Recently I have been thinking a lot about conviction. My daughter said something that really impacted the way I felt. Sometimes I have a difficult time discerning if I am hearing GOD’s voice OR is what I am hearing, my own thoughts? She said this: IF you are questioning it, it probably is NOT coming from GOD. That was such an “aha!” moment from me. I heard that loud and clear. As they say, out of the mouth of babes.
I have heard many people say and I myself have used the term or one like it:” I felt that GOD laid on my heart” . . . Many people have many different gifts. I feel that for now, mine is through the use of written words and bringing together and supporting others in need. I can see GOD working in these things.
Interesting enough, my actual use of my voice and speaking to others about my love for JESUS is a weakness. GOD has been moving me out of my comfort zones pretty consistently lately. One of those areas is speaking. Those who know me well, know that I can sometimes feel pretty awkward in social situations. I am good in situations where there is light small talk and joking around. However, I do not fare well in more intimate settings where I need to use my voice. Between my attention span and the absence of a brain to mouth filter – it is pretty clear to me why this is so.
That being said, I will continue to pray and ask for GOD to lay heavy on my heart (convict me) what HE wants from me. My true desires ARE to please GOD. If this means I will move beyond my comfort, than I am ready. With GOD all things are possible, even self- imposed limitations.
DEAR JESUS, Thank YOU for understanding where I am now and loving me in spite and being patient with me in my growth. Forgive me when I lack the faith to move along in situations that are uncomfortable for me. Help me to seek YOUR WILL and FATHER to hold your hand joyfully in all situations! IN YOUR PRECIOUS NAME – JESUS CHRIST – AMEN!
Do you remember being that kid? The teacher tells you to be careful and color in the lines. You try so hard and then, there it is – a blue smudge escaping and glaring at you in the face. Depending on the reaction of that teacher, or parents or even the other kids; it could leave you feeling a failure.
Perfection; It is a word that carries no significance really. After all, we can never attain perfection only strive for it. We pressure ourselves. We want to be perfect so we try. We color our lives in the lines and try hard not to cross over them much like a child coloring in a coloring book.
Life presents us with so many of these situations. Parenting, our careers, marriages and even the “fun” times must be perfect. I am that person who places that pressure on myself. Living in CHRIST means that we try and attain perfection but in reality until we are with GOD, it will not happen. We ARE going to make mistakes AND GOD plans for our mistakes and uses them to HIS good.
Am I saying go out and make a mountain of mistakes? NOOOOO! I am saying stop being hard on yourself when you fall short. I am telling myself this too. I have to remind myself this constantly.
There is a bad reaction to this perfectionism. Inevitably we WILL fall short. Then either we give up or we beat ourselves up. And there is never any good that comes of this.
GOD does not want us to judge others nor ourselves. GOD shall be the final judge. So rest in HIM and do your best and when you fall short, repent, ask for forgiveness. That is it, it is gone, disappeared. That blue crayon mark outside the line has been “whited-out”. You are free and clear.
Thank YOU JESUS for the ability to try our best even when YOU know that we WILL fall short and loving us when we do fall short and permitting us to try again tomorrow.
How often do we encounter someone we do not “mesh with” or even like a little bit? Sometimes it is a direct result of something that may have happened or sometimes it is just chemistry. According to the gospel, we are called to love. Galatians 5:22 provides us with the fruits of the SPIRIT so that we are empowered to manage ill feelings, correct?
Driving down the road and being cut-off by a careless driver does not provide for us a reason to shout and be rude to that person. Being faced with someone who exhibits attributes that clearly “tick” us off, does not give us license to judge or be cruel. Dealing with someone who practices life differently does not give us a pulpit to stand on and lecture or give unwarranted advice?
Jesus saved the adulteress; the murderer; the prostitutes, and the tax-collector. He loved them and he loves us. He loves me when I am at my worst. Thank GOD. I do not even like myself at those times.
So if we are feeling something less than love; what are we to do? If we really do not like someone, how do we handle it? GOD calls us to love. Take a step back, breathe, ask GOD to step in. Ask for HIS strength to replace your weakness. Easier said than done, OF COURSE! That is why we have JESUS! WE are not alone.
PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! for that ex-husband, the friend who betrayed you, the thief who stole, the drunk driver who killed, and the abuser who abused you. One step in love today will free your tomorrow of hate and contempt; which incidentally causes nothing but harm to yourself. Can you do it? Will you do it? And….. Who knows, your kindness to the unkind could be the very thing, moment that brings them to the arms of JESUS! Mission accomplished!
When I was little, I thought that I was literally a piece of my mom and dad. If only things were that easy. Unfortunately and fortunately, our experiences and relationships add up to how we react, who we are, and often; who we become. Different people react to the same situation very differently.
Somewhere along my rocky path, I learned that I needed to be a peace-maker. This was imbedded in me so strongly that I would make peace at all costs, using manipulation, controlling behaviors and yes, outright lies. I wish I could say that when I found JESUS and accepted HIM in my life, I let all that go. However, I cannot. It is something I struggle with every day. BUT, each of those days my white-knuckled grasp onto that concept is slowly being released. I thought and acted like a prisoner of who I was – who I became.
Sometimes we see GOD in relation to how we see our world. It is hard but necessary to understand that GOD is much bigger than who we have become and who we are. GOD is bigger than our faults, our weaknesses and everything about us. Rest in HIM. GOD provides the key to unlock you from your prison of condemnation; to free us from the world’s way and forgive us when we fall.
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.