Thursday, July 16, 2009

"One Another" Attitudes

Read some great scripture during my study today. I would like to share them with you.

"Be of the same mind toward one another (live in harmony). Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your opinion." Romans 12:16

"Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5-6

These verses talk about us having one in harmony...with one another and having one purpose which is to glorify God. Phil 2 also talks about us being like-minded meaning have the same love for Christ, being in one spirit and purpose - which is to live to glorify God. In Ephesians 4:32 it talks about some other attitudes in which we need to use in caring and encouraging one another "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

What challenging verses. God has called us to live this way but why does it seem so difficult at times? I was very challenged in this this past year and it has been amazing to me how when I chose to follow Christ in my attitude towards others the stress and burden that is relieved and also how the love of Christ shines through. When we choose to live like the verses above imagine the encouragment that it would give to others and the unity that we would all have.

Here is a short prayer that I thought was awesome and something that I am going to strive for.

"Heavenly Father; Create within our hearts a broader; more kindly
inclination to extend our hand to whomever You
send along this slipper path of life. May we lovingly
hold each other up and keep each other
from falling. Inspire and enable us to "be there" for each other
as You are there for each of us"
-Marilyn Meberg
Also, some great readings in Romans 12:9-21, 14-15:1-6

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Your Experience Can Encourage Others

"I am sending Him to you for this reason - that you will know how we are, and He can encourage you." Ephesians 6:22

When I did my study this morning, all I could think of is, WOW...I have to share this. So, this comes from my study this morning.

So many young women believe they are the only ones who have whatever particular problem they may be facing. A young mother might look at another woman who seems to have it all together. She may seem happily married, peaceful, confident, and joyful. Her kids are neat and respectful, have whole chapters of Scripture memorized, and always wearing matching socks. Meanwhile, the young mother can barely get the family out the door on Sunday mornings, struggles with a colicky baby and a two-year-old who bites, and is teetering somewhere between depression and hysteria. This poor, young lady feels overwhelmed, frustrated, panicky, and desperate -- and all she needs to know is that she is not alone. All she would need is for an older, wiser, woman to come alongside her and let her know: "I've been through what you're going through now. Hang in there. It'll be okay. What I am now is a culmination of all of my life thus far. It didn't happen overnight. What's more, what I am now is not the pinnacle of my life, for God is still working in my heart. God is working in your life too!"

We should not try to hide all the bumps we've hit a long life's road. We've all had embarrassing moments. We've all made mistakes. God doesn't want us to hide our failures from the world so we come off looking good. He wants us to learn from those struggles, and then use them to encourage those around us. In this way, our stories become less about us, and more about how God has proved faithful.

There isn't much more that I can add to this except that it really challenged me. Challenged me to desire even more to share my stories how God remained faithful in each of those situations. Our stories don't have to be these huge obstacles but even the little things matter like encouraging a mom who is potty training a little one....We all know lots of encouragment is welcomed during those days :). I think it's important to share with people of how God proved faithful in our lives and how He has carried us through and to encourage them that God is right there next to them, too...even in the daily challenges of life. Sheila Walsh says, "Vital life lessons cannot be learned in obscurity and isolation. They are learned in community as we are forced to face ourselves as we really are and love enough to want to change."

Encourage One Another

I have been going through a Women of Faith study on my own and am now on chapter 6. It has been awesome and I find myself not wanting to put the study down. A few quotes from previous chapters really stuck out to me so I want to share those.

"Encouragment doesn't have to be profound...It just needs to be expressed." -Barbara Johnson
I think this is so true because I think that many times we believe that in order to encourage someone we have to say these profound words and have this long speech but in reality a phone call, a short e-mail, or even a card with a short note saying I was thinking of you can be just as encouraging to someone. This statement really challenged me because there are a lot of individuals that I see that really look like they could use some encouragment and I do nothing because I feel inadequate and after reading this, I was like, I can do that...I can send a short messsage or phone call just to say hi, I was thinking of there anything I can be praying for you.
Another statement that stuck out to me was by Thelma Wells.
"When we try to do and act like other people, we are acting in an unauthorized capacity. When we try to be someone we're not, when we try to emulate gifts, skills, and characteristics that are not ours, we abuse the authority we have been given as individuals whom God has blessed with a unique purpose."
This I believe is talking about us encouraging others with the gifts that God has given to each of us. God has given each of us a unique gift and we are to be good stewards of those gifts and use them. (1 peter 4:10). According to 1 Corinthians 14:12 we are given gifts for a build up others and encourage the church/others. By using our gifts we also grow closer to Christ...shouldn't this be our ultimate goal in life? To have a deep meaningful walk with our Saviour?
This road is tough but I know that if I strive to live this out, God will be there to pick me up a long the way. I hope that these words will challenge/encourage you as they have me.