July 25, 2015

Change CAN Be Painful...But It Doesn't HAVE To Be.

Life is about change. New chapters. God weeding the gardens of our relationships and comfort zones. Be grateful for those God placed in your life, those He removes from your life, and the unknown paths He guides you towards. His ways are perfect, and He knows what is best for you.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8 NASB)

Your choices won't always be received well, accepted kindly, or supported...because sometimes we have to grow away from things and people that we are comfortable with in order to be able to grow towards things and people that are better suited for our lives and hearts in the future. But if you know you are following God's calling for you, you can have peace. You can allow hurtful words, gossip, judgment, slander, and hostility to roll off of you with ease and grace. Because God does this for us, we do not do this in and of ourselves. We ask Jesus for his guidance and help to love others when it's hard, to surrender hurt and fear for him to carry, and to allow us to focus on how God sees and loves us. We focus on the fact that sometimes pleasing God means you will displease others here on earth. In a way, that is one sign of increased growth and maturity in Christ. When you are able to care more about following God than whether you will upset others with your choices, you will be freed to live out the abundant life and calling that God has for you. We do not do things purposely to cause chaos or sever relationships, but when that does become the result due to reaction of others, we can still have joy and calmness in the midst of it by knowing we are being true to God and to ourselves. Sometimes it is us that hurts with the decisions we have to make. We may ponder, disobey God, or procrastinate on something we know needs to be done because we ourselves are afraid of change. We are comfortable where we are, do not want to hurt anyone, and enjoy the place/position we are currently in. 

"For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10 WEB)

We all have a heart condition. How we react to others and their behavior is a large indicator of the health of our heart condition. If we react based on emotion or we allow fleshly responses to dictate our behavior, we will have a hard time with sustaining relationship, friendships, or even family harmony. But when we can willingly accept that another person will not like our choices, will not support it, or will lash out because it is not the outcome they desire...it can help us to refine our own character by the way we choose to react (or not react) to it. If we simply pray for the other person, ask God to help their emotions and heart as well as our own, ask God to help us to surrender the situation to Him and give us peace and security in the outcome, He will. When we earnestly seek Him and ask for His strength, guidance, and grace, He is eager to provide it. May we remember to come to Our Almighty Father in each and every circumstance so that we can behave, speak, and live in a way that is honoring to Him, ourselves, and others. Keep your mind and heart focused on God and pleasing Him, and it will make it easier to bear the impact of the actions and reactions of others.

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