Monday, April 18, 2016

Being Honest With Love and Kindness

Ephesians 4:1-2 "to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." 
Ephesians 4:15 "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."

God instructs us to love others, to encourage, and uplift them. To bear their burdens with them; to share in emotions with them. Telling the Truth in Love can be difficult, but being honest is important, as we shouldn't sweep away our feelings, especially if it's something that's important in the long term. If done with kindness and honesty, it can be very effective for the relationship. 

We make sure our support doesn't come from a place of judgement but out of love for God and the person we care about.

Here are some ways to be honest with Kindness and Love:
1. Understand the situation from the other person's perspective as well so you can see the whole picture of honesty. 
2. Show humility but also be honest with how you are really feeling; don't tuck it away.
3. Share what you need to in a loving, nonjudgmental, and caring way that is based on scriptural truths
4. Express that you care about this person, and say what you need to in a kind, encouraging way.

Most importantly, remain hopeful in the situation, pray about it, and share your honest feelings (keeping both sides in perspective), while always showing kindness. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

When Discouragement is Real


 Life can be very beautiful and very wonderful, and amazing. Life can also get hard, and complicated, and messy. We get hurt and our hearts broken when people and the world lets us down.  It can also be crushing when you try to reach out to others for help in a tough season, and they don't respond in the way you hoped they would to provide support and encouragement. It's important to remain hopeful; keep reaching out, stay positive, and look towards the bright side of the situation, as much as possible. Keep listening for guidance from God, and listen to others, as God can definitely speak through them too. The world is a broken place and it rarely offers the kind of peace we are looking for; it rarely fills the hole we are looking to fill. This emptiness can only be found truly in Christ.

In these tough moments and seasons, it's important to remember who we are and how much God loves us and He is with us fully in it all. God uses pain to bring about something new-  Isaiah 66:9. We can also be thankful in the things God shows us and what He has already blessed us with.

When life lets you down, it's an opportunity for you to press in to God so you can feel His love and reassurance that He is there no matter what. Let God fill you when you feel empty and sad. Let Him be your constant anchor when you feel unsure during a stormy season. Pray about what is on your mind and let Him speak to you. Give thanks. Know that God works all things out for good, and for those who love him- Romans 8:28

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Feelings Can Mislead Decisions

Feelings can often lead you down a road that you don't want to be. They may misguide you in a lot of ways. Feelings are great for an initial direction and God gave us feelings and emotions so we can experience life fully. However, we shouldn't be using feelings and emotions as our main guide, as they can cause a person's foundation to be unstable where God wants your foundation to be firm and based on Truth-what God says in scripture. 

Emotional-based feelings often make you feel extremes (happy and sad) and can make you feel disoriented and directionless. They can leave you confused and may keep you from often making wise choices. They can come from lies that we tell ourselves or lies that we have heard from others. The heart can be deceiving (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9)

The most important thing is to pray and stay founded in Truth- what God says in His Word. Don't be mislead by your emotions and destructive thoughts that you change paths from where God wants you to be. The most important thing is to pray, and what you receive God's peace on is the direction you should aim for. 

As humans, we tend to base each day on our feelings, and our feelings can change so easily based on so many different things; our feelings are fickle!

Instead, base your daily life on who God tells us we are, which is loved and cherished, and blessed. Be grateful and thankful for the blessings God has given us each day. Remind ourselves that things aren't based on feelings, they are based on God-given truths.

John 8:44 Our enemy, the devil, wants to control us, and his target is our will. The main way he tries to influence our will is through lying to us. He’s a liar and the “father of lies” .

John 3:20 For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.