But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13
As Sue (MYSAVIOR) stated in her Sunday Scripture post - Focus on Jesus, we need to focus on the Lord. When our focus is on our pain, sufferings, and hurt feelings we sink into a spiral of self pity, bitterness, blaming, fear and unforgiving hardened hearts. Then darkness seeps in, stealing the light and the big D (depression) hovers over us. Christ is our light.
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Mathew 4:16
If we focus on Him, the darkness is held at bay. Having said that I also realize depression can be a chemical imbalance in some people not unlike diabetes and that medicine is a necessity to their health (just like with diabetes). But what I am referring to is the spiral of selfishness. A person may look wonderfully generous on the outside but can still have a heart problem… an inner part of you not wanting to give up that defense mechanism of blaming or not forgiving or having an excuse of a miserable life to not move forward. There is some sort of misdirected security in holding on to it.
It is kind of like me and a budget. All my life I have hated the idea of a budget. I have fought it while avoiding even conversations about it at all costs. So much so my husband and I have separate checking accounts because I refused to even balance my check book to the penny. I have stubbornly held to paying the bills as I had them calculated in my head. I often suggested my sweet hubby take over but he could not wrap his practical mind around my free spirited methods.
Yes, I am more the free spirited one who prefers not to make plans ahead and would like to do things at the last minute (of course, it means I sometimes procrastinate too). But deep hidden inside me there is a little bit of a computer geek that with the onset of online banking and bill paying began to enjoy the process of handling the bills.
It is funny how God can use things in our lives when we are willing to be faithful…
Our church has been offering these Financial Peace classes that help you budget your funds in such a way that you should eventually be able to pay most everything that is not a regular monthly bill (such as utilities, mortgage, etc) in cash. We normally pay off our charges every month but for 3 months were having trouble getting one paid off. It was frustrating to both of us. God knows His plans for us. When the class was offered I hoped my hubby would not mention it to me because in my heart I knew we should go but I did not want to budget!
He did and now we have a budget… it is a thing of beauty! That inner-geek in me loves making spread sheets and I made an incredible spread sheet to track our budgeted funds and our actual expenditures. I love it (actually my whole class was so impressed I am sending them each a copy to work on). And I feel incredibly free of money stress (truly for the first time in years)! So does my husband. Today we sat in front of the computer together over an hour pleasantly discussing the budget and staring at my wonderful spread sheet!
The budget issue to me is not much different from someone who does not forgive, holds onto their anger, and lives a life of bitterness. Could I have been freed from the worry of money and free from the knots it caused in my stomach sooner….you bet I could have! I just chose to be stubborn. In a way I refused to give that part of my life totally over to God. I often thought I did by making sure I tithed well but truly I did not. I am not sure why but maybe I did not want to give up the right to selfishly spend money as I pleased... maybe I thought I knew better than God?
Do any of us really know why we hold on to things and not trust God to take control? Probably not, but I do know that if we would give up hoarding those feelings, trust God and give them to Him… how free we would feel!
Being a new creation in Christ happens when you accept Christ as your personal savior. But as Paul says in Hebrews we have a race to run and must always stay in training. Each day I am in training for the eternal race of my life, I must stay focused because it won’t end until my life does and I cross the finish line to join my God for eternity!The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” Psalm 25:14-15
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Below are some awesome CAST Team shops... please check them out and keep in mind Christmas is only a little over 2 months away!!
Ivory rose pendent by BlueSunEmporium
Bead pen by BlackBrookShop
Felted hat by MeadowLakeTreasures
Baby blanket by ELIsBlankies