In Your Language

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My new argument for "pick your battles"...

I'm not saying that you should just "let go" of those unspoken arguments. Pick the battles that you are prepared and adequately skilled to see through on your own. For instance, if you have experience to glean from or a particular specialty in an area, then by all means proceed with the argument with gentleness. Although I can't speak for all of us, I can admit that I only have one or two realms of which I feel adequately prepared (to be able to move the other person based on my character and experience) to argue on my own.

A bunch of years back, I had a conflict that although I was clearly being wronged and clearly in the right, I knew I was not going to "win" this battle. So, for as much as I can remember, I kept my mouth shut and endured until the matter was brought to court. And, without throwing the person under the proverbial bus, I merely answered the judge's question honestly.

What ensued was the victory that anyone but that judge would not have been able to deliver for me. Although I was not particularly smart for that age, something in me said to keep quiet and wait. I learned that on my own, I would have blown my "argument", but when the right "judge" (which was literal for this real life example) came along- I was delivered relief and justice.

So ladies and gentlemen, don't just shut up about it-- stay in your clean character, continue to love and to bless; but DO pray and do have faith that if not now, then later is a better time. I can't tell you exactly when. If it truly is a small matter, and the better "stakes" don't come around- then ask God to break this angst from your body, spirit and mind.  It might even come to a point, if it is a large enough conflict, that you might have to break soul ties especially if that person is deceased. None but the power of God can break toxic soul ties.

The benefit to choosing your battles, is that with prayer you don't have to do it alone; you don't have to fight of your own power, energy and strength. You can invoke the wisdom, truth, and love of our Supreme God to fight on your behalf. Or at least call on God to purify your heart and spirit when you cannot come to a resolution with that person or issue. Ultimately, seek resolution in prayer or in gentle argument.

Funny enough, I am in a smaller scale situation as the first, and without argument- the person is making amends. And I didn't have to say a word... With God on our side, do we even need to speak? =)

Blessings to all of you...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

If I could openly say those four words...

Inspired by:


When I was twenty, I told my family that I wanted to switch my collegiate major to psychology. In comparison to the medical track they set for me, it paled in comparison. But the response went deeper than that- they trashed the idea saying that psychology is a bunch of rubbish and makes quacks out of people.

Either I'm stupid or hard headed (I am a Taurus by birth), but I refused to listen to that smearing of my dream that fit me. It felt as if they were trash talking me, and not "psychology" directly. They responded like it was an impetuous decision of a stupid young adult. But the truth was, I had thought about it a lot. The truth was, that desire found me.

It is said that God won't give you a desire that he's not prepared to assist you with (paraphrased from Pastor Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today Ministries). And if he gives you a desire, it's because it is part of his will and his unique gifting to you.  For me, I think about psychology all the time; as if God doesn't want me to veer off course for what he has in store for me. It is also complimentary to my faith in God. I visit a Christian counselor and feel confident that she will not guide me wrong. Some people do not know what this God given desire is in their life- yet. But I pray that they listen to it and pursue it.

Some people back down to fast. What if I had responded to my family's disappointment with "Oh okay, I guess you're right"? I would not be doing what God has inspired me to do. Which "parent" are we supposed to obey- our earthly ones or our Heavenly One? But what if it wasn't my family that tried to convince me not to pursue my God given desire? What if it was a friend, coworker or otherwise? Would I be as strong in my conviction? I hope so- since family is usually your strongest influence. Which influence would make you buckle in your convictions?

For me to say that I am pursuing psychology, it has a larger meaning in my obedience to God. For anything that is of God's will that we pursue, it also means that we are coming closer to Him. If God were of human form, how could he care for everyone at the same time? Doesn't it make sense that he is everywhere in a spirit form so he can watch over all of us equally? If I were able to see God, then I would also deprive other people of his love and relationship. That is why, at least to my small brain, it makes sense that he is everywhere and unseen. Many times we are next to people and they don't "see" us the way God "sees" us.

