Tuesday, October 16, 2018

When that Boulder Won't Move

  
There is a line in Lauren Daigle’s popular song, Trust in You, that says, “If you don’t move that mountain, I’m wanting you to move…” I have pondered that line as I compare it with the verse in Matthew that says, “With a little faith, you can move mountains.” (Matt 17:20) If mountains in our lives aren’t moved, does it mean we don’t have faith? Perhaps you are pondering that, as well. 

Some of us have mountains…things in front of us that seem to impair our journey. We want it gone so we can move forward. Mountains are huge! But the truth is, most of us only have boulders in our way. We seem to be blocked by a person or situation we cannot see our way around. Our prayer is, “God, please move it.” Yet it remains. We sit in the boulder’s shadow, and lose faith and hope that we will ever see the victory. 

Right now, I am dealing with a huge boulder in my life. I know deeply that God wants to move me in a particular direction, but there is this obstruction I cannot get around. As I prayed, God showed me several scriptures, none of which talked about moving large rocks!  He showed me scriptures about water and the power water has. He reminded me of living water. In John 4, Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:10:  “Jesus answered,If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.”

 

Living water. God also reminded me of a trip several years ago, when my husband and I did a white-water-rafting excursion on the Colorado River. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to get on the raft because I knew there were many rapids--which are created by large boulders in the river. Many of the rapids were very dangerous. The thing that changed my mind was our guide. He was an NFL linebacker and a massive man! Not only was he huge, he knew how to maneuver our raft through the rapids to keep us safe; he had done this many times.  The obligatory picture, which was taken on our journey, showed our faces filled with fear mixed with excitement. It was so much fun…not because it wasn’t dangerous, it was fun because we trusted this huge human being to keep us safe. 

 

At one time, the boulders in the Colorado River might have impeded the flow of water, but now they were merely detours. It was a lesson I needed to remember. Living water moves forward...always. It doesn’t stagnant and become stinky. Boulders thrive in stagnant water and that is where I have found myself.  I had forgotten that living water, like a river, can wear down a mountain (the Grand Canyon) but I also had forgotten it can move over boulders until the river’s path is no longer hindered. The more living water, the deeper the flow. 

 

The same is true of God’s river in our lives. “If you knew…you 

would ask and He would give you living water.” Perhaps, I have 

been asking for the wrong thing. Perhaps, I have been asking for 

the barrier to be removed instead of Jesus showing Himself faithful 

over the barrier. There most likely will always be boulders causing 

hindrances to my journey, but I have a guide who knows how to 

flow over those boulders while the river runs forward. God’s voice 

clearly said I need to pray for more of Him, the living water. “If I 

knew Him…I would ask and He would give.” 


Friday, October 5, 2018

The Benefit of Stepping Back

There are situations in life when we have an opportunity to become angry, fearful and bitter OR peaceful, trusting, and better.  I am sure you have been in that place sometime in your life. God lead me to a very familiar passage in I Kings 18-19 about Elijah. You might remember this lesson: Elijah was told to go and show God's power to the prophets of Baal. God did an amazing miracle and many pagans turned toward the One True God. This did not make the evil leaders, Ahab and Jezebel very happy, and Elijah's life was threatened. He ran.

I am a runner...no not the kind a Fit-Bit would monitor, but the kind who runs from controversy when things get a little rough. Usually, running happens right after a time of great victory...a time when God's presence was so heavy I could touch it. The enemy craftily takes this particular time to present an attack. I want to run away.  This passage gives some points to ponder when we are in a similar situation.

  • After a great victory, we are physically tired. 
  • When we are tired, we allow our thoughts to run away 
  • When we let our thoughts run away, we become fearful
  • When we become fearful, we begin to think that we are all alone
  • When we are all alone, we begin to think even God doesn't care
  • When we think God doesn't care, we hide away from the world.

Does this sound familiar? As I read, I saw God in each situation:

  • God gave rest to Elijah and brought him food to replenish
  • God allowed Elijah to run and hide for awhile
  • God spoke. 

God wasn't angry at Elijah for being human. We need to understand that. But God also wasn't going to let Elijah remain in a cave believing the lies of his fearful heart. He had called Elijah for a great work and that was more important than Elijah's feelings so He called to Elijah. Eventually, Elijah came out of hiding and heard the voice of the God who loved him.

