
“… You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them …” Nehemiah 9:6
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
The devil was the most beautiful of God’s angels.
“You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and arbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub.” Ezekiel 28:12-15
And as with all of God’s creation, He allows free will, and like the Coke Zero commercials, the devil wanted more.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15
And again as with all creation, choices come with consequences… the devil and his angels were punished.
“… God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;” 2 Peter 2:4
But praise the One who is forgiving and longs for us to accept it.
“The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” Psalm 145:9
“… not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“Yes” I said.
“… God is love.” 1 John 4:8
What has you in its grasp?
Is there anything that makes you do what you do not want to do?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.