I wish you would talk to me without checking your phone.
While it is possible to do this, maybe it’s a bit overdone. Turn off the cell phone during meals and relate face to face. Look into my eyes. Feel the squirm of discomfort in being seen by me as well as experiencing the impact your words are having on me. Learn to be intimate and authentic in person. Anything you can say over a text is an entirely different experience waiting for you if you say it while looking into another’s eyes. Trust me.Jacqueline Ritacco, “How to Be a Better Twentysomething”, RELEVANTMagazine
Trying not to feel like my life is stagnant while others’ seem to be moving along by way of conquering one huge milestone after another.
Trying not to lose the confidence and esteem I’ve gained the past 4 years.
Trying not to measure myself with the ruler of others’ success.
Now I wonder: Is avoiding these inklings the best way to get over them? Or am I not dealing with things that should be addressed head-on?
Trying to remember that it’s not my life I’m living, but God’s. It’s not my story to tell, nor is it one from which I should gain recognition. But when everything has raised me to seek this recognition, I’ve come to a standstill, an uncomfortable equilibrium where I simultaneously want to be seen and praised and yet want none of the credit. Because of this, it’s hard to make decisions sometimes; I want my actions to bring glory to God, but sometimes I forget that.
I suppose I have to trust that God is bigger than my selfishness and that his glory is fulfilled despite what I do or don’t do, no matter how well or how poorly.
Just when they thought they took him down, he would elevate
Death can never take pride in that blow
Cause the King beat death when he died and he rose
This is war
On sin and death
The dark will take
It’s final breath
The story of Jesus’ crucifixion is dripping with allusions to Psalm 22—even a couple direct quotations.
But in reading Psalm 22, I came across something interesting: in verse 6, it says “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, despised by the people. All those who see Me…
Conflict is woven into the fabric of God’s purpose to make us like Jesus. It loses its power over us when we make the choice to change—to die to ourselves. The more we choose to change, the more we become agreeable to each other. Our love grows deeper because it’s proved by our eagerness to change for the sake of the other—for the sake of our Maker.Akshay Rajkumar — RELEVANT Magazine
I need grace with myself when it comes to my shortcomings. That way I can have the same grace with others and their pitfalls.
But first I must understand God’s grace. Then I must ignore my own judgment and choose to see myself as he sees me.
To sum it up:
I am often discontent with remaining as I am. I believe that I always have something to learn, and that there’s always some way in which I can grow mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Sometimes in this discontentment I am tough on myself, but in that place I also see God, whose perspective trumps mine so lovingly that it almost hurts.
(This is just as much for me as it is for anyone who receives it. It’s been flickering in my mind, and Mike’s talk tonight prodded the embers into flame.)
Let’s get personal. Let’s speak like God is right in front of us, listening. How would you speak to him if he was looking right at you as you were talking? Are you going to talk like you’re writing a letter of request? Or are you going to talk to him like the living Father he is? Let’s avoid using such passive voice…”Lord, let this be a great meal” vs. “Lord, this meal is great because you have provided it for us.” Let’s use language that declares that our petitions are answered, right when we’re asking.
Our God is a holy God, yes, and we should have the proper respect for him, but we have the freedom to approach him honestly and openly (Romans 8:1-4). Be real with God because he is real. Tell him your fears, your desires, your thanks, your hopes, just as you would tell anybody else (check out the Psalms). Jesus was real with our Father just before his crucifixion when he asked, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
You could even tell him things you might NOT tell everyone else. With God you have the opportunity to spill your guts and know you’re in a safe place to do it. You and he have an intimate language that he’s just itching for you to tap into, one that comes along with the unique individual he created you as. He longs to hear from you in the only way that youcan speak to him (Isaiah 43:1, Deut. 4:24, Col. 1:16, Eph. 5:1, Rom. 8:14-17).
It’s good to get into the habit of keeping God conversational. It keeps you from forgetting that he’s with you.
I once heard it said that someone who cannot forgive themselves for their past is not struggling with the sin of guilt, but with the sin of pride. Pride is the voice that tells us that what has been done is too great of a sin to be covered by God’s grace. As though our sins were more powerful than the blood that He shed. Pride is also at the root of a heart who cannot forgive another for the sins committed against them.Debra K. Fileta