Sunday, February 22, 2015

As Far As It Depends On Me

Rained in most of the day today so I decided to write down some thoughts that have been swirling around my head. I've been so busy lately and haven't had much time at all to keep up with blogging. But the weather today gave me a perfect opportunity. 

Getting along with people is a topic I know we could all use more work in. Some have mastered it more than others, but when it comes down to it we all have one, two, or maybe multiple people in our lives that we constantly seem to have trouble "putting up" with. (I know I do) 

I really love people and I really love being around people. 
But I, like anybody, often find myself complaining about the ones around me and their behavior. Sometimes because of character flaws and sometimes for things they do that aren't always "bad" but traits or tiny things that simply annoy me. (For some reason I ridiculously think everyone's personalities have to please me 24/7)

I saw a quote on Pinterest (Yes, I'm aware I mention at least one quote from Pinterest in most of my blog posts..) 
that said "When you're about to lose patience with someone, remember how patient God has been with you all this time." 

*shots fired*

"If you forgive others when they sin against you, so your Heavenly Father will forgive you." (Matthew 6:14) 

Forgiveness is a huge part in every friendship, relationship, and any kind of dealing with people. From the tiniest things to the biggest mistakes. Most friendships/relationships with people wouldn't last but a few weeks if forgiveness wasn't involved. We're human and we let people down. It's just what we do. 

But outside of friendships, what about in our dealings with people we don't consider our friends? Or people that we once called friends but no longer do for various reasons? 

A LOT of people after friendships or relationships that go down in flames, continue to talk about the faults in that other person, and due to lack of forgiveness, continue to reopen past wounds. 

A couple days ago in my alone bible study time, I came across Romans 12:18. If you aren't familiar with the verse, it says 

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Just think about that verse for a minute. As far as it depends on you.

Meaning, of course people don't always come around. Some people live to cause trouble, and sometimes it is necessary to cut people out of our lives. But that does not by any means give us the right to hold anger against them and make them look bad to others. They may not do their part correctly, but that doesn't dismiss us from our part whatsoever. 
We are called to "love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us." (See Matthew 5:44) 
Not hate our enemies and talk about those who persecute us. ;-) 

I've been thinking a lot lately about what exactly it means for me to "love" my enemies. Because frankly, there's some people that I don't think I could ever think to myself "Wow, I love ____" 
As I was thinking about this, I remembered the passage from 1 John 3:18 where John says "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."

Actions. No, I don't have to be in love with or even enjoy someone's company. But as far as it depends on me, I must try my hardest to do my part and live at peace with them, forgive them, and to pray for them. Regardless of how they act towards me. Easier said than done. 

Whenever I've been in sticky situations, my mom has done a good job of reminding me of the verse from Romans. Reminding me to always do my part. This verse has been a very helpful reminder to me during difficult tiffs with people. 

So try to remember that next time someone is failing to do their part and mistreating you. 
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with them. 
Forgive them. Pray for them. Love them.

A closing quote (one of my favorites) from Martin Luther King. 

"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him."

How does that help anything anyways?

Don't forget to do your part. 

Monday, February 16, 2015


Wait a minute? A rainbow? I entitled this post "promises" so you might be wondering why I started this post with that picture of a rainbow. But if you're familiar with Old Testament stories then you know why. 
Even if you aren't, most of us have heard at least once in our lives the story of Noah and the Ark and how God set the rainbow in the sky as a symbol of His promise to Noah and all mankind. Check it! (It's long, but it's God's word so read it.

"I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.

The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise." (Genesis 9:9-17) 

I really love that passage. To think how many, many years ago it was that God made that promise and yet His promise still stands today. With the millions and millions of things that go on in this world and all the reasons we give him to break His promise to us, He still keeps it. This promise and every other one. He is a God of His word.

So, do you believe in the story of Noah, one of the most well known bible stories? Do you believe in God's promise to Noah that He's kept for all this time, and continues to show us the symbol of His promise?

If you do, what's stopping you from trusting His other promises?

We don't wake up everyday, leaving our house dreading that God is going to flood the earth again. 
We easily, without thought even, trust that promise. 
But yet we allow our minds to be filled with doubt and fear, tormenting ourselves  and relying on what little control of our own lives we have, instead of fully trusting Him. He is the one who has not once let us down in all of history.

I mentioned God's other promises. What exactly has He promised us? 

I picked out three promises that I found to share with you all.

The first, and I'd say the biggest for believers is the promise of new life. New chances and do overs every single day. (See Lamentations 2:22-23)

We're all familiar with John 3:16. In that verse believers are promised that we will not perish, but have eternal life. 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

The second promise that I found is from John 14:27. Peace. 

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

He promises us peace. Peace that the world cannot give us. Assurance and stability in Him, even when the earth shakes us up. 

The third promise I found is from Matthew 11:28-29

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

The part from that that really catches my eye is towards the end where it says "...and you will find rest for your souls."

Obviously, putting our trust in God doesn't mean life is always going to be great. We're going to have numerous times through life that we feel mentally and physically exhausted. But He promises "rest for our souls" We can rest in the first promise. Because we know that no matter what happens to us here, we belong to Him. Our souls can rest.

When I see the rainbow, I not only see it as a symbol of His promise to Noah, but also as a reminder that He is faithful. 
He keeps His promises to us. From the bery beginning of time, till now. 
So why is it so hard to trust him? 

Think about that. 

God bless :)