Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Patience, prayer, Salvation

Nugget Soup

my nugget soup of LoveI like to walk away with nuggets when I go to a conference, listen to a sermon or hear a teaching series.  You can get nuggets from a good book too.  Lots of nuggets form a soup in which you can take and give to someone.  I recently came across something in which made me really think about how we may treat others due to the way we treat ourselves which made me think.

I also had a friend who told me how she watch me love on someone after they made a life mistake, instead of me turning my back on them, I showed love and encouragement, accepting them instead of shunning. It is a shame that Christians can take on the same format of the blame game or they get what they deserve the attitude.  Let me explain.  When we truly want to see the real person inside, and truly want to love as Jesus loved, we will look past the mistake, the unmet expectation and seek restoration in the relationship.

To punish others some people withdraw love, affection and encouragement when the very people they love don’t meet up to standards, accomplish what they want or do what they wanted even when sin is not even the culprit.  Why?  Because it is believed that those who fail to meet our expectations are unworthy of love and that result or failure from sin must be punished.  Sometimes we even put a date or time of how long they should be punished determined in our own minds or how much we feel hurt.  Making others feel bad about their decisions is a way of punishing, manipulating and controlling.  This is a performance or works righteousness behavior.  This seed is sown to produce a sense of when I am hurt, I will hurt until I feel better about what they did to me, therefore I will continue to put condemnation on them. It even goes to the point of sowing discord to everyone who knows them.

When we look at others and are quickly to point out their faults or expectations we have of them,  it produces a self-righteous within our own heart, therefore giving us the right to quickly punish the other person at any time they fail or don’t meet our expectation.  I have seen families torn apart because of this even when sin is not even involved.  Sad but true this also happens in churches.  People see old friends out in town and they won’t even speak to them.  They still hurt therefore they continue to hurt others in this way.

We should not feel good about the sin committed if there was one, because dishonoring God and bring harm to others produce sorrows.  When a sin is found out, repentance should take place and the parties involved need to work in forgiveness and in love in restoring peace.  If a person believes himself or herself to be the stronger Christian, the attitude should not be anger and condemnation, for if this is the attitude displayed, then the ones who have failed will try to avoid those who punish them.  This is why most people have been deceived about God’s character.  They fear God and run away from God because He is going to punish instead of love.  Discipline yes but rooted in love.

The goal in what I am trying to convey today is, that the goal of discipline is to restore, develop and perfect.  Punishment on the other hand is retaliation and used to impose a penalty which Christ has already paid the price.  God’s discipline can be severe but it is prompted by grief not anger.

So how do we know if we fall into these category of self-righteous religious works mentality?

Ask yourself:

When someone I love makes a mistake or doesn’t live up to my expectations, do I……

a.  withdraw love and affection from them as if it is a form of punishment

b. hurt them in ways of talk, action or just plain ignoring them

c.  point out other faults to make them feel bad

d. condemn or scorn them for their actions or decisions even when there is no sin involved

e.  impose a curse or threat upon them of future tense (example: If you do this, then you will be sorry you did it, you will suffer….etc…)

f. when you are around them, you still feel hurt, agitated or feel as though you need to be in control of their life in making their decisions

If we answer yes to any of these questions, even maybe due to opinion, what right do we have to call ourselves Christ like?  We should love, show  forgiveness and other fruit of the Spirit when hurt, when people don’t live up to our expectations and yes even when they sin.  Christ paid for it all, so lets stop condemning not only others but also ourselves and run to God whether if you are on the receiving end or the giving end.

Do you know we can also do this to ourselves?  We can condemn ourselves and feel as though we must be punished.  This is another soup I will save for another time.

That is my nugget soup for the day.

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Patience

I Am Such A Loser

We all have had them.  Can you say “Pity parties”.  When we go through a trial or through a dark season in our life we tend to allow condemnation set in.  Not only on ourselves in our mind but also toward other people.  We tend to forget where God has brought us from and the grace and mercy he has shown us and continue to live in dung.  We hurt, we don’t feel good, we lash out at people, we retrieve to a cave and we don’t want to be around people.  We are late getting to church and we tend to be the first to leave directly after the service, plus fellowship with others is totally out of the question.  It is like we want to be noticed for going through a rough time, even sometimes calling the prayer line numerous times to let people know how bad we are feeling or how we need a financial miracle.  It is a cycle with condemnation and its much like being co-dependant.

A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, and some believers even think it’s God telling them these things to bring light to their dark tunnel. However, nothing could be further from the truth! God NEVER tells you what a loser you are. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 12:47).  God has made every provision for us and He has paid the price for everything we go through.  He didn’t say it would be really easy but he did say He had overcome the world.  He puts the ball into our hands to believe what is true and what is not.  What is not is to continue to live in condemnation.

What does it mean to have a condemning attitude?  It is when we make statements like this, “Where are my friends when I needed them, Pastor never came to see me, church is a bunch of hypocrites”.  We all face darkness in different seasons of life and when we do, our natural impulse is to take matter in our own hands.  We don’t like pain or waiting and it is easy to invite everyone to the pity party or the condemnation gala event.  However if we remain strong and continue to do right even when it means to be quiet and sit still, trust in God, then the outcome will  be more rewarding.  Do what is right even when you are standing in the dark.  Your decisions will affect more than you during that particular time.

Condemnation also can plague our mind becoming a stronghold.  It prevents us from moving forward into the destiny God has for us by keeping us focused on our present or past with ourselves or with others.  It comes from Satan and is meant to tear you down. Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you’ve messed up. Condemnation is showing you the problem, but avoiding the solution.  In my early Christian years, I suffered from this and quoted the Scripture many times in Romans 8:1,New Living Translation (©2007)So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Just saying the Scripture helped but I truly had to believe it and believe God was bigger than my sin.

So, if you are having little thoughts in your head on how worthless you are, you can’t do anything right and neither can anyone else, realize it is not from your Heavenly Father but from the father of all lies who wants to prevent you from fulfilling God’s promises and blessings in your life.  If the enemy doesn’t attack you with feeling of failure then he will attack in a way for you to have a self-righteous attitude and condemn others for their actions.  Either way it is condemnation from the enemy using to provoke growth in his world and stunt your growth in the Kingdom of God.  Take control and stand upon God’s promises even when you go through the dark times.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to recognize when the party invitations are mailed out to my Pity Party.  I pray that I allow you to consume me with your spirit in times I feel frustrated or hurt.  I thank you and know you give mercy which last forever to cover my short comings or my lack of spiritual insight.  In Jesus Name.  Amen