"What are you doing here, Elijah?" I Kings 19:9 When God asks us a question, He expects honest answers and Elijah told Him everything he was feeling.  God patiently listened to every whine of His servant. When Elijah finished, God spoke truth to each of Elijah's complaints. Eventually, truth brought rest to all the fears. Elijah finally saw things from God's perspective.

I needed to hear that today as I am tempted to run from a situation. Sometimes, merely stepping back from a situation is OK. It doesn't mean I am giving up, it means I am willing to rest and allow God to show me a proper perspective of the situation.

Today, my encouragement to you is, instead of quitting, step away and listen to God's voice which will always be in a still small voice spoken deeply into your heart. That is when you know He is speaking a word only to you.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Does the Women's Movement Have Another Agenda?



In 2003, I took a course in seminary entitled, “Feminist Theology.” I had no idea what that was. I only took it because all the seminaries in our denomination joined together to hear the author of the book, The Feminist Mistake, teach the course. That, along with the fact I could visit my son, who was also in seminary at the time, convinced me to take this class. Those were not very good reasons, but I am so glad I went. God wanted to give me insight as to the agenda of the women’s movement.

The teacher, Mary Kassian, had done extensive research into the history of feminism. Her lectures taught us that feminism began long before 1963, when Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique, was published. But it was this book which began the talking points of what would eventually be known as “The Women’s Movement,” and NOW. [National Organization of Women]

The premise of Betty Friedan’s book, suggested to women there was no way they could be happy cleaning, cooking, and taking care of their children in their homes. She gave convincing arguments that having children was the cause of the powerlessness women have, adding if a woman stayed at home taking care of children, she would never reach her full potential. 

Fast forward a couple of years and we see the appearance of the birth control pill. That surely would be the answer to our freedom. We could now decide when and if we got pregnant. The problem was, sometimes the pill did not work. So, there began a campaign to change abortion laws so women could be free from this plague called motherhood. In 1973, she and her followers succeeded when Roe vs. Wade passed in the Supreme Court.

Many in my generation, latched on to this and went around singing, “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.” I was completely oblivious to what was happening spiritually to my country.

While “equal rights,” and “abortion” is what generally is associated with feminism, the hidden agenda is seldom spoken about. Before Friedan’s book, feminism was based upon an idea called, “renaming,” and refers to the time when God had Adam name things. The question posed was, “Why would Adam and God get to do the naming?  We have every right to name ourselves anyway we like.” When I heard this part of the lecture, I have to admit, it made no sense to me.  Calling myself by another name, doesn’t change what I am…oh, boy was I na├»ve! 

In order to “rename” successfully, there needed to be some mind-changing steps or society would never agree. I cannot teach this whole course, but may I point out things a few “mind-changes” that have happened since I took that course in 2003?  

  • Men are the enemy. We must destroy men to succeed. In today’s society men are shamed by terms like “toxic masculinity,” and “patriarchy,” which takes the very essence of what God intended man to be and renames it as evil. They rename the very essence of men. We see commercials portraying men as buffoons and comedy shows highlighting the superiority of women. Slowly but surely, men are being destroyed in our society.
  • All men are immoral cannot be sexually pure. If they say they are, they are lying.
  • There is renamingof anyone who disagrees with this agenda: bigot, racist, homophobic, old white men, and the list goes on.  There doesn’t have to be any evidence to these claims because "they" have the power to rename any person. Many are cowering because they don’t want this renamed title attached to themselves. 
  • Make men more like women. Do this in many ways…convince men to get “in touch with their feminine side.”  If that doesn’t work, encourage men in the gay lifestyle so they will side with feminist feelings. 
  • The latest renaming tactic is Trans-sexualism. Individuals decide, or rename, what sex they are. Please note, the vast number of people who claim they are transsexual are men wanting to be women…not the other way around. If we cannot destroy men, we will rename them "women."
  • Convince society they get to decide what sex they are from the get-go. Believe it or not, birth certificates in some places do not “name” the sex of a baby until that child decides what it wants to be later in life. God no longer has a say. 
  • Insist on sexual freedom. Women want to be as free sexually as they feel men are, but want no repercussions of their poor choices. They however, will hold men to higher standards than they hold and destroy them in the process. 
  • Above all else, never get rid of “child sacrifice,” (abortion) for that would put women back in the dark ages of when they were prisoners in their homes. Of course, they soften the term by calling it Women’s Health. This is the main issue today and underlies many women movements and marches. 

