Thursday, April 26, 2012

{What are you willing to give up?}

I've been asking myself this question a lot lately. What am I willing to give up for Christ? Am I willing to give up certain kinds of movies that I know are not pleasing to the Lord (even if they aren't all that bad to the world)? Am I willing to give up TV shows that don't promote a healthy marriage, parenting, etc.? Do I have pride over something that I just can't give to Him? When I leave church do I act the same as when I am in church? Is there a damaging relationship that is hard to part from? Is my past part of me that I just can't get over?

My past....I have been thinking a lot about this subject. No matter what happened to me as a child or teenager or even yesterday defines me as a child of God. I am forgiven, loved, and His. I have battled with myself for many years with guilt about my past and decided God didn't die in vain on the cross. If I hang on to the things of my past I am telling God that what He did was not good enough for me. That His sacrifice wasn't for me. Lies. That is what that is. Lies that Satan loves to whisper in my ear. Every time I feel myself feeling angry about my past, Satan is right there telling me how angry I really should be. That is when I am drawn to my knees the most. In those moments I seek God. He is the Author of Truth. He wraps His arms around me and tells me that I am His child and that nothing can change that fact...EVER.

I have pride. I mean we all have pride...we are human after all. My pride comes sneaking up on me at the oddest of times. It will be something I didn't think I had pride over...then BAM. It hits me like a ton of bricks. Pride makes me feel angry, resentful, guarded. I don't like feeling like that. When Hubby and I have an argument (gasp! Can you believe we ever argue??) my pride is at it's worst. I don't want him to be right, but there he goes again....being right. He is so stinking smart, he doesn't even know it. I want him to be wrong during a fight. I want to be right. I am learning to listen to my wonderful Hubby more because he knows what he is talking about (most of the time...haha). He is very wise and loving. He doesn't try to be right just to prove a point...he just knows what life is all about. God I love him!

I have had damaging relationships in the past. I am the type of person that likes to please people. I want my friends and family to always like me and never be mad at me. When/if anyone is ever angry with me I am tormented. I am tortured. Usually, I am the one who says I am sorry first (even when I didn't do anything wrong). I just don't like to be in conflict with others. I have had relationships (and I don't mean just with boyfriends and such, I mean all of them) that are more damaging that anything. If I am always the one giving and giving and there is never any take it is exhausting. There are seasons to relationships. For instance, I just had a tragedy happen in my life so my wonderful family and Hubby's wonderful family put my needs ahead of theirs. That was very helpful during that time. But if I am always wanting and wanting and never offering to do anything for them...exhausting on their part. Also, I was told once to not expect people to act a certain way and that way your expectations aren't being shattered. If you expect pretty much nothing from people, then you have nothing to lose...right?

Negative relationships are not a good thing either. If there is never anything positive to talk about then there is a problem. For many years I had a friend that was so competitive with me. It didn't matter if I was sick...they were sicker. If I was having financial problems...theirs was worse. Does that sound like a fun place to be with a friend? I think not. I just called it quits one day. I was so stressed out about pleasing that person that I just gave up. The thing is is I know they are a good person. But when it's always a competition, it can be exhausting on both parties. I will say that the relationship with that person is restored fully. Only by the grace of God. I'm still not close with the person, but God is an amazing God who can do anything He wants to do no matter our intentions.

I want to give up all of my issues. My anger, my selfishness, my pride, my depression. I am giving it all to Jesus and He promises that everything will be OK. My God is a forgiving God. He is a loving God. He is a jealous God. He is jealous when other things are taking up His time with me. If I have all these other things running through my head all the time, it takes my focus away from God. He created me to love Him and to worship Him. We all have something going on. We all have busted hearts. Someone has hurt us, abused us, shamed us, scared us, etc. By God's grace, we can move on from those things.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." -Philippians 4:8

This is my favorite verse to think about when bad thoughts sneak into my mind. I hope you can use it sometime. I am setting myself free and giving it ALL to Jesus. He can handle all of our worries and cares. 



1 comment:

Heather said...

I think you would really like the Andy Stanley series about The Comparison Trap. It really is very good, and talks about some of what you mention here. His "Christian" series has been excellent, too. Your hubby would probably enjoy listening to it on the way to work.

I like what Corrie Ten Boom said about holding things loosely because otherwise it really hurts when God pries your fingers open...I do try to do that with things and expectations. Though I do also try to assume people mean well and will be nice when I meet them, otherwise it can get pretty depressing, always expecting nothing. Unfortunately, they aren't always what I hoped for, but other times, they are more than I expected and those times are pretty wonderful!

I find that by doing this, I often wind up meeting the nicest people. They kind of pick up on the positive expectation and live up to it. Days I have been crabby or snippy with people, I find that most people I meet are crabby or snippy, too. I think the one constant there is me, so I try to do myself a favor and be nice to whoever it is I meet (it makes my life easier and more pleasant, and theirs, too, right?).

I talked to the young man who loaded our new bunkbeds ($40 for a nice wooden set!) into my car at the DAV and wound up telling him about Andy Stanley's sermons, too...and he surprised me by pulling out his iPhone and typing in the info, which means he really was paying attention to what I'd said...not to mention being very polite and helpful!

It can be difficult to get past a troubled past. I think your insights are amazing and that you are doing a great job.