Christian or Insecure

Quite often I am baffled by those who proclaim to be Christian. In my mind, a Christian is someone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life. In order for this to happen, one must admit they are nothing without Him and in Him have everything. If this is truly the case, why would anyone who is a Christian portray themselves as better than someone who is not as far along on his or her Christian journey as they are (this is a loaded question in and of itself, as no one can really know the intricate details of the relationship between another person and Christ, however for the purposes of the point I am about to make; let’s assume these Christians are basing their assumptions off of the sins another has committed—I know, I know, but bare with me… ;))? How can you be better when, by your own confession and submission, you are nothing without Christ, meaning you are who you are and have what you have SOLELY because of Him?

(meditate on that for a minute)
Is it human nature to became arrogant and forget the dependent nature of a Christ-led life? Do we get amnesia and begin to believe we have what we have because of our hard work and good decision making? We’ve done the right things and viola, we have a great life! Why does there appear to be a need to put down another, however passive-aggressively, when professing the goodness of God manifested in our lives? Why not just give our testimony without the low-key snubs? What’s that all about?

Are we truly Christians or are we insecure in who we are? Or is it both? Insecurity often brings about unsolicited competition stemming from looking around at others and seeing in them what we wish we possessed. Not that the Christian journey is a perfect one, as there will still be trials; but if our lives are truly submitted on the altar, shouldn’t we always have joy even during our trial periods? We know God is with us right? If we truly have joy why put down another person?

There’s nothing wrong with Godly correction, that’s not what this is about. If I have learned a valuable lesson, it’s then my responsibility to share it with you. However, under no circumstances is it okay for me to address you in a manner that suggests I am higher up on the hierarchy of heaven than you are.

Comparison and competition is running rampant through churches. Sanctuaries aren’t always a sanctuary from the world. Sometimes the toughest battles are fought within God’s house because God’s imperfect people forget we are imperfect. We forget that it’s only through grace and mercy that we have the lives we have in the first place. No person’s decision making is so great that they can avoid all negativity. It’s not that we are good that great things happen for and to us, but that the God we serve is good that He allows His greatness to shine through us by granting to us favor. In turn, we are to give Him the glory.

Let’s try to remember that when we get so caught up in our seemingly perfect lives because in the blink of an eye, your world as you know it can change and you can be living a life you’d never thought you would.

I know this from experience.

Be humble and be honored. (Wash.Rinse.Repeat.)

AUTHOR’S EDIT: This post stemmed from a real-life event, however it would be less than fair not to point out that any situation in which a person has to put down another in a passive-aggressive ploy to somehow compliment themselves is an indication of low self esteem. We can pat ourselves on the back for our accomplishments if we so choose, however we should be able to do so without speaking negatively about anyone. The only competition that exist is within our minds, as each person has a unique purpose. Just because we both deliver pizzas, for example, doesn’t mean I need to speak badly about your business because it’s operated differently from mine. There are people only I can reach and the same in true for you.

God’s blessings are INFINITE ;~)!!!

christianorinsecure

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Unwavering Faith

 

Life can be difficult to understand at times, even for those who are believers of Christ. I think this is the case because so much of our belief system is centered on faith~believing the impossible to be possible without any evidence present~what an amazing feat it is to truly believe! I think we all waver at times, but for some it is more difficult to keep believing when you feel as if you’ve done everything you can and yet the circumstances seem to be worse than when you started.

When someone you care about is struggling to believe God still cares, still hears them, and is still in the blessing business; it can be tough explaining that while the situation may look bleak, God is still the same God who loved us SO much He sent His only son to die for us. Or it could be that we should not be doing anything other than sitting still. I am a firm believer that if something is within God’s will, we need but take a single, simple step and big things will happen. Conversely, if we are taking gigantic leaps and bounds, only to hit several brick walls, perhaps this is not what God will have us to do.

But how do you convince a person to do nothing when they are doing what they believe to be right? The toughest lesson to accept is that our actions may not be granting us the results we would like because we are living out consequences of prior decisions. God is forgiving, merciful, and full of grace, however when we act against His commands, we WILL have to face the consequences. The most scary is knowing that even if the consequences are not seen in our lifetime, it can be passed down through our generations.

So with all of that, what is the reason to keep believing God has your back? I can’t speak for others, but when I am analyzing and looking for logic in illogical situations, I keep believing simply because God told me He wouldn’t leave or forsake me. He said He has plans for me, plans to see me prosper and do well. I also understand that during my trials, if I continue to praise Him, I can go through and come out better than before. This has been the story of my life. Many think I have it easy, but the truth of the matter is that when times are most tough, I encourage others more than ever, I smile more, I speak more positive thoughts, I give glory to God. This overcompensation has kept me sane and kept God’s magnificence in the front seat of my life, ultimately making things appear to be perfect. I become so positive it is sickening even to me but I can’t stop. I can’t doubt. I can’t waver. All because I know what God says is true.

But again that’s me and I struggle with explaining my stance to those who are going through the fire. It bothers me that I can’t make it better (even though I know it’s not my job to), however I wish I had the right combinations of words to say to comfort those I care about when they are going through hard times.

