6.9.2015

When I Want to Be Mean

I looked at the text message in complete disbelief. Why couldn’t this person see how insensitive and hurtful she was being?

I don’t know who made up the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Either they had nerves of steel, or they lived on a deserted island with no other people. Because not only do words hurt me but they make me want to fight back and be mean, too.

Have you ever had a little situation with someone where you just knew you were right and they were wrong? Or at least you could make a really good case for your side of things?

Oh how I have this burning need to state my case in these kinds of situations. It’s like an inner attorney rises up desperate to defend my rights and get the other person to see things my way. This is pretty normal, right?

Yes. But normal doesn’t always mean good. Especially in light of Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

I should live rooted in Jesus’ teaching and overflow with thankfulness. The opposite of this is when I’m rooted in self-centered opinions and overflowing with grumbling. I need to let God show me how to see things from this other person’s side and gain a different perspective. In doing so, I will be strengthened and taught.

Colossians 3:12-14 reminds me, “… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (NIV).

My job isn’t to fix this person or make them see my side of things. My job is to obey God by offering an extension of the forgiveness I’ve been given. But I can also stay healthy in this situation by remembering forgiveness doesn’t mean giving this person access in my life that sets me up for destructive patterns.

Finally, Colossians 3:17 reminds me, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (NIV).

Everything I do and say tells a story of whom I serve. If I act out of anger and spite, I give in to the ways of the enemy, spreading his darkness. If I honor the Lord with my actions, I serve to further the Name of Jesus and spread His light.

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion and a lack of good things.

I processed the text message mentioned above with my husband. He said something that brought much clarity. “Lysa, you know when you’ve taken the high road, God blesses you. You’ve seen these blessings over and over as you’ve made choices that honor God. So choose a blessing today and save yourself the emotional turmoil of trying to prove you’re right.”

He’s a smart man.

I know this isn’t easy stuff. I’m having to live it in the midst of feeling hurt. But I’m also feeling more at peace being able to see another perspective — a healthier perspective — a Biblical perspective. And I’m really excited about the blessings that are surely coming my way.

Dear Lord, You know the hurtful words and actions that have come my way. Please give me Your strength to not retaliate, but instead to react based on Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

unglued_cover Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control with my book Unglued. You can get your copy here.

Today I’m giving away 5 copies of Unglued! Leave a comment below telling me one way you’ll choose to take the high road this week.

6.2.2015

How to Transform Your Time with God

Somewhere along my Christian journey I picked up a checklist of sorts with what good Christians are supposed to do:

Pray.

Read your Bible.

Go to church.

Don’t cuss.

Be nice.

Being the rule-following girl I am, I subscribed to these good disciplines. However, none of it felt personal to me. Day by day, I waited with great expectations to receive the zap of contentment and happiness good Christian girls are supposed to exude.

But I still felt restless. I still reacted in anger. I still felt a bit hollow. I was going through all the motions but didn’t feel connected to Jesus.

Others around me seemed very connected. They would talk of being ‘moved by the spirit.’ They would hear from God Himself. They would clap their hands and shout “amen” in the middle of a sermon that sounded like Greek to me.

I often felt like a weightless soul grasping at the air hoping to somehow snag this Jesus that was just out of reach. Have you ever been there?

Have you ever sat in a church service watching everyone else eagerly flip open their Bibles to the exact right passage while you were left sweating because you didn’t have a clue how to find what they were reading?

Have you ever walked out of church watching everyone else smile and seem so gentle while you mentally beat yourself up for throwing a fit with your family that very morning?

Suddenly this nagging sense creeps in that you don’t belong – that you’ll never get it – that you don’t have what it takes to be a Christian. That’s where I was. I lived there for a long time until someone challenged me to stop simply reading my Bible because it was a thing on my Christian checklist. They challenged me to experience God. And then they guided me through the process of connecting God’s Word in my everyday life.

If that’s where you are now, or if you know someone who’s in that place, we’re creating an app at Proverbs 31 Ministries called “First 5” that will help us give God our first thoughts of the day before social media or email distracts us.

I’m confident this app will guide you into His Word in such a way you experience God.

And I want to give you the opportunity to be informed about the First 5 app through our interest list before it launches this summer.

By signing up for the interest list, you will…

• Have a chance to be among the first few people to use First 5 and provide your feedback to our app development team
• See the features of the app in detail
• Get all the updates about the launch before anyone else!
• Be entered to win some of our fun, weekly giveaways

Sign up… yourself! Your daughter! Your friends!

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I’m so excited about First 5 and I think you will be too.

Because when we put God first by giving Him our first moments of the day, we will be radically changed. His truth will become the new filter through which we process life.

And spending time with Him will become one of our greatest joys instead of just another thing on the Christian checklist.

5.28.2015

Please Interrupt Me

I wonder if the greatest witnessing tool available to us Christians is often pushed aside because of our busyness.

Recently, I was focused on all the items on my seemingly never-ending to-do list.

As I was sitting at a stoplight a friend called me and started lamenting that her son had forgotten his lunch and his belt required by the school’s uniform policy.

She was stressed and trying to get in touch with her husband who’d just dropped her son off at school. She was at home with a new baby feeling groggy from a sleepless night and overwhelmed by her situation.

Her son could probably get his friends to share their lunches with him. But, the belt would be a problem. The school would call her when they noticed the missing belt and require her to bring one. She lives over 20 minutes from the school.

As I sat at the stoplight listening to my friend, I looked to the store off to my right. That store has belts. That store has lunch food.

I was faced with a decision: Could I help?

If you’ve ever let busyness take precedence over the blessing of divine interruptions, read more of the story over at (in)courage today here.