The emotions all collided in that brief moment and the result was an eruption of tears. I sat there with my soon-to-be in-laws trying to contain the turmoil and confusion within me. But to no avail. With the bitter taste of loss lingering in my heart and mind, I tried to come to some understanding as to why my friend would seemingly erase me from her life in the matter of a week. Memories of our last time together only confused and our future plans, now vanished, were like salt in an open wound…
Friends, we need to be willing to open up the cluttered cabinets of our minds, pull back the dusty drapes shrouding our dreams, and expose the grimy residue clogging our hearts. This means that sometimes our walk of faith requires getting down on our knees and delving into the muck and mire of deep spiritual cleaning.
Words of condemnation can wound. Applied with the proper intent and execution, however, they can restore and empower. This goes beyond using kind words and a gentle tone. If we are to build up, we have to understand the foundation of a person’s belief. We have to be in relationship with the person we are talking to.
Judgmental attitudes can get in the way of the Lord’s work in our own hearts. Judging others is not our job, we must take on a posture of mercy. I was walking in my neighborhood on a beautiful, sunny day. It was a great reprieve from the winter gloom and rain, so naturally, a lot… Continue reading Judging: Taking A Posture of Mercy Toward Our Neighbors
Not all of our offenses result in punishment. Sometimes we receive mercy instead. When we experience grace and mercy, we can extend it to others. It never fails. Something catastrophic always happens when my husband leaves town, and he leaves town kinda frequently. Hmm… Maybe it’s not when he leaves town. Maybe it’s just all… Continue reading Mercy: Receiving and Giving Forgiveness For Our Offenses
Condemnation leads to guilt and shame. Conviction, however, is God’s loving kindness leading us to repentance and back to His refuge. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1, ESV If that is true, why do so many wrestle with feelings of condemnation? I believe it’s the fine… Continue reading Repentance: Understand the Difference Between Condemnation and Conviction
There’s nothing wrong with a nice motivational saying to encourage. However, in order to bloom, we must accept reality and allow God to loosen those layers within our sinful selves. Bloom where you are planted… It’s spring, and that phrase is everywhere. I have no idea who coined it, but it’s definitely making ripples throughout… Continue reading Layers: Allowing God to Expose and Peel Away Our Facade
When we understand the past of people who have hurt us, we are more capable to extend grace. We are able to wipe their slate clean with forgiveness. When I was in grade school, I loved it when my teacher would choose me to wipe the chalkboard clean at the end of the day. There… Continue reading Clean: Understanding Hurts and Extending Forgiveness