Do not conform Romans 12:2

As we continue to go through the Study of Romans 12. Last time we heard about our bodies being a living sacrifice to worship God.  Let’s see what Verse 2 brings us.

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

differentThere are two things that catch my attention on this verse. First we need to recognize that although we are in this world, we are not of this world. You can laugh, but yes we are kind of aliens. We belong to God whose kingdom is way beyond this earth. As adopted children, His home is our home.

I tend to see life, like an out of town work related trip. When you’re outside of your home you may have some of the things that you have at home. You may have a television, a bed, a bathroom and many amenities depending on the hotel. You get as comfortable as possible but you don’t bring all the things you have because you know that eventually you’re going home. You enjoy the time, but know for sure that after a few days you’re missing your own bed.

We don’t change our mailing address to our hotel room, that’s because that’s not where we live, that’s just where we are staying. Life it’s not too different.

We have the tendency of conforming to what society is doing. We tend to forget that we were sent here with a mission. Just like our work trip, it was not a vacation. Yes we may go roam this new city at night, but during the day we’re here to work.

Imagine this work trip again, in which you decide to maybe stop by the office every now and again but not every day as you’re supposed to. Instead you go touring the city, sleep late, and do any or very minimal of the work you were sent to do.  Just like life, this trip has an expiration date. When you get back home, how is your boss going to receive you?  How are you going to account for the time you were entrusted to do your job.

Talking about things to account for, let’s say you have a business credit card.  Can you go and buy brainyourself new clothes, gifts for your friends, have a spa day on your business credit card? Isn’t the company paying all your expenses? In life, God is providing for you to fulfill the mission that he commanded you to do. How are you going to account for what you did?

The second part of this that really caught my attention was the way we are to be transformed is by renewing our minds. It’s been said that we are what we eat. But we eat a lot of things mentally and spiritually too. What are we feeding our spirit and our mind will determine how we allow the Holy Spirit to do a transformation in our lives.

Until next time, be blessed

A Living Sacrifice Romans 12:1

body Sometimes as Christians we get hung up on religion. We hold on to a single scripture that may be out of context. Or better yet, we think that if we say the right things at the right time we’re part of the “club”. For those of us, especially those who are new to the faith, that’s not enough. We want to know what really pleases God. We want to be doers of the word, so what’s the answer?

I’m sure there’s a tons of scriptures that guides us into God’s will. However I found a letter from Paul to the Romans that basically sum it up for me. In this letter we get to see the distinction between living by the law like Pharisees, and living by the love of God as Christians are called to. If you allow me, I would like to spend the next few days going through this scripture thoroughly. I’ll be using the New International Version on these posts.

A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 

 

This is a very powerful thing to read. We should know that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. A lot is heard about how men or women are owners of their own bodies and can do as they please with them. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Our bodies are supposed to be a living sacrifice to please God.

What does that mean?sacrifice

  • Do I take care of my temple properly? (rest, food, exercise)
  • Do I partake in high risk endeavors that could place my body at risk? (risky ventures, drugs, alcohol)
  • Do I utilize my body outside of God’s will? (Yes, I’m talking sex)

I think that’s plenty to think about for today. On our next time we will be talking about Verse 2

As always let me know your thoughts and send me any prayer requests.theresa

Until then, be blessed.

Return to Eden

I should be the last person to talk about this subject. I love technology, my eating habits are not the best and I drive a regular gas running car. What I’m trying to say is that I’m far from a tree hugger. As live evolves instead of being easier it gets more complicated.

PRI was having a conversation with my mother in which she was telling me how easier my life was. When she was growing up the television was black and white with no more than 5 channels. She had no microwave, no washer and drier and no car. She had to use public transportation to go anywhere. As much as I agree that I’m glad that I don’t have to walk everywhere or wash my clothes by hand, we have also lost a lot in the “evolution”

Technology has brought a new level of expectation on humans that weren’t there before. Companies require faster and more complex workloads because there’s more information available. Familiesphones do not interact the way they used to. At the dinner table each person has their own gadget to play with while eating, if they eat together at all. I told my mother that as much as I love my cell phone, it really takes a lot of time. In her days, she would leave work come home and then take care of things. On my way home, I get two calls and three text messages that may require me to deviate from my commute to do 3 other different things and probably not even make it home until 3-4 hours later than usual.

