Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throw in the Gavel

Apparently I'm just on fire with this whole blogging thing -- two days in a row!

This post stems from not a revelation, not one specific instance of anything, but simply from shallow thinking. I often struggle with the pressure of being judged. Heck, I even have trouble with constructive criticism! (But that's neither here nor there... back to my point we go.) It seems as though I spend more time worrying about myself, than I do uplifting others. So, Facebook, you really want to know what's on my mind?

What can I do to become accepted into this group?
Why would a person have an issue with me? What have I done?
How come I am not good enough for this person or that person?
How do I measure up, or compare to others?
What if they're judging me right now? My clothes? My personality? My weight? My intelligence? Heaven forbid, my profile picture?!

Get over myself, right? I'm judging myself enough for everyone!
"The least amount of judging we can do, the better off we are."- Michael J. Fox

It is an important thing of which to be cautious. Most people are, in some way, concerned about being judged. Be careful, tough, to not become the biggest critic of them all. I will be the first to admit that I am very self-aware when it comes to my image, personality, work ethic, reputation, and other various aspects of my life. Yes, you should definitely be mindful, but it shouldn't leave you with a feeling of inferiority... or even superiority, for that matter.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets."- Clark Moustakas

It is a great thing to always be improving yourself--working out, eating healthy, setting goals, etc. Just remember that we should do these things to glorify God! ... Not to glorify ourselves.

God made you in His image! That makes you pretty neat.

....In the word's of Lit, "It's no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy." Word.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tough Love

It has definitely been a while since my last post, but I try not to write unless I feel that the message is inspired by God. However, tonight's interaction is certainly worth sharing.

Lately, I have been on fire for the Lord, and He has blessed me in many amazing ways. There have been great messages at church, and I have spent wonderful time with my friends and church family. However, being the busy-minded bee that I am, I have been asking God for answers. I don't let the unknown overwhelm me, but I do frequently ask Him for answers regarding various aspects of my life. That doesn't sound too horrible, right? Well, let me illustrate it in another way.

Picture the all-time famous scenario of the "mini-van family". Headed out to an exciting destination--father behind the wheel, children in the backseat. Okay, so what does this scenario have to do with my situation? Well, I am the children in the backseat constantly nagging at the driver: "Are we there yet?", "Dad, where are we going?",  "Are we there yet?", "When are we going to stop again?", "Are we there yeeeeet?!"

I know that's a silly way to look at it, but that's what I see. Instead of trusting in God as the leader and driver to the ultimate destination, I was questioning his leadership.Instead of asking God for patience, and peace in His plan, I was expecting black and white answers. Rest assure that He is as powerful in mystery as He is in understanding.

Okay, back to tonight's conversation. As I was thinking of the next steps in my life, I started asking for clear answers (even specific names). I started begging for a sign, or a message, or ANYTHING that showed me a path, one way or the other. As He remained silent, I started to become defensive. Questioning turned into negotiating.

"Okay, God, I've followed you this far blindly, can you please give me a vision? A sign?"

"I will continue to follow you faithfully, but I need some kind of reassurance that I'm doing the right thing."

"If you just give me direct instructions... If you, I will... If you, I will..."

His response?

"I don't owe you anything."

Yeeeeeouch! That is some tough love right there... and absolute truth. With those few words, He said so much. He pointed out the biggest (what should have been obvious to me) point--that He does not owe me an answer, He does not owe me a vision, and He does not owe me a blue print of my life. On the flip side, it reminded me that it is I who owes Him EVERYTHING. I owe Him my trust, my obedience, my life.

I often get a kick out of some of the things God speaks to me, for it's usually in a similar humor of my own. When He spoke those words to me, I immediately shut up. When I did, I had to smile, because I visualized Him telling me to "put a sock in it."

Tonight was an excellent reminder that God is in control, He knows His plans for you, and it is not His responsibility to fill you in on all the details. I will continue to follow the path on which He is leading me, blind, but walking by faith.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Thanks for reading!