At the end of the course, Mary Kassian, showed pictures of women involved in the Feminist movement from the start to where they ended up. Each one of the women looked more like a man than a woman.  I was shocked. Genesis 3:16b came to mind. “Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.”  I had always thought that verse meant women would always desire a husband but the more I see what is going on today, I think it meant, you will want to be your husband; renaming what God intended. I am both shocked and saddened by this and also that so many are being taken in by it. 

Many will take issue with what is written in this blog and that is your prerogative but if you are a Christian, I ask that you open your eyes and see what is going on in our nation.  Read both of the books mentioned. See from a new spiritual perspective that possibly there is more going on in the heavenlies than we can see.  God’s enemy, satan, has always wanted to rename himself as God. In destroying all that God holds dear, perhaps, he is accomplishing his goal. But may I remind all of us, God wins in the end and we are called upon to trust the living, holy God of the universe.  

I want to end this controversial blog, by stating how God originally named us: 
·     Women are beautiful creations with the ability to feel deeply and to care for others. We alone are given the opportunity to feel life growing inside us and to birth a new baby. 
·     Women are equal in God’s eyes. Jesus honored women.
·     Women were the first ones given the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel. 


We should continue to do that and that only. 






Friday, September 14, 2018

Proper Perspective

Let me preface this blog by saying, anythingwe do for God, anywhere, is wonderful. I do not want you to think I am against short term mission trips…nothing could be further from the truth. But, too often, I have seen churches give a spiritual elevation for people who go on mission trips. We hold them in honor as we post pictures and pray extra hard for them while they are away. (we should pray for them!) But it is almost like stating, “These are the most spiritual in our church, because they go away to serve!”  

Before you attack me, I have been on lots of short-term mission trips and they have been life-changing events in my life; events I never want to forget. But I also noticed in myself a desire to let people know I went, and I have to admit, I felt a little superior when I told them. I wanted (not consciously) for people to think better of me because I had sacrificed my time to share the Gospel. (Just being real, here!)

Why am I writing this?  Because it became evident to me (while listening to a group share their mission trip experience) that we will do things for those across the ocean we would never do for those in our own neighborhoods. I suddenly became aware that those close by are also in desperate need of the Gospel.  Examples: Seldom if ever, do we give people who reach out to rebellious teens, time to share…maybe because we are too busy keeping “those” kind of kids away from our church so we won’t have to deal with them. (ouch) There isn’t an “elevating to honor” those who work with addicts…maybe because the addicts might want to come to our church and that would give us a bad name. Do you get my point? It is much easier to deal with those kinds of issues far away from home…safely away from our comfort zone. 

But God clearly asked me that night: 

If you can go and do…why can’t you stay and do?

There was a reason Jesus first mentioned “Jerusalem” in Acts 1:8. Have we looked at our “Jerusalem” lately? The fields are white…ready to harvest…but the laborers are few. There are kids who need mentors…someone who will truly listen and care. There are people caught in all kind of issues who need to know there is an escape from their bondage. There are ministries all over Mississippi (my state) and wherever you might live; some even in your town. Perhaps you can go on a short-term mission trip to your very own neighborhood…or even your very own neighbor.  I guarantee, just like going over-seas, your life will be changed forever…plus you can sleep in your own bed! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Gossip by Any Other Name…


Today, I became sickeningly disheartened by what is happening within the church. Believers are running to social media by the droves to add their comments about someone within the ranks of Christian leadership, who has fallen into some moral failure or innuendo. It reminds me of junior high/ high school…”did you hear about Sally?  No, what? Well…”and the whispers begin.  Before long whatever was said about Sally in that first conversation has been enhanced, added too, and embellished until it is so tantalizing we can’t help but share. It is better than Blue Bell ice cream. In the meantime, Sally is devastated because about 95% of what is being shared is untrue and no matter how much she protests, by this time, people believe what they want to.  Social media gossip is a sick type of voyeurism. We live vicariously through it. It seems we can’t help but click on every morsel of someone else’s failure. What was once their story, becomes a part of us…now, WE would never do such a thing, but we do want to experience every single detail of what that person did. We wear our Pharisaical robes and prance around in judgement while lives are forever changed.  