Then we end up buying something out of the supermarket or a drive thru, not necessarily out of laziness, but out of lack of time. There goes our health. I also find disturbing that healthy foods are more costly than healthy foods.

foodLike I said, I’m not a tree hugger, but I’m also not against technology or society advances. God is not against them either. He gave man the tools and wisdom to create them. I just think that at a personal level we need to take an inventory of how our resources are spent. Our current lifestyles take us away from the path God had for us. We were built to have relationships, to be healthy, to work but also to rest.  We need to be careful, like it says in  1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. I think that’s the issue, the role that all these things have in our lives. 

How many times I’ve caught myself staying up super late watching something on television or one of my gadgets that is not live and I could watch at any other time? Then the next day I’m useless. How much time do we spend on social media vs how much time we spend with the Word? When was the last time you just sat with your family and talked, really talked?

Do you know that if you try to eat as closer to nature as possible, most of those medications you take, may not be necessary? I know the burger and fries are delicious and so it’s that piece of cheesecake, but is it worth it if it’s going to shorten your life?

I want to start a new page in my life in which I’m more conscious of these things, in which I live a fuller life, a better life that looks more like the Garden of Eden before the fall.

Who wants to join me?

Until then be blessedglory

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

carI remember the time I gave my life to Christ. To be honest that was not the time I became born again. I was in a revival, emotions ran high and I decided that it was time to surrender. I started what I thought was living my life for God, religiously. I would go to church, work in ministry. but never worked on developing a personal relationship with God.

My prayers were a series of repetitions, my bible reading was the same as reading a suspense book. I knew the right things to say. I had mastered christianese (language spoken by some Christians to sound more christian) I knew the way to act, but inside my life hadn’t changed. The charade soon showed.

I spiraled out of control not being able to deal with my issues when they arose. I knew of God, but I didn’t know God. I prayed empty prayers looking to be heard but not aligning my life to his will. It didn’t work. I made mistake after mistake leaning on my own understanding, you know how that goes.

After 8 years of being tired of going around in circles I got an offer that I couldn’t refuse. It was an offer that had been there all along but I was too blind to see. I was finally ready to give it all and be really born again.  God was calling my name and wanted me to come home. I ran into his arms ready to dive really into his heart. I was finally able to break with the condemnation of my errors once I repented and received his grace and mercy.

So Here are some of the things that God offered me:

  • Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Matthew 11:28-29-“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  • Philippians 4:19-And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
  • Romans 10:9-If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Romans 6:23-For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

and many more. A God that accepted me in spite of me. A God who promised to take care of me, give me peace and almostprovide me with a great future and eternal life. Yes, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Are you still looking for something to fill your life? Are you someone who goes to church and calls yourself a Christian but are not enjoying the fullness of God’s promises? It’s time to make a decision. The good news is that the offer is open to all who want to have it.

Be blessed.

Five Foods

WordPress has these daily prompts that help bloggers come up with topics to blog about. Sometimes they fit my audience and I use their prompts, sometimes I don’t. One of the prompts for last week was: “You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?” 

To me that’s a one sentence answer: Steak, shrimp, pico de gallo, fried plantains and something to wash it up. But it got me thinking on this verse where Jesus said :”It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4

What are the five spiritual foods that we need, not only on a deserted island, but every day of our lives?

  • PrayerprayerIn order to fill our lives with the presence of the Lord we need to pray. Think about any relationship in your life. If you don’t talk to that person, you don’t get to know them, you don’t get to spend time with them. Prayer is the way to communicate with God.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
It’s obvious that God wanted us to pray.
  • Read the Word of God– To live under God’s will we need to know exactly how to live this gift of live that we biblewere given. I hear people all the time saying that they don’t know what God wants from them. Here’s the thing, God gave us a manual on how he sees things, expects things. In this book he portraits who he is, how he feels about us and what live he wants for us to live and how to do it. The book is called The Bible.

 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness  

Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success

  • WorshipworshipWhen we worship the Lord we place ourselves in his presence. We were created for worship. I don’t know about you, but nothing fills my heart of joy and peace like entering in a place of worship with the Lord.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:23-24

  • Fellowhip– God didn’t create us to be an island. There’s a lot of us and it is for us to fellowship with one fellowship another. We are to love each other, encourage each other, pray for each other and help each other. By this I’m not talking about acts of charity, I’m talking about everyday life. Yes, the insane obnoxious coworker/neighbor, the teenager with an attitude, the messy spouse, the rude client/customer service person and the prideful acquaintance.

John 17:23  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may knowthat you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

  • Love-loveThe two most important commandments we have to comply with are related to love. First, love God our Lord with ALL our hearts and then love others as we love ourselves. Everything is born out of love. Practicing love everyday in everything we do will nourish our lives.

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

I leave you with this banquet. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until then,

Be blessed.

