Feeling the Pain of Selfishness

I recently experienced truly feeling the pain of my own selfishness and seeing what selfishness looks like from God’s perspective.

I  had a situation where my flesh got weak and wanted what it wanted. Prior to this, I had been doing well in my walk with Christ. Had a few hiccups, but nothing major. I was truly doing well in simply maintaining my salvation. However, I stopped reading my word as much, and slacked up on praying and praise and worship and so my flesh started to feel the weariness. I found myself delving back into “old habits.”

In the process of going back to old habits, I end up using someone. I pretty much used them to satisfy my flesh and then I detached myself from the situation. After I got what I wanted, I pretty much distanced myself and tried to move forward. However, the God in me kept nudging me to apologize to this person. I realized on some level, I had used this person and it was wrong to lead them on to think the door was open again for us to have a relationship.

So, I called the person, apologized and in the midst of apologizing and being honest about what I had done, I felt like crap. This was one apology I did not feel good about at all. As a matter of fact, it really made me examine my selfish acts and how I had caused pain to someone else’s life because I wanted to be selfish. While I was concerned about soothing my flesh, I essentially opened up an old wound for the other person. Of course this wasn’t my intentions, but anytime we’re selfish we’re bound to hurt someone else or cause trouble that doesn’t necessarily have to be. And it really sucks because I’ve been on both sides of this story, so I know to be on the other side ( being the person who gets used) is not anything nice to have to feel.

So here I was thinking that by being open and honest it would make things better between me and the other person.  But I felt like I had dug myself into a hole and opened a whole can of unexpected worms. While on the phone with the person, the Holy Spirit was beating me up! I heard him say loud and clear: Well, what did you really expect. Acknowledging you’re wrong is only half the battle. Besides, there’s no way to sugar coat what you did and now you have to face the reality of it.  When you’re selfish, you’ll always be seen as the bad guy and there’s no way around it.

God was really dealing with me trying to “save face” and keep my reputation in tact. The point is, once God says to let someone go you can’t let them go and keep your reputation in their mind. On some level they may just consider you to be the bad guy. But what they think of you at that point should no longer be your concern.

And for so long I’ve always tried to sugar coat things for people whenever I do have to be the bearer of bad news. But God has challenged me to cut it straight, even when it hurts either party involved. Even if me speaking truth makes me look like the bad guy. In this instance the question becomes do I love my reputation more, or the life I’m supposed to be living for Christ?

Now, every time I want to go back and use this person I will definitely think twice because I don’t want to be the one constantly hurting someone because I want to be selfish. (Seeing as I’ve been used before I should probably have a lot more sympathy.) I’ll basically become a stumbling block to him and then God will hold me accountable. It’s not fair for me to intervene in what God wants to do in his life because I’m trying to use him to satisfy my desires. Needless to say being selfish will cause you to act out of character just to please the flesh.

Likewise, what if God chose to have his selfish moments with us? If he decided not to sacrifice his only son and instead let us get what we rightfully deserved as sinners? But his love for us was greater. And it’s love that helps overcome selfishness.

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3-4

xoxox

#Releasingmydesires

Your Scars Are Beautiful to God

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This is the current book I’m reading and it has been an amazing story to read. The first 10-15 pages I could barely get through because I kept crying tears. I kept crying because immediately the words began to hit home with my own scars from my past life.  It’s funny how I randomly picked this book up last minute while in the library last week, and how when I began reading I realized it wasn’t a random choice at all. God meant for me to pick up this book and read it.

Reading it has helped me shed a whole new light onto my own past. It has helped me to see that truly all things work together for the greater good of God. I’ve been prophesied to several times that I was supposed to write  a book to help young girls and young women, but often times I’ve felt disqualified because of my past, or I’ve felt overwhelmed in figuring out where to even start.  However, after reading this book, it’s obvious that my past has well qualified me to help others. My scars from my past are  a testimony and those are the stories I need to tell. My scars are a true testimony that it’s not always how you start, but how you finish. It’s a reflection of God’s love. How he accepts us as we are, but once we come in he cleans us up. He doesn’t just leave us how he found us.  The scars are a sign of healing by nature, an open wound was once there, but through the healing of Christ  the wound has been closed and healed.

