~ I think one of the biggest diseases in the heart of people today is that we love to hurt. Pain becomes a platform for attention and a sense of entitlement sweeps in on her broomstick and invades our lives and relationships and jobs and our spiritual walk.
~ Have you ever had someone in your life that felt like what they have been through is so beyond anything you could ever understand that they back away from a cherished friendship? I have.
~ Have you ever had someone in your life that constantly compared your hurts and struggles to theirs, making you feel inferior and less, like you have no right to express or feel the pain you’re in? I have.
~ Have you ever had someone in your life that NEEDS to be better than you? Better grades, better family, more attention, more beautiful, more qualified, yet uses the “tragedy” that is their life as a means for attention, recognition and admiration? I have.
~ Have you ever had someone in your life that holds you to a double standard? That the same behavior they accuse you of is something they practice daily? I have.
~ I could go on and on with this list.
~ We are all failable people, all desperately in need of a Savior, some searching to find Him in all the wrong things, some have been found by His amazing grace and are searching to know Him more and make Him known.
~ Is there a line where we can say, as lovers of Christ, enough is enough?
~ When Proverbs 4:23 warns us to protect our hearts, the writer wasn’t just filling in space. And I believe with all my heart that those words are far more complex than we assume they are.
~ I hate the thought of hurting people. I will allow my heart to take an emotional beating before I will speak up or start building walls. I want to be a wellspring of kindness and encouragement that people can draw from. But there comes a point where kindness can cripple us, and we are doing someone more harm than good by our silence and desperate attempts to let it ‘role off our back’.
~ Entitlement is such an ugly thing, and we have all walked in it to some extent. Job had a sense of entitlement. He went back and forth between begging for death because of all he had been through, and proclaiming he was better than his friends and without sin, even blaming God in his self righteousness. Yet God still called him blameless, a man of integrity. That’s how awesome our God is, guys. He sees the ugliness that sometimes we don’t even see and He calls us worthy, cherished, set apart, blameless, holy, men and women of purpose, value and integrity. And He calls us on our crap. My favorite part of the tragedy that is the book of Job is when the Lord called him out, tells him he is going to stand up, take it like a man and God held him accountable. Please note that God never looks at Job and says “Well, I guess I was wrong about the whole ‘being blameless’ thing. You’re a train wreck.” His worth never changed in the Lords eyes. His value wasn’t diminished and he was still a righteous man of integrity.
~ Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is speak up for ourselves. Now, I know there are plenty of people that have no problem doing this, but is it being done in a way that leads to repentance or resentment?
~ Our hearts should be to let even the tough moments be an example of the grace of our Father, His insane mercy and unending, passionate, ever pursuing love.
~ I’m still not entirely sure how to do this myself. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the truth that kindness sometimes requires you to become uncomfortable, become confrontational, and to speak up for your heart and the heart of your friend/loved one/significant other. But I do believe that, in His grace, He will give us the words to say, the wisdom when to say them, and a heart of compassion and love that will point directly to the throne of our Savior.
~ The question now is, are we willing to lay down our pride and own sense of entitlement we wear like a shield when we have been wounded, and show a small aspect of the breathtaking character of Christ to those in our life that require a tough dose of kindness and love?
~ Know that every person you meet, every situation you face, every road you walk down, every door that has been opened or closed, every heartbreak, every situation that requires more of you than you have to give is another way for God to work in and through you, strengthen you in the knowledge of your weakness, mold you into His image, comfort you with His love, and make you a better version of yourself than you were before.
~ Why would we want to use these things to elevate ourselves in a shallow pursuit of human recognition and revel in what we’ve been through when we have the beautiful opportunity to elevate our Savior because of what He has brought us through?