The Patience of Job

the_patience_of_job

You have probably heard this phrase frequently. When someone seems to be able to tolerate what seems to be intolerable they are often told, “You have the patience of Job” Although I don’t consider myself a very patient person, I have been told that I have the patience of Job. Here’s the thing. I think we miss some of the elements of the patience of Job. We have the tendency to idealize that he never complained, never got angry. If that was the case, not even Job had the patience of Job.

Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The key wordsimages for me in this statement, without getting angry or upset and the fact that there are no screams, lamps flying or inappropriate language doesn’t mean a person is not angry or upset.

I’ve read the book of Job a little over three times. There are passages where I pushed my bible to the side fearing that just the fact that I read some of his remarks towards God was going to make a thunder come down from the skies.  Here are some examples but you have to read the book, there are a lot more:

  •  Job 3:11 “Why didn’t I die at birth, my first breath out of the womb my last?”
  • Job 6: 8-9 “All I want is an answer to one prayer, a last request to be honored:
    Let God step on me—squash me like a bug, and be done with me for good”
  • Job 7: 11-16 ““And so I’m not keeping one bit of this quiet, I’m laying it all out on the table;
        my complaining to high heaven is bitter, but honest. Are you going to put a muzzle on me,
        the way you quiet the sea and still the storm? If I say, ‘I’m going to bed, then I’ll feel better.
        A little nap will lift my spirits,’ you come and so scare me with nightmares
        and frighten me with ghosts that I’d rather strangle in the bedclothes
        than face this kind of life any longer. I hate this life! Who needs any more of this?
        Let me alone! There’s nothing to my life—it’s nothing but smoke.”
  • Job 9:21-24“Believe me, I’m blameless. I don’t understand what’s going on.
        I hate my life! Since either way it ends up the same, I can only conclude
        that God destroys the good right along with the bad. When calamity hits and brings sudden     death, he folds his arms, aloof from the despair of the innocent. He lets the wicked take over running the world; he installs judges who can’t tell.”
  • Job 10:1 “I can’t stand my life—I hate it! I’m putting it all out on the table, all the bitterness of my life—I’m holding back nothing.”
  • Job 16:8-10 “God, you have wasted me totally—me and my family! You’ve shriveled me like a dried prune, showing the world that you’re against me. My gaunt face stares back at me from the mirror, a mute witness to your treatment of me. Your anger tears at me, your teeth rip me to shreds, your eyes burn holes in me—God, my enemy!”
  • Job 17:6 “God, you’ve made me the talk of the town—people spit in my face”
  • Job 21:4 “It’s not you I’m complaining to—it’s God. Is it any wonder I’m getting fed up with his silence?”
  • Job 23:1“I’m not letting up—I’m standing my ground. My complaint is legitimate. God has no right to treat me like this— it isn’t fair!”
  • Job 30:20-23 “I shout for help, God, and get nothing, no answer! I stand to face you in protest, and you give me a blank stare! You’ve turned into my tormenter—you slap me around, knock me about. You raised me up so I was riding high and then dropped me, and I crashed. I know you’re determined to kill me, to put me six feet under.”

So once again, if your image of the patience of Job is this quiet guy who took everything in longsuffering not getting ever upset, go read the book again, that was not in the one I read. I don’t know about you but I read a lot of griping and complaining. If someone is saying constantly that he hates his life that is someone who is upset.

I’m not saying this to down Job. He was patient and truly waited on God. He endured everything that happened to him, but he vented and complained quite often. Don’t ever feel that when you bring your sorrows to the Lord it means that you are not trusting God.  When you feel the need to vent to God, don’t think that you can’t.  If God is our everything, it means HE will also be THE ONE to whom we should go with our heartaches, anxieties and pain.

One of the things I admire about Job is that he always knew that his life depended on God. He knew he was feeble and that God was sovereign. He never cursed at God, he kept his faith through losing it all and he lost it all. He lost his wife, his sons, all his earthly possessions, his friends and even his health. When I say he lost it all, he lost it ALL; but his faith.

So at least in my case, I may have some of the patience of Job. I whine and whine and complaint knowing that God is there. I give it all to him, but I still say “God is not fair” and God says it’s true, I never said life was fair, but I am fair.

I don’t only want to have the patience of Job. I also want to have his faith and endurance to be able to Praise the Lord no matter what comes my way.

Food for thought.

imagesCA1UVDQ3

Book Blast: The 21 Day Challenge!

Take the 21 Day Challenge!

Get 5 FREE eBooks – 2 Days Only

10/17/13 and 10/18/13

PLUS enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Why 21 Days?