So how does one explain to someone that praying about a situation doesn’t mean you’ll get the answer that you want when you want it? How do you explain that a non-answer to your prayers doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care nor does it mean He is unaware?

A Chosen People

Today, I had a very interesting conversation about why over the course of history God would allow so many bad things to happen to people of African descent. A portion of it is below:

I was asked if I believed in God and my answer was simply “yes.” Of course this person already knew the answer, however it was the segue way into asking how could God, who we believe to be so great, allow such disastrous things to happen to his people.

My response: “God said we are a chosen people. When you are chosen and separated from the rest, it puts you into a position of power. Once the enemy sees this, he becomes intimidated and threatened and will attempt to do all he can to destroy you. That doesn’t mean you aren’t chosen or that God doesn’t love you, but it does mean God has you covered through it all.”

Despite horrific things that happen in life, I believe God is more powerful than anything the enemy can throw into our paths. It’s easy to get bogged down in negativity, however we must be determined to focus on our blessings because it can always be worse. One thing that has been tremendously healing for me on my bad days is remembering that there is someone out there who would love to trade places with me.

Be encouraged through the storm and watch God show you the sunshine. He’s never failed me yet.

 

The Cost of Forgiveness

At what point do you decide when you will forgive a person who has hurt you? How do you decide who is worthy of your forgiveness?

I am amazed at the number of people who consider themselves Christians and yet they have a problem with letting go and forgiving someone who has wronged them. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say I am amazed, as some self-proclaimed Christians consistently engage in behaviors contradictory of their supposed beliefs, but that’s a different post for a different day.

Think about the worst thing a person has ever done to you. The WORST thing. Think about the feelings you felt during that time (and possibly still feel) and let’s assume because of that event or series of events, that person is no longer a part of your life (whether by your choice or not). Fast forward 10 years and this person reaches out to you. Perhaps they send you a message on Facebook or gives your their new contact information through a mutual friend and asks you to give him or her a call.

What do you do? Do you respond or do you continue to ignore them?

Over the years I have deleted several people from my life for a number a reasons. Sometimes it was because I didn’t believe they were the type of friend to me I was to them and as a result they didn’t deserve to be a part of my life. Consequently, they were deleted as an attempt to surround myself with selfless, true friends. In other cases, I deleted people who wanted to confine me to their idea of who they thought I should be. Anyone who truly knows me know I HATE that. I love being free to be who am I, despite what others think so when I am in a situation in which I feel limited by another’s complexes, fears, and/or shortcomings; it’s time for me to move on. The final group of deleted folks are those whom I simply outgrew (or maybe they outgrew me), where no hard feelings existed. It just so happens that we were at different points in our lives and needed to separate in order to fulfill our purpose. These people often have a cyclical presence, as I’ve learned they often show up again at some point. I think this is God‘s way of testing our growth.

At any rate, in the instances where “something happened,” I hold no ill will towards these former “friends” and truly hope they are happy and doing well in life. I have forgiven them and moved on. For me, forgiveness is about the ability to continue to grow and develop into who you were created to be, learning from each and every experience. In situations where we haven’t forgiven, there is a preoccupation which often leads to limitations. Ultimately, you forgive so that you can move on. It’s not about them. When we allow those feelings of hurt and betrayal to take root in our hearts and minds, then we allow the person who hurt us to have way more power over us than they should. You basically become their slave. They are the puppet master and you are the puppet, each move they make directs yours.

Ask yourself where would you be without God’s forgiveness. We have all done things that hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally….and yet God still forgives us. To take it a little deeper, we sin against God constantly, which is the ultimate slap in the face, and yet He still forgives us. If someone who is perfect in every way can forgive, who are we in our imperfections to not forgive?

How do you know when you have truly forgiven someone? When any interaction with them elicits none of the feelings you felt when they hurt you.

If God is Love

If God is love, why do we use Him to justify hate?

Do we believe that God will love a person less because of his or her sin?
If so, are we ever able to regain His love or is it gone forever?
If He loves us despite our sins, why do we believe some sins are more lovable than others?
If we disappoint Him, will He forgive us?
Does He only forgive certain people?
If He forgives all, why can’t we emulate that?
Who decides on the line between what is forgivable or not?
Is it God or is it man?
What happens if we choose to love the person but hate the sin?
Is that stance more God-like?
If it is, why is there so much hatred for people?
 
Are we really trying to be like God? Like, for real, for real?
 
Or do we only want to be like Him in matters that fit within our worldly boxes and limited thinking?
 
How do we pick and choose who we’ll accept and love unconditionally?
 
If God were to come to your house tonight for dinner, what would He say about your rationale for the choices you make?
Will He still love you?
 
Will He see Himself in you?
 
Or would you be a stranger to Him?
 
Will He love you less if you are a stranger?
 
Or will He bestow to you the same level of love He bestows to all?
 
Is loving people really that hard if we are following a God-laid plan?
 
How would you feel if a loved one told you, “I only love parts of you?”
 
How would you feel if the way you loved others was the way God, in turned, loved you?
 
Would you still love the same?