The book talks about not being ashamed to tell the story behind our scars and what we went through for God to get us where we are today. It’s through our scars that other people are able to recognize the power of God in our lives. If we’re able to overcome our situations, then God wants us to use those moments to spread encouragement to others. This book really gave me a different outlook about everything I’ve gone through since my childhood. It’s given me strength and encouragement to really begin to dig deep and revisit some of the  hard places in my life. This time when I revisit them, my mindset won’t be one of regret, or shame, but one of a willingness to see the beauty in that scarred place of my life and the good that God meant for it.

I encourage others to join with me as I continue to read this book and share their experiences of scars from their past. I pray that the book be a healing to anyone else who reads it and has had trouble dealing with their past. The book is truly a blessing, an eye opener and definitely a life changer.

You’re all I want Skit

I saw this video shared on a friend’s Facebook wall and I fell in love with it. This skit is very moving and a great reminder of how easy it is to get lost, but also a reminder of how powerful God’s love  is to help you overcome whatever you have struggled with along the way.

I also love the song they used by the way, although I never initially saw Lifehouse as a Christian Band.

Watch, enjoy may it bless your spirit and bring you closer to God.

 

Staying Encouraged

All week I have been listening to Joel O’Steen and Joyce Meyers while at work, and let me just tell you how much of a blessing it has been. Listening to them as I do work, help plant mental seeds to help my mind to reflect constantly on God’s word for my life. I know for many people who come in and out of office, it may just seem like background noise, but these messages have been really encouraging all week long.

I’ve been listening to messages focused on letting go of the past and letting go of negative mindsets you’ve had about yourself because of your past. I promise, each sermon has been a blessing. Everytime I hear the word, I become empowered about the way in which I think of my own past. Everyday their sermons have challenged me to grow more in my faith and shed off something from my past. It’s been great, truly a blessing.

I know to watch or listen to a video may seem like a small deal for some people, but it reminds me of the verse that says “Faith come by hearing.” With all the commotion that goes on in a day, I have to learn to keep my heart, mind and ears guarded, and these videos have been helping me in that area.

I encourage you to visit youtube and look up some of their sermons. Below I’ve listed the links to a few of my favorite ones:

Joyce Meyer “Your Words Affect Your Future Part 2” :  http://youtu.be/yTxHDIEPQlw

Joyce Meyer “Your Words Affect Your Future Part 1” http://youtu.be/vSghkueRTds

Joel O’Steen “You are Not Damaged Goods”  http://youtu.be/kRkwRmj1FUI

Joel O’steen “Move Forward” http://youtu.be/KSFEoHI-mmo

May these videos be just as much of a blessing to you as they were for me.

#amen

You Are Not Your Struggles or Your Past

Yesterday, my pastor said something in church that I’d like to share: “You are not your struggles or your past.” In fact it’s in our weakness that God is made strong and He’s able to get the glory out of our life. We don’t always have to grow in situations where all the elements are “perfect”, sometimes growth can come during adversity. Don’t despise the tough times that God is using in your life to help you mature in your walk with him.

Also in having a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday, I realized revealing areas you struggle with doesn’t make you “weak.” Being able to openly confront areas of trouble is actually a sign of maturity. It shows you’re willing to acknowledge the problem and hopefully find a solution. We must be able to see ourselves for where we really are and admit when, we’ve missed the mark; because WE ALL HAVE! I’m sure there is a lot in our lives that God wants to help us heal and fix, but God can’t do so until we openly confess. Don’t be afraid to be open with God about the hard things in life you’re dealing with. There’s a freedom found in His love.