While we might think this only happens in secular society, I am talking about church people. The enemy has been on a rampage with leaders and recently many among us have fallen.  The true is, WE placed them on a pedestal that was too narrow and too high for them to ever remain and when they fall we point and say, “See, I told you!”  

Some of the failures are true, but there are also those who are innocently accused who have borne the same fate. We read massive reposting’s of what others have said about a person or a situation and often repost without researching the facts.

One example of an innocent person being maligned is about a popular woman Bible teacher. She had been seen talking to another woman leader whom a particular group considered a heretic.  Immediately, this Bible teacher was called a false prophet, heretic and was said to be leading women down a dark path.  They never sought the reason why this conversation took place and worse yet, they had never read nor listened to any of this teacher's teachings at all. They formed their opinions and condemned her.  Christians, men and women, all over social media joined the throngs of those who were condemning. Let’s throw her out!  When the facts were discovered to be different, it was too late, and the damage was done. Gossip.

Sometimes the rumors are true but we don’t know all the facts. Even if it is true that still doesn’t give us license to condemn.  Last year a popular football coach was fired because it was discovered he was engaging in some immoral practices. This coach had stood in pulpits stating his love for Christ. Because of his Christian stand, the enemy place a target on his head and he fell. The church responded that there should be no mercy for him.  Fact: Before this became public, he had already confessed this to his wife, who had forgiven him. Their lives were in process of being healed from his failure but when it hit the presses, his family was put in the limelight and all of them, including the innocent were destroyed.  Many in the church sat back, smug, with arms crossed, stating he got what he deserved. 

I could list more even more recent incidents but that is not the point of this message. The point is the church is engaging in massive gossip. Believers this is not to be. I am NOT condoning the moral failures of leaders. There is a higher standard for leaders, but It is up to God to take care of them.  Jesus did that with the woman caught in adultery when the robed spiritual leaders wanted her stoned to death. He simply said, “Those without sin, cast the first stone.” (John 8:2-11)

We seem to want to focus on others, don’t we? It is so much easier than focusing on ourselves.
Let me ask you: What if you were held accountable for everything that has come out of your mouth the last 20 years? What if every place you have ever gone or the things you did for the last 20 years were blasted on social media? What if your own moral failings, which God had already forgiven, were sent out on Facebook?  How would it feel?  Yes, I believe that our church leaders should be held accountable BUT what I see  happening can only be defined as downright gossip. Shame on us. We have not prayed for our leaders instead we are exceedingly glad when they fall because it takes the focus off our own failings. Perhaps we never liked them, so we relish in his/her demise. I literally became sick to my stomach last night as I heard conversations that continue to tear down other brothers and sisters in the faith. 

Folks, we are not responsible for what will happen to those who have fallen and therefore should not become judge and jury.  But we ARE responsible for what WE do in the Body of Christ.  Paul stated it like this:

Colossians 3:8-17

 But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. 14 Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Let's begin to focus on the log in our own eye.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sticks and Stones...The Sin of Being Offended