It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .

That’s the reason for the 21 days series – to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we’re giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each.

So what do you say? Will you join us in strengthening your walk with God? If so, download one or all of the books below at no cost to you during our free promotion – and scroll down to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card as our gift to you!

Be Inspired…Join the 21 Day Challenge!

Download 5 Free eBooks for 2 Days Only

Book #1:
21 Days of Generosity

generosity challenge

Living a Life of Generosity: 21 Days of Generosity Challenge

  • Do you want to live a life of generosity?
  • Do you want your life to be a blessing to others?
  • Do you want to have a giving spirit that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God as provider?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #2:
21 Days of Faith

faith challenge

Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge

  • Do you want to live a life of faith?
  • Do you want your faith to be more than simply saying “I believe in God”?
  • Do you want to have a genuine faith that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God in every area of your life?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #3:
21 Days of Gratitude

gratitude challenge

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. And I sensed Him leading me to do this 21 days of gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.

And now I want to share what I learned with you in the short, but powerful book.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #4:
21 Teen Devotionals… for Girls!

teen devotionals for girls

Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse. It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator? If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!

Book #5:
21 Teen Devotionals… for Guys!

teen devotionals for guys

Teen Devotionals… for Guys!, brought to you by FindYourTrueStrength.com, are written for teen guys who want to find their true strength in Christ, these devotions designed to be read, pondered on and applied to daily life.

We want you to know that the Bible isn’t just a book that’s over 2000 years old. It’s completely applicable to our lives today – even as teenagers. We know that girls and guys don’t face the same issues in high school – not even close. So these devotions were written with today’s teen guys in mind.

Go ahead. Dig in. Find your true strength in Christ.

Download on Kindle Here

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to win a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by Body and Soul Publishing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Finding Our Way, Figuring it Out

 By Deb DeArmond

 

September 26 is National Daughter-in-Law Day. I’m blessed with three wonderful DILs. I’ve also authored a book on relationships between Daughters-in-Law and Mothers-in-Law. Related By Chance, Family By Choice, releasing November 1. This article is written as a reminder to mother-in-laws to honor those sometimes considered “the other woman.”

 

“You know what I love about you?” asked my daughter-in-law Sarah as we sat in our favorite coffeehouse. “You don’t have an opinion about everything we do.”

 

I almost laughed out loud.

 

​“Of course, I do,” I replied. “I’m just not entitled to give it unless you ask for it or God instructs me to share it.”

 

She seemed surprised—and that felt good. Those who know me are aware I always have an opinion. Her surprise was feedback that I’d done a fairly good job of keeping it to myself more often than not.

 

Unsolicited advice on topics like finances, childrearing, cooking, or housekeeping masked behind “I’m just trying to help”—are a recipe for conflict. To your son’s wife, it sends the message that what she’s doing isn’t acceptable—she may feel you’re attempting to control her and the home she’s making for her family. The need to control never comes from a position of love. It comes from a position of fear. Let it go.

 

Instead, set your heart to pray for your daughter-in-law, to encourage her, to learn what’s important to her. I’d never been interested in the sport of running until DIL Penny joined our family. I’m looking forward to attending a race that marks her return to competitive running after the birth of my grandson. She’s her regaining her strength and speed. It’s been fun to share in her success, and I’m so proud of her.

 

When you appreciate the young woman your son has chosen, the need to point out her shortcomings becomes less tempting. Once you see her as God made her to be, you stop seeing flaws and you value her in a new way.

 

I recently shared an important lesson with a young friend, raising two little boys. She can’t imagine a woman could ever be good enough for them.

 

“If you make your sons the center of your world,” I told her, “you will be devastated, because you will never be the center of theirs.” She nodded, her eyes brimming with tears, the truth of the words sinking into her heart.

 

“How can I get beyond this? What can I do to make sure I don’t become a monster-in-law who ends up alienating not only my future daughters-in-law, but my sons as well?”

 

Here are the tips I shared with her.

 

  • Accept the Word as the authority on family order. The Lord is clear on this. The covenant we make is with our husbands, not our sons. Scripture in both the Old and New Testament all carry nearly identical passages about leaving and cleaving. It’s critical we acknowledge and submit to this principle. If it’s God’s plan for the family, it should be our plan.

 

  • Surrender your need to advise. This can be tough, but’s not optional. Wait till she asks, or until God prompts you. She may do things differently than you, but different is not wrong, it’s just different.

