Tag Archives: shopping

Destroy What Destroys You

6175770250_5f3805cdbb_zI want to sincerely apologize for my hiatus.  It’s been a very long two months, with end of semester papers and projects, bachelor party organizing, graduating from grad school (with highest honors-all credit goes to the Lord!), moving, applying for career jobs (any leads in sports, fitness, recreation, please send my way!) and my brothers wedding.  The aforementioned should not be used as an excuse not to spread His gospel because no matter what we’re doing, as busy or as unbusy our lives may be, we must always be willing to be a beacon, to reach out to those in trouble as 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  Moreover, this comes to the topic at hand, and as you read the title, Destroy What Destroys You, we must embrace this idea as instrumental in growing and evolving as a believer.

Think about this for a second, if we all had the control, all had the patience and determination to stop sin in its tracks, we wouldn’t be sinners, right?  If we were able to recognize and realize our actions and behavior were turning detrimental, then we would be living in a perfect world, right?  Well, there’s our problem, as humans and especially as believers.  (If you haven’t read my previous post, Jesus Loves Pornstars, I implore you to stop reading this now, and read it; it’s highly conducive to the idea at hand.)  In other words, self-control is either absent or becomes subject to failure.  Furthermore, what sets us apart from other creatures of God’s creation is our consciousness.  Most often, we think in terms of an angel on one shoulder, and a demon on the other, so at least that’s the depiction of society.  This conscious behavior, thoughts, and actions precede a choice; a choice to choose what is right or wrong, a choice of yes or no, a choice that aligns with His or not.

For non-believers, this right/wrong dichotomy is parallel to their upbringing, societal norms, or even religion.  It’s in a sense their personal standard of living, able to clearly define what’s right or wrong, even with the Jesus Christ not in the picture.  As believers, our one and only way of living is through His Word, through living each day as Christ Jesus wants us to, not based upon society or other standards.  Innumerous studies have been done to investigate how and why people act the way they do, interestingly studying mentally unstable and felonious individuals.  Researchers Cima, Tonnaer, and Hauser (2010) examined how psychopaths process and control their decisions.  Specifically, they found that psychopaths and criminals alike have a “normal understanding of right and wrong, but an abnormal regulation of morally appropriate behavior.”  Even though the vast majority of us aren’t psychopaths or criminals, this study and many alike positively demonstrate we all have an innate moral compass.  So as criminals are beginning their sinful thoughts and actions, there’s always an escape route, there’s always an angel telling them they can be saved, there’s a definitive way out.  But all too often, the devil overcomes these Holy voices to say, “no one likes you, this will show them, it feels good, you’ll be happy, etc, etc, etc.”

Oh so often, after such sinful behavior, we’re fall back to square one, we come back to the dichotomized thoughts of regret and excuses “gosh, I shouldn’t have done that, it felt good, so it was ok, I’m in a tough situation right now, so give me some slack.”  It’s not until we’ve fully committed our lives to serving the Lord, praising His name, that all worldly things don’t mean anything, don’t have value to us, including sinful behavior; lust, selfishness, wicked hearts are lost at the waist side.

So you’re asking, how can I stay consistent with my faithful, devoted, loving lifestyle, being bigger and stronger than temptations?  Well, it may seem easy, but you must take up the Cross daily.  Whatever this may be, reading a daily devotional, studying/memorizing a few scriptures of the Bible, conversing with other Christians, or going to church, we must be involved one way or another with His Holiness.  Establishing these Holy habits is a must for change to occur.  If it’s reading your Bible before you head to work, do it every day, no matter the circumstance.  Once you do it for about two weeks (when the action begins to be neurologically imprinted), it’ll become commonplace in your life.

As you begin this process of seeking out new and healthy behaviors (e.g. by inserting God into your life), you can begin to see/recognize how your sinful thoughts were devastating to relationships, friendships, productivity, and true feelings of love and closeness.   Think about this; is it easier to give into temptation or fight it?  What does it say about your character and faith in God?  The more change that occurs in your life, the more you’ll realize that if He’s taken you to a tough situation, He will get you through it.  No sin, no mistake is bigger than Jesus Christ and His forgiveness.

