Displaying items by tag: Child of God
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Anger wells up when life seems unfair. Recently, a memory snaked its way back into my mind. That waitress was so rude, why didn’t management get notified. Instead I sat there and took it. Rehearsing the speech, I wish I gave I laid awake for hours. Friends that incident occurred years ago. Why did it slip in now? I don’t know but it was something I needed to get rid of.
After laying there for a while I heard this whisper “Why are you holding onto that offense?”
“Well, I don’t know.”
“What are you supposed to do?” The whisper continued.
“Forgive. I forgive that waitress for her insensitivity and the frustration she caused in me. Forgive me for hanging on to this memory like a dog with a bone. I’m so sorry Lord.”
Culturally acceptable, this emotion can cripple us. We allow the imagined argument to swirl around in our heads, feeling justified by the cause.
Ephesians 4:26-27 is a well-known verse among church goers. “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” It is known but seems so hard to do. It is easy to point out in others but difficult to apply to ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even see the bitterness we are hanging onto.
Sweet old ladies welcome everyone, the mood of the room lightens when they are present. Without complaint emotions are faced and dealt with. Forgiveness can get easier with age but only if it’s regularly applied. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness which leads to an inhospitable environment.
There is a woman at my church who has survived a traumatic childhood. Her teenage years were spent in Germany during World War II. She lost a great deal. She came to the United States as a young woman and became a citizen. Now as an elderly member of our church she calls all of us family. She loves the Lord and lives in gratitude for the life He has given her. She is always ready with a hug and word of encouragement. She gives honest feedback but always delivers truth in love. Her presence invites others in as a strong example to those around her. She is a role model for me but scoffs at me when I tell her so.
When I am angry, I need to remember.
God is good
Vengeance belongs to Him.
The other person who made me angry is made in the image of God
The other person deserves God’s grace as much as I do.
Extending forgiveness benefits both of us.
Choose between a lighthearted or bitter future.
It seems easy yet human nature naturally embraces the trap of regurgitating past hurts. Return to the top of the list fight the urge to hold on lay it at the feet of Jesus. He reminds us that His burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Always ready for us, He call us, the weary, to Him.
Romans 8:12-39 Romans 8:15 “Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Insecurity was deeply rooted in me and recently I realized there were STILL remnants of those old wounds. As I was cleaning out a drawer of old photo albums, a picture fell out. I showed it to my son, Mark as proof of my participation on our math team. He said “Hey when was Elizabeth (my daughter) on a math team?” My response was telling “How could you say that! That’s me, not Elizabeth. Elizabeth is so beautiful and I was so ugly.” Do you hear the lie? Thinking Mark had made a drastic mistake; I found Elizabeth and showed her the picture. You know what she said? “When was I on a math team?” It was so revealing to me. Traces of insecurity were still there.
I grew up in a Christian home, we attended church every Sunday. I was loved in my family; words of encouragement were spoken over me regularly. My parents told me Jesus loved me as I was, I trusted my parents. Yet, when I went about my daily life I heard a different story from other people. I was told by other kids my appearance was subpar. In the worlds eyes I was a homely mess and I believed them.
The problem was I could not defend why I believed Jesus was God. I had just accepted it as truth but never investigated it for myself. As I began to question, I prayed a great deal. God began to reveal Himself in a personal way. I pursued Him and He became very real to me. As I got to know Him, He taught me who I really was. The more I understood how I fit into His Kingdom the more confident I became.
Confidence does not equate to pride as long as it is anchored in Christ. If I am relying on my own gifts and talents that is pride. If I think I am better than someone else that is pride. If I believe all my success is my own and for myself, that is pride. If I trust Jesus loves me know matter my performance on any given day that is confidence. My confidence does not depend on who I am but whose I am. I belong to Him and He loves me.
This process continues today. As my confidence grew, I recognized something else was happening. I became more attractive to other people. I love people. My natural personality was hidden because of the victimization that I experienced as a kid. When that pain was healed my true identity was revealed. John 3:3-6 tells me when I accepted Jesus I was born again. This rebirth not only gave me new life it gave me a new family. (Romans 8:15,16). God is my Father and I am His daughter.
This is true for you as well. When you hear those whispers of insecurity remember how God feels about you. Tell those whispers to knock it off, you are loved and that is enough. Take up your true identity as a confident child of God. With confidence we declare our true identity in God’s Kingdom.