 

  • Pray for your son’s spouse-to-be. Son still single? Pray! When our son proposed after a very brief courtship, friends questioned my calm. The answer was simple: I had prayed for her all of his life. My heart recognized her the moment I met her. I experienced peace, certain of his choice. Praying for your son and his future wife when they’re still children also helps to prepare your heart. So no matter his age, pray. Start now.

 

When you are willing to honor your son’s choice, you are honoring God and walking in obedience. I didn’t lose my sons; I gained three wonderful daughters. What a gift.

 

The boys did not necessarily want a girl “just like the girl that married dear old dad.” We are unique, different from one another, but we share a love for Jesus and the desire to live life together successfully as a family. I learned to think of the differences as a gift. Different isn’t wrong—it’s just different.

 

Amazing how much easier it was to suspend judgment when I stopped comparing my way to theirs. I’ve been surprised by how much they can teach me if I’m open to learning. We’ve grown closer as a result. I know these are smart girls—they think my boys are wonderful!

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

 Deb DeArmond

Email: deb.dearmond@gmail.com

Website: Deb DeArmond/Family Matters

Phone: 817-283-1108

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Member: AWSA, ACFW, Christian Writer’s Guild, CLASSeminar Graduate

 

Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb focuses on topics related to the family and women. Kregel Publications will release her first book in November 2013 entitled, Related by Chance, Family by Choice, focused on relationships between women-in-law. She is co-founder of My Purpose Now, a website devoted to Christian women 50+. Read Deb at Family Matters/Deb DeArmond and My Purpose Now.

WF: Losing

When we are worn out with the challenges of life, usually life just throws us another curve. I tend to tell myself that’s what life uses to keep me on my toes so that I don’t get bored. I’m never bored. And when that extra curve comes; have you noticed that it’s usually related to the ones closest to us?

Our loved ones have the key to our hearts, and what they do, don’t do or what happens to them, tends to hit us harder. A harsh word makes us evaluate how could this be happening after all the love that we have given? A painful incident makes us feel powerless from being able to protect them. A bad choice makes us feel helpless to the fact that there’s nothing we can do about other people’s choices.

Somehow it makes us feel like we are losing the battle…

But remember that when Jesus went to the cross, he went for the same reasons. He was able to DO something, die for our sins. But it also hurts his heart when we make bad choices and because of the freedom we have he is powerless of doing anything unless we decide to turn to him. After the love that He has given us, he too experiences rejection, neglect and abandonment from us.

nailsBut in the hour that counted, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24). At the moment where we were attacking him the most, he begged for our mercy in spite of his pain.

Don’t we want to be more like Jesus? Then let’s pray that he helps us be graceful with those who hurt our hearts. Worship with me today and until next time… Be Blessed…..

Hurry, I Have a Plank in My Eye

The other day I was talking to a friend whom I appreciate but who complaints a lot about other people. Some days she tells me all about how good this person is with her. A few days later she tells me how terrible this same person is towards her. Now if we allow ourselves to be honest with ourselves we all have those same moments with people in our relationships. Everyone has its good days and their bad days. The reality is that we don’t feel the same way about people all the time.

I remember long time ago I was working with this lady who had been married for a long time. I asked her what her secret was. She told me that in love, in any kind of love, you have to love someone everyday and that doesn’t mean you like them every day. I’ve thought about that statement and it’s very true. We are called to love one another, not to like one another. We may not approve of someone else’s behavior, but we are still called to love them. That is exactly what God does with us, that’s the expression of unconditional love, to love people in spite of how they think, act or behave.

But this is not a post about unconditional love. It’s about searching our souls for what it is that annoys us about the other people around us. I’ve learned through my journey to become closer to Christ is to become the 4yr old and ask why, why, why? I don’t do that to annoy my Heavenly Father. I do that to learn a lot about myself.

As someone who works in the behavioral health field, I understand that some of our thoughts and behaviors are not always conscious and mostly are a result of our heritage and life experiences. So when something happens, before jumping to a decision on how to deal with the situation, I want to know, why it bothers me so much? Most of the times I’ve had to discover that there’s a part of me that acts exactly the way of whatever it is that annoys me.

How is it possible that something that really bothers me in others, is also a behavior that I display? I have come to the conclusion that God presents us with those situations, so that we can see ourselves in the mirror and know how annoying we can be to others. I know that I complain about that same person that I was talking about at the beginning of this post. I complain about the way some days she’s very negative and complaints about others. But some days I talk about how much of an instrumental key she’s in my life. You see… I do the same thing that she does and that annoys me.

The bottom line is that I can’t change anyone, but I can change me. I appreciate every opportunity the Lord gives me to show me who I am to perfect me into a closer image of Jesus Christ.

Until then, be blessed