So when you come to a crossroads of sinning or not sinning, recognize the underlying problem and purge it from your life.  Whether that means getting rid of a television, computer, iPhone application, friendship, or whatever is spawning sinful behavior, sever ties!  You cannot expect to grow in Christ if you’re not willing to let it go completely.  You cannot have one foot in and one foot out.  To have a complete transformation, you must let go of ALL things.  Because Matthew 6:33 says, “but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I challenge you today, destroy what destroys you!

Resources

Cima, M., Tonnaer, F., & Hauser, M. D. (2010). Psychopaths know right from wrong but don’t care. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 5(1), 59-67.

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Driving With Eggs in the Trunk

Yesterday, after grocery shopping, I was half way home when I realized my 18-flawless, all-natural eggs were accommodating my trunk space, intermingled amongst other seemingly impenetrable items of importance.  Quickly recognizing the apparent predicament, speed was decreased, turns were slow and meticulous, and gentle stops plagued my journey home.  As methodical as the trip became, the more cognizant I became of my surroundings, specifically other drivers.   Some may have been infuriated, some may have been annoyed, and some may haven’t even thought differently; or they may have been simply indifferent and unmoved.

Instantly, I realized it was no longer about the eggs; it was no longer about the principle to get the eggs home safely.  Instead, just as God continues to show perspective through a new lens each and every day; today, the catalyst was a measly package of eggs.

Now you have this elementary, yet necessary picture in your head; what’s the importance?  What’s the significance?

As mentioned above, I became conscious not only of the drivers around me being frustrated and confused by my highly conservative driving, but also recognized their unfamiliarity and distant perspective they had on my predicament.  They didn’t know me.  There’s no position to hold that would recognize something as little, yet profoundly important and fragile my baggage was.

These infirm, easily hurt, particular constituents were personal, they were unknown, they were in fact unique to my car and life only.  These eggs resemble our personal life.  We all travel through rough times.  We ALL experience hardships, whether that’s a loss of a friend, family, or relationship, we cannot go about the world, being disciples of the Lord to the rest of the world if we aren’t considerate and accommodating to others.  Some people may be going through the toughest season of their life and even though we aren’t aware of their eggs in the trunk, we can transform and alter their day by simply holding the door open, helping them with their groceries, or just saying ‘God Bless You.’

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’-Acts 20:35

Believers go through tough times too.  Even though we may be exhausted or unsettled, we still must serve others as the Lord designed us, with respect, love, kindness, and courtesy.  Just remember, we’re all imperfect.  We will mess up.  We will have those moments of inferior treatment towards others or regrets, but the next person God brings along, it’s your time to shine for them and most importantly, Jesus Christ.

We weren’t meant to let these eggs break, but instead, encourage, empower, support, and confirm their existence.  We ALWAYS want them to safely navigate their burdensome climate with their eggs unscathed and unbroken.  


Depression Test

It doesn’t matter who you are, we always have those days of depression.  Some things don’t go the way we planned.  Or it’s because we got into a fight with our loved ones or friends.  Either way, these days are inevitable.

As humans, we have the capacity for many, many  emotions and feelings, whether it’s happiness or sadness, depression is  inevitable.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be titled depression, but more so having a bad day, where you simply wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

People annoy you.  You’re having a bad hair day.  You’re not feeling good.  And so on.

Also, we can be depressed in different realms of our lives as well.  It doesn’t have to mean an overall depressed state, but maybe difficulties in your relationships or career.  Life tends to not go the way we plan right?  Always!

Typically, we’re dealt a miserable hand in most instances.  But, are we going to sulk and continue to be depressed or do something about it?  The one thing we can do is let go of our problems and negative outlook.

We must be willing to give ourselves to God.  He is our inspiration.  He gives us strength to overcome these random moments of mixed emotions.  If you find yourself feeling like this, don’t use shopping or your hobbies to fix the problem.  These moments of depressed hardships tend to influence us into not turning to Him and leaving Him behind.  We think, “oh I’m too tired or too exhausted” is a good enough excuse to shy away.

Just as in a previous post, it’s a slippery slope and this is why depressed states can be detrimental not only to your character, but also your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Instead, give yourself to God in these moments.  He’s in control.  It’s a test of your Faith, are you going to pass or fail?