When I was growing up, several times a day our class in school would have recess. We would line up and go to the playground and then run like the wind to participate in all kind of activities. Lots of lessons were learned there. My favorite was when I was defending my championship status on the tether ball court. I was not that athletic, I was just taller than all the other kids in my grade so tether ball was my game. In tether ball, there is a distinct winner and a distinct loser in each game. That was the fun of the game…the challenge. We knew that at the start so when I or my opponent lost, we would say something like, “Well, you just wait until tomorrow,” and then go happily back into class. No one got their feelings hurt because they lost…it was just the way it was. My first lesson was that in life there will be those who win and those who lose but we continue to try. Another lesson was: be careful how you get off the teeter-totter! That was the good part of the playground.
But there was also another lesson:  Not everyone on the playground likes me or wants to play with me. I had my share of people who would say unkind things about me. Things like, “How is the weather up there?” Or kids whispering behind my back, “There goes horse face, Mr. Ed!”. Did it hurt? A little, yes but when I got home and told my parents, my mom would generally say, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me!”
We know that this is not true for words do hurt us. Deep wounds from abusive people fester in a person’s life because of the negativity constantly spoken. I understand that as I had to struggle through many things said to me from my own mother. Words hurt but there is a different air today. The world has become overly sensitive. The word “offensive” is rampant and I find that we are afraid to say anything for fear of being offensive to someone.
I want to make a distinction in what I am going to be talking about. There is a big difference between verbal abuse and being offended. Abuse is treating a person with cruelty or violence regularly or repeatedly or treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm. Abuse is the constant belittling of someone until they believe what the other person says.  I will not be dealing with that nor do I want you to think it is the same thing.
On the other hand, being offended is getting our feelings hurt because someone doesn’t agree with everything we have said or believe. I do not want you to I think I think it is fine for people to intentionally hurt people with their words. I do not, but I do think we are hyper-sensitive in today’s world and I find that to be one of the tactics the enemy is using to divide us…especially in the church.
           
Matthew 24:10 says:

  • KJVIn the last days... then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
  • CSB Then many will fall away, betray one another, and hate one another.
  • HCSB Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another
  • ASVAnd then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another.

Luke 17:1 “He said to his disciples, “offenses will certainly come but woe to the one through whom they come!”

Wow, I hope you see that in the last days, offenses will come and many will: stumble, fall away.  In this verse, the word “offenses” is the word skandalon means according to Vines Expository Dictionary, “Laying a trap in someone’s way!”
Add that definition to Matthew 24’s word for falling away or being offended, the trap is being set by our enemy to cause us to stumble and no longer be the face of Jesus to the world. 
What Jesus is saying in these two verses to His disciples simply put is, "If you take the enemy’s bait and become offended by what is being told to you, you will betray one another and hate one another."
There are two lessons we can learn from this. First, in the world are people want to live the way they want to live and if the Word of God is spoken to the contrary, the person reacts by feeling offended. They then call the person who spoke the words a bigot, or other such name.  Hate grows between the two and eventually there is a falling away from the truth. Congregations are divided because instead of speaking truth from the word of God, we live in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. We then begin to accept anything that in our minds is good. That is the trap! Jesus said he "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matt. 10:34 The sword is the Word of God which will offend many.
Because God’s Word is offensive to our own sense of right and wrong, many churches are falling away and stumbling and hatred is spewing from our mouths. This is the problem with taking the bait the enemy puts before us. If we know the truth and stand by the truth, we are not offended by the truth but are comforted by it. satan seems to be winning the war of truth in our world by using the bait of offense.  We cannot allow this to keep going.  It is time for us as a people of God to stand strong on the truth, no matter if it hurts someone’s feelings.

Secondly, while that is the bait of denying truth, the principle of this “bait of offense” can also be applied to “getting our feelings hurt.” Does this sound familiar?  Years ago, someone said something to someone and that someone told someone else and that someone else told someone else and before we knew it, we were all up in arms taking sides and those sides are still in effect but no one remembers why. It is worse than the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. It is bait on a trap and when we take the bait, it soon consumes us; we get our feelings hurt and somebody must pay. And pay we have. Long time relationships are destroyed because of this. Sometimes whole congregations are affected.
This is a very dangerous bait. Think about the 4 stomachs of a cow!  When a cow takes some grass or grain into their mouth, they chew on it for a while.  Then they swallow it.  Later on, they bring it back up and chew on it some more and swallow it.  Bring it up two more times and by then every nutrient in that food has completely been assimilated into the body of the cow. It is the same way with the bait of satan. He puts the bait of offense on a trap on the very places we are walking. If we don’t watch it, we will be fall and stumble. We begin to chew on it for a while, then swallow it…only to bring it up again and again until that offense has consumed every part of our life.

Now, I am going to meddle.  When was the last time you got your feelings hurt by someone? How did you react to it? When you see or think about that person do you still have unforgiveness in your heart? Has unforgiveness turns in to anger and that anger turns to bitterness? You see the trap?  The enemy knows exactly how to work us up into a frenzy. Unless we do something to intentionally keep ourselves from stumbling, we will find ourselves falling away and hating others.