 

Faithful 2 HIS WORD & 2 You

Truly God is amazing and this week I believe God has truly shown me just how great he can be.  This week I have been challenged twice.  One challenge dealt with my past and the other with my present.

The challenge from my past involved my ex-boyfriend of two years. He waited  until a year after we broke up to confess that for the two years we were together, for the last year of our relationship he was cheating on me. And that the girl he was cheating with is now 4 months pregnant. And it wasn’t just any girl, but a girl I thought hated me because of what him and I had. I thought she was jealous of us and was always out to sabotage our relationship. Now, when I first heard the news I was shocked and a little disappointed. I had been made a fool of for a whole year! But for some reason, after I thought about the entire situation, of everything I went through with my ex, God wouldn’t allow me to be mad. Although the devil wanted to make it seem like he’d gotten the upper hand, God showed me the blessing.

If God hadn’t taken me out of that relationship then, I wouldn’t have been able to grow to where I am now. It was because of the pain from that relationship that I even made an attempt to seek God for peace and in the end I found so much more. And he also showed me, that I don’t have to settle for cheap living anymore, that his standards for me have changed. God has offered me a higher quality of living within in his will. And not only  that, but even in the midst of the relationship with everything I went through with my ex, GOD kept me. Nobody but God, because Lord knows I could be in all kinds of trouble and drama right now. But that life wasn’t for me.

Now the other challenge involves the guy that I’ve been trying to let go since January. Once again, I had been doing well, not speaking to him, not texting him and I felt like I was getting closer to finally letting him go. But yesterday I had a moment in my flesh and found myself messing with dude once again.  After the fact, I tried to brush it off, telling myself I was stupid and I needed to do better.  I thought I could just go to bed and forget about it.

But all night I couldn’t get any sleep. I was very restless and kept tossing and turning. I couldn’t get comfortable for nothing. And all the while I’m tossing and turning what I had done earlier kept running through my mind. I tried to think about other stuff so I’d go to sleep but I couldn’t. I fought with God in my thoughts for 3 hours. I woke up at 3 this morning and finally told God, I surrender.

Problem is, although I had tried to “convict” myself earlier for what I had done, I didn’t actually open my mouth and confess to God to forgive me. I hadn’t done true repentance. When I woke up, I couldn’t do anything but just cry out to God and after confessing I felt so much better. My soul wasn’t weighing as heavy. I truly felt like David, when the Bible speaks of how God’s hand weighed heavy on him until he confessed in Psalm 32: (3-5).

And it didn’t end there, I picked up my bible and went to work. God led me to passages like  Psalm 51:(1-3,6-12, 15, 17) where it talks about David asking for forgiveness of his sins. He asked God to cleanse him and put truth in his heart so that he would have a steadfast spirit to walk in the Lord’s will. God also led me to 1 Thessalonians 4: (1-7, 11-12) where it talks about how we should make it a goal to live a life that is pleasing to God; that we were not called to be part of the world’s impurities but to be set apart as a Christian.  The final passage I read was Ephesians 2: (1-10,12-14,19, 21-22) which talks about how even before we knew who God was, and we were slaves to our fleshly desires, God was still keeping us because of his undeserved favor.  It’s because of his grace, that we can even say we’re saved. We are God’s own handi-work and he created us with HIS purpose in mind. Because we are given the gift of God’s favor, we are brought closer to God and able to hear his voice when he calls.

Everything I read was an eye opener for me to wake up and see that God expects more from me. That this dude is not meant for me and that once again, I don’t have to settle for cheap living. God doesn’t just want me to settle for anyone. God wouldn’t have brought me this far, just to backtrack. And really the truth is, I stand in the way of my own deliverance because I keep going back to what he’s taken me out of.

So now that I know what I must work on, I look forward to making progress in God’s will.  I’m realizing that I’m not perfect, but when I drop the ball, God is ALWAYS there to pick it up. And no matter what, as long as I’m striving to live a life pleasing to him, GOD will not only be FAITHFUL  to his WORD but to me as well.