A person wrote into one of those “Dear Abby” types of writers. Their spouse of just two months had just asked them for a divorce, which they obviously didn’t want. They wanted to know what to do. And by the way, the standard answer of all these writers is…seek counseling. This option was off the table as their spouse already rejected going.
I loved what the writer had to say. “The sobering reality of life is that we can’t change anyone else…and we can’t ‘make’ someone else do something they don’t want to do. The only person we can hope to change is ourselves – and even that requires a lot of work.”
A changed situation starts with allowing Jesus to change you. A nicer outcome begins with you letting the Word of God wash your brain of the lies you hold by exchanging the lies with the truth and then exercising those truths.
This changed life, though, takes time and is a hard fought battle. God’s Word gives no illusions to anything otherwise. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 that we are in a war, the weapons we use are not of this world, our enemy can’t be seen, and the battleground is our mind.
There is indeed hope from The Counselor! Jesus is in the life changing business. He is the author and finisher of your faith. He will complete the job that He started in you (Phil. 1:6). Keep up the good fight. You can win today and will ultimately win tomorrow when you see Jesus face to face (1 Jn. 3:1).
Admit you have battle, surrender your situations and your way of fighting them to Jesus, and then get better at listening to and following Him. Change is hard, but it’s not impossible. All things are possible through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Set Fr“EE” Nowww
Set Free “N”owww“Once again he jumped into his truck and roared off in a cloud of black exhaust. This time the exhaust fumes smelled like perfume; yet the first time we met, this kid seemed like an old fashioned, genuine redneck. I was particularly annoyed by his brusqueness and the roar with which he pulled away.”
The author of this story was coming home with his wife from the hospital on a tire that was quickly going flat. At a stop light, he had asked this young man for help. The kid wasn’t able to help and took off with thick, black exhaust exiting his beat-up truck. Two miles down the road this same kid stopped at the side of the road when he remembered he had one of those air-in-a-can canisters, waited for this guy, and then helped him. The kid responded, when asked if he would take money, “Forget it. Ain’t nuthin’. Happy to do a good deed for a change.”
The author of the story learned a valuable lesson that day. “Before passing judgment on anyone, pause and think. Better still, try to not to pass any judgment on anyone. That is not our job; the world is blessed with its own Divine Judge.”
People can look gross on the outside (aka first impressions), but wonderful on the inside. The reverse can also be true. Each person is a work in progress. Some are going backwards; some are standing still, while still others are going forward. Until we can see the inside, which only God can see at any given moment, let’s continue to give each other room to grow. Remember, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” even with those who tell you they can’t help with your flat tires. They just might be the very tool God uses to change your life!
Set Free “N”owww
God gave me a new tool to use for victorious living. It’s found in 2 Chronicles 20:21, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.”
This past August, God asked me to let Him plan my daily schedule. I’d been holding on to it way too tight and putting so much into it that it only left me tired and stressed. He was and is trying to show me that He’s better at the controls of my life than I am. I know that’s a “duh” statement, but I bet you’re challenged in this area as well.
I have a list of projects and activities that I believe He wants me to accomplish (“the good works, which He prepared for me”). So each day, I sit with Him and ask what parts of the projects and what activities that He wants me to do with Him that particular day.
When I start to stress out over what is not or the results of the items on that list, which can lead to drug taking, I can chill out by remembering the truth from the above passage. I can give thanks for who my God is. His yoke is easy. I can do what He wants done with Him. Then I can believe Him for the results, which really don’t matter. I am loved by Him, regardless of the outcome. I am accepted whether I mess them up or do “it” right.
I’m using a new tool (aka biblical truth) today to enjoy my walk with and allow the Spirit to make me more like Jesus. What tool is Jesus asking you to pick up today? Don’t know? Keep listening to Him in the Word. He’ll show it. Know it? Keep asking the Spirit to empower you to use it.
S“E”t Free Nowww
Individuality is over rated and is so not true. Those who want to look different simply end up looking like someone else. You can see this truth in a popular comic strip. It had a sign in the window that read, “Show your individuality, pick one of these popular tattoos.” Be different by copying everyone else!
Trying to be an individual is what gets us into trouble. Being a secure child of God, who is uniquely made, is what brings victory. You were given a unique nature and mind the moment you put your faith in Jesus – Christ’s. You were given purpose and meaning the moment you were born again. You were given a task specifically made for you, though it may be extremely difficult and painful (e.g. our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world), the moment you became a secure child of God.
Why try to look like someone else, when you’re a truly unique child of God? Why try to be an individual that copies others, which is only a means to fit in, when you already “fit in” as a child of God? Stop the stressful life, which leads to your drugs of choice, by thanking God for who you already are!
Victorious living starts when you realize what it means to be a secure child of God who appreciates what Jesus did for and in you; and then, who makes daily decisions to stay close to Jesus – the only One who can truly bring pleasure in an often painful world.
“S”et Free Nowww
They stole my identity, but I will not let them steal my soul. This was a great line from a show my wife and I recently watched. One of the main characters had their identity stolen. It wasn’t just their money that was stolen. They were also robed of their integrity and the trust of their employer, which could have cost them their livelihood as well.
Wait there is more! Their financial loss was so great that, though they were very accomplished in their field, the courts treated them like a child! They had to have someone else pay their bills, handle their finances and ultimately give them a weekly allowance. It was pure humiliation!
How would you react once the person was caught? Anger would be justified. Hatred? Bitterness? What made it worse was that the person who stole from them not only was a friend, but showed no remorse over what they had done. In fact, the culprit blamed the person they stole from for what had happened!
Feel like forgiving? Nope. I once read, “Life is much easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.” This is so true! Biblical forgiveness is not about the person who wronged you. It’s about not letting them steal your soul.
Yes, we seek justice and restitution, but what if it never comes or the person never cops to what they did? Biblical forgiveness is about working through your pain to be free of what they did to you. People can hurt you, but is that any reason to let them destroy your life?
Think about it. You can either wait for them to ask, which may never happen, or you can forgive in order to be free to enjoy your walk with Jesus and become more like Him. (Remember this statement, “Father forgive them”?) Experience the significance of forgiveness. It sure beats letting the other person continue to rip you off.
Set Free N“O”www