So, let’s take a little test to see if you have fallen:

  • The Spiritual Pride of denial. We deny that we have been hurt, so instead of dealing with it, we repress it. We pretend everything is alright because we don’t want people to think badly of us. The problem is, we are not very good actors and it comes out in many different ways…passive aggressive ways of hurting that other person.  A public shunning of that person.  Discomfort when we have to be with that person. So, how’s that working for you? There is a constant walking on eggshells around you.  People begin to avoid you because you are about to blow at any moment!
  • The Victim scenario. You feel justified for feeling the way you do. People tell you, “You have a right to be angry!” and you believe them. You become a victim and desire to have people surround you and agree with you…you begin to gather troops together to attack the other person. You begin to share how unfair things are with everyone around. You often destroy someone’s reputation because of your anger toward that person.
  • Internalizing. When you think of certain people you become angry and bitter. The offense is never far from your mind. It is as if the offense just happened even if it has been several years ago.
  • Social avoidance. You have stopped doing things or going places you love because that “someone” might be there.
  • I can’t help it. You use the excuse that “you are only human” to not deal with your situation.
  • Taking sides syndrome. You cannot be friends with someone because they are friends with the person who hurt you.
  • Final falling away. You cannot seem to have a consistently positive relationship with God. Reading the Bible is a chore… You then become offended with the Word of God because of things like: “forgive your brother” Love your enemy.  You argue with God that He just doesn’t understand what that person did to you. That is the final falling away…the disobedience of doing what God says to do.

Jesus knew this was going to happen and so He warned us in the scriptures to avoid it. The solution is to forgive! Do not hold anything against another.  This very thing of offense is causing us to stumble and it is destroying the very body of Christ. The world takes offense at everything but we in the church ought to be different.  Listen to what James says:

James 4:1-7 
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us ?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”
 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [Quit taking the bait!]

So, what can we do if we find we are taking the bait of satan?

  • Stand always for the truth of God uncompromisingly.  Don’t allow it to offend you because it offends those who don’t believe it. Speak truth in love.
  • When someone says something to hurt your feelings, talk to them about it right away. This is uncomfortable but pray first and then go to the other person. There have been times when I simply misunderstood what the other person meant or that person was not aware that it would hurt you.  Do not let it fester. Nip it nip it nip it!
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously!  Don’t be so sensitive. We need to have a sense of humor about ourselves and we need to thicken our skins.  If you find that you are constantly having your feelings hurt by others, perhaps “the others” are not the problem.  Learn to laugh at yourself. I have a one week rule…if what is happening to me right now won’t really matter in a week, I let it go. Too often we focus on things that really do not matter in the long run and often that destroys relationships.
  • Realize some people are just mean.  You have heard that “hurt people hurt people.”  Instead of being all angry, begin to pray for that person to have peace in their own hearts. Do not take to heart what they say.
  • Realize that sometimes we are wrong and we need to be offended because we are not doing what God commands. The truth hurts!
  • Realize that God esteems you and that nothing anyone else says about you usurps His thoughts toward you. Keep your relationship with Him utmost. Remember that people not only lied about Him, they also spoke unkindly to Him, and then eventually killed Him, he never held it against them. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
  • Forgive, forgive, forgive. This is hard, I know but it is a command from the very mouth of Jesus. Remember that forgiving doesn’t mean that what the person said was ok…it means you are going to trust God with the situation.  It really doesn’t do us any good to focus on the offense and destroy ourselves in the meantime.

I have had to intentionally ask God to help me in this regard. There was a time in my life when I found myself in a personal pity party just about every week. It was a very dark time and I realized one day that I was focusing only on me…I had taken the bait, hook line and sinker and the only person that was hurting was me. I began to ask God to help me in this and slowly I gained the victory. I am my heavenly Father’s precious child and no one can ever change that. 

Do I still get my feelings hurt?  Sure, but I have learned that the bait is poison and is not worth the time. With God’s help, I am able to live life nearly free from being offended. You, also, must be aware of this trap and avoid it at all cost. We are to be the light of Jesus in a very dark world. This world is imploding because of being offended at every turn.  They need to be shown how to live life free.  Today, do not look at the world and judge until you have taken the offenses out of your own heart and realized that sticks and stones will break you bones, but with Christ’s help, words will never hurt you.