This is not what you expected me to say, is it? In a world that pushes the “be yourself” and “you are great just the way you are” movement, this may sound like a shocker to you. Well, stay with me here…there is a deep meaning behind these two words…
When someone you know stumbles in their walk of life.
Encourage them to overcome that obstacle in their path.
Don’t push them down in an accusing tone. Help them. Encourage to be more, as you, yourself become more than the normal responses of everyday people in everyday life.
When someone has great accomplishments in life, be more than the everyday human/fleshly/jealous response.
Don’t search for their flaws and try to bring them down by bringing attention to their imperfections. Be more. Be happy for them. Congratulate them.
When someone has a different personality than you. Love them, quirks and all, for we as the body of Christ, have been uniquely made.
Body of Christ.
A body is composed of different parts that have their own purpose. A hand cannot expect the foot to do exactly as it does, but it has a purpose in the body. Same way, everyone in the body of Christ has a different purpose but the same goal. This goal is to follow God and serve him in the unique way that He made them…that He made you.
Ask God what part of the body your brother or sister in Christ is and how you can encourage them to be who God intended them to be…NOT how God intended YOU to be (*remember the hand and the foot*).
Here are some verses to remember in your “be more” movement (the mission, should you choose to accept it):
- “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV
- “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
- “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 NIV
- “The soothing tongue is a tree of life…” Proverbs 15:4 NIV
- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NASB
- “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NASB
*This message will NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds* 😉
Me: *Points to area on white shirt.*
Me: “But what about this spot?”
God: “I don’t see anything.”
Me: *Points to new area on shirt*
Me: “What about this dirty stain? This one has to be the worst yet.”
God: “I see you pure as snow. Why do you keep searching for old stains that aren’t there anymore?”
Me: “I remember them…are they always to haunt me?”
God: “Were you not forgiven? Was My Son’s sacrifice not enough for you?”
Me: “I know it should be, but the bullies of past…their words feel like words etched deeper than the shirt. Like I am always to see myself through their eyes.”
God: “You have put much in man’s opinion of you…find your identity in Me. Every time you remember the hurts & the pains, remember Me. Every time you remember the wrongs done unto you or even your own wrongdoings, remember Me…”
Me: *Stops searching for the marks of the past and focuses on God.*
God: “…every time you feel like searching your pure white shirt, remember that it was bestowed upon you. Remember that I have given you the greatest stain remover, an eternal one…lasting forever…remember Me.”
Have you ever searched for God in everything…but forgot God Himself?
You know that you’ve done it…you’re looking for the mustard in the fridge but cannot seem to find it. You go through EVERY SINGLE SHELF but it still avoids catching your eye. You walk away, just to return with all the more perseverance of a squirrel filling its cheeks with nuts.
You NEED to know where it is…you begin to feel like you’ve overlooked it.
You finally complain to a family member that you cannot find the mustard, so logically, there must be NO MUSTARD (said with a vengeance). Your family member (let’s call her “Barb” because we are annoyed and she has become like barbed-wire), walks up to the fridge and pulls out the mustard that was sitting right in front of you THIS ENTIRE TIME.
Why does it seem easier for others to find things while we have been searching…and searching…and search-you get the point.
Let’s just say that you may have gotten caught up with the “searching” instead of the “finding.”
There are times that I get overwhelmed with the searching for God in many Christian books that I come across…because some contradict each other. How will I know the truth? Hmmm…”I guess that I should keep searching and maybe-just-maybe one or two authors will agree and I will find God and the truth. My friend, ‘Barb’ seems to know what’s what…I must figure out what she has that I don’t have.”
Can you see the tangled mess up above? It seems that I have gotten caught up with the search of God and His truths that I forgot that I can just talk to God Himself! He has given us a great compass (Jesus) for a mysteriously written map (Bible). Barb just knows where the mustard is at (where God is at) and that is right here, right now (in the fridge in front of the milk and honey).
Have a little mustard seed faith…it’s hidden with the blessings of milk and honey.
Running with endurance reminds me of driving a car…I scan the road ahead to see if any objects get in my way (looking for stumbling blocks in my life), glance in the rear-view mirror (my past-which should not be dwelled upon but rather glanced at to remember from where I’ve come), and focus on my end goal. I do not see the whole journey ahead of me…there will be twists, bumps, and possibly crashes (which seems to put a stop in the journey-but instead, strengthens you for the rough roads ahead)…I do not have time to dwell on these things, for there is a greater calling to get back on this road again and finish what was started.
I have recently been stuck in the web of thoughts on what I should do in my life. My “car” began to stall and instead of going anywhere, I wasted time on what I imagined I could do instead of doing it. Have you ever had those days? Where you think that you could do something better in life but forget what you could do in a day with what you have? Hmmm…