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Do Not Let

“Do not let”. These words just roll off my tongue as I read them:Christian Writing Ministry

“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” John 14:27    (emphasis mine)

But, then I stop and realize that I have a choice, the Bible is telling me that I choose whether I am troubled, upset, agitated, disturbed, afraid, intimidated, fearful or unsettled. These are all my choice. The Bible also tells me that Jesus has given me peace, His own peace, whether I receive that and let it in is also my choice. It is available to me at all times, in all circumstances. Yet, how often do I choose not to live in that peace, not to walk in that peace? Rather, I choose to be unsettled, angry, upset, offended or agitated.

I’ve been pondering my choices lately, and God has been taking many opportunities to give me choices. God is gracious and He has also been providing opportunities for me to notice and to choose differently. For instance: just this morning as I’m driving on the freeway, guess what? A car cuts really close in front of me, as usual, my first response was not friendly. But almost immediately, I noticed what I was thinking and I turned it around and instead of choosing to be agitated, upset and disturbed, I prayed for that person. I prayed they would be safe on the rest of their journey and they would arrive at their destination on time. I prayed they would be blessed and could find joy and comfort in their day. Another opportunity today: during my aerobics class I found that I was being critical of another person in class and again, I turned it into a prayer. I thanked God that she was there, working on and caring about her health, that He would help make this a good time for her so it wouldn’t seem like work and would be easier to stick with it, I prayed for a positive result from the exercise that she was doing.

I’m discovering I am a very judgmental and critical person. But the upside to all of this is that I am starting slowly but surely to live life awake, to stay connected to God throughout the day and to make the right choices in my thoughts.

“Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.” Romans 12:21

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)

I found out yesterday I may (or may not) have some bad medical news, but I don’t know yet, as I haven’t even taken the first test to verify or deny the suspicion. I am choosing to: “not let my heart be troubled or afraid” and to just give it to Jesus, and have either no thoughts or positive thoughts. This is new for me; I usually try to figure out everything and make plans on each possible outcome, try to control and worry about everything way before its time. So, I’m working on this choice thing, and you know….it’s working!


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I’m a Pharisee

Christian Writing MinistryMy husband and I attended a concert last weekend; it was Chris Tomlin and Matt Redmond. We had good seats, Row G right in the front, just a little off to the right. We were 10 minutes late and the usher was seating us, we got to the seats and other people were sitting in them. The usher asked them to move and they showed him their e-ticket. The usher brought us to the lobby. Right away I was thinking that we would get exceptional seats because some of the preferred seats would still be open. We went to the lobby and a clerk was helping us she said there were apparently duplicate tickets issued for the same seats. She told us she had extra tickets available for us and they were good seats. It turned out the seats were in row W in the upper balcony!

I had been biting my tongue the entire time and now I moved over to my husband and said loud enough for the others to hear “too bad we were 10 minutes late or we would have been in the seats first and they would have to be bumped instead of us”. Another person who worked there looked our name up on the computer and said the row G seats were our seats and the people that were in them had to move. I was relieved. My husband however felt bad for the people that would have to move into bad seats. I didn’t feel bad for them. He thought: “people that would come to a concert like this wouldn’t deliberately take the wrong seats…” The usher went to tell them to move and came back with their paperwork on the e-ticket that they had been issued. The person helping us looked their name up on the computer and found out they were in the wrong seats; they were supposed to be in row E — center section, isle seats. The usher and the clerk both said, well those seats are open and if you want them, you can sit there. We said fine and sat there. It turned out they were better seats and the other people didn’t have to be moved.

I felt so bad because of the way I behaved, my attitude and the statements that I made to my husband making those statements deliberately so the people working there would hear me. That was not Christ-like. I sat in my new seat and just put my head in my hands and cried because how can I love God whom I can’t see when I can’t love the people I can see? How can God use me when I can’t even act right? And I want so much to please God, I want Him to look at me and be proud of my behavior, to be proud of His daughter. I want to be used by God, I want so much to be holy, obedient and loving. Yet, in my day to day thoughts, words, attitudes and actions, I don’t display those characteristics.

Since then, I have been praying for Jesus show me when I’m being critical, judgmental and unloving. I find myself constantly commenting out loud and to myself in my car different slamming remarks about other drivers. If I have the chance, I give them “the look” so perhaps they will feel bad about their behavior, and figure out what they did wrong. I’m such a Pharisee! God help me. I feel almost defeated, like there is just no hope for me, but as soon as I think that thought, I know it’s wrong. It’s from Satan and not true. Instead I thank Jesus for showing me my behavior and acknowledge it is wrong and tell Jesus if He doesn’t help me there is going to be no improvement whatsoever. I find I am critical, angry and judgmental about people I encounter at work, finding fault, nitpicking and analyzing others. Like I’m perfect! Help me Jesus, I can’t do this!!! I will not, cannot change without You! Even though I desperately desire to change, I can’t do this on my own, I will only get worse, I need Jesus, I thank Him each and every time I recognize fault within myself.

 


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Do Not Let

“Do not let”. These words just roll off my tongue as I read them: “Peace I leave with...
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I’m a Pharisee

My husband and I attended a concert last weekend; it was Chris Tomlin and Matt Redmond....
article post