It is easier for me to say that I am pursuing a career and lifetime of psychology than to say that I am pursuing God for the rest of my life. If I could openly say "I believe in God", would I be able to defend my conviction to everyone, everywhere, every-time? (Search "Apologetics" if you want to learn how to defend your faith.)  I would try my hardest and I would get weary. I know that is what God is truly calling me to do. That right now- I'm just staying safe. There's no real "safe" way to follow God- as told in the Bible and the social climate of our modern times. In that way, I am letting God down. Because, if I were to speak about depression, as in the link that inspired this post, I'd lose face but I'd probably get a huge amount of support and empathy. But the biggest stigma with depression is the one we experience in ourselves- in the impression that we lose when people know about it.

For the people who get the kudspa to confess their faith in God, they are bound to get trivialized or receive negativity. It's hard for us to withstand the backlash except to know that God loves believers and unbelievers alike. I guess the idea is we're going to be marginalized, hated, criticized, persecuted for something; let us consider what we want that to be for- something big like being saved or something little like "I don't like Rock and Roll". I have this challenge for myself, and for you - if you're game-, to be more fearless in talking about what really matters. No matter the social consequences, I should openly say "I have decided to follow Jesus" as in the song by that title. Listen to it on YouTube here:

You have my invitation to comment on this post with what you have been building up the courage to say/confess. Practice speaking with conviction. You have my blessing. Hugs and Prayers to you all...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Underestimating and Overestimating

This concept is what comes to my mind when we think about ourselves versus other people, especially when we are in dire straights. Taken to the extreme, it can morph into idolizing other people. The mistake is that we forget God, our Higher Power, The Creator as being the ultimate player in our lives.

I think this phenomenon happens most with people who have been battered or victimized. My history as an orphan has warped my view of people and my relation to them. If I didn't have a healthy faith in God, my relationships would be either non-existent or sorely unfulfilled. In fact, until I "found" God, I relied too heavily on people; the logical fear response to being abandoned. God doesn't blame me for that period of my life, or yours.

The problem with overestimating (relying) on people is that it's quite a burden/load to bear. But God's word says:  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

So, it's not that we have to tow the load all by ourselves, but we need to be wise about how we manage it and who we have to help us. Many times we first lose hope in ourselves, and that's when we underestimate our strength. Not to say that we will be strong in all things. But God has gifted us unique talents and skills; and when we use those skills for his will, we will be boosted to heights unknown and unfathomable.

When we lose faith in ourselves, perhaps it is because we believe too much in ourselves and not enough in God. When we cannot rely on ourselves, naturally, we lose esteem in ourselves. But with God's love and strength, self esteem is of no consequence- faith is everything. When we take the burden off our friends, lovers and family and let God take his rightful place, those relationships have space to grow and be positive. And when we humble ourselves to the fact that we have little strength in comparison to God, we give ourselves the grace during our follies and mental space to try and try again WITH God's help.

When we assume that a spouse of an alcoholic should be able to handle all things since that person isn't debilitated by alcoholism, we are overestimating their strength. Sicknesses like alcoholism take huge tolls on the family members as well. That is why they created Al-Anon for the family members of alcoholics. That is why there is a relational dynamic called "co-dependency." That is usually the hell that people in those harrowing circumstances live without dependence on God for peace, hope, and strength.

Depending on the degree of closeness to a burden such as addiction or depression, the people closest to that sufferer also suffer. We must reach out to all who are impacted by those things. They affect how people take care of themselves, how they parent, how they live. The impact is much wider than we know.

So rather than under or over estimating people, let's do our part to pray for them (extend a helping hand) and hopefully lead them to God. And some people are beyond words or coercing. They're at the stonewalling stage. For those situations, consider this verse: "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives." 1 Peter 3:1 NIV Actually, anyone can be "won over without words." Part of that idea involves vigorous prayer and conversation with God, rather than that suffering person.

The Enemy will do his part to convince us that we don't need God and we can do things on our own. The Enemy will try to convince us that people CAN be relied on (or help) but they are just unwilling. The Enemy will do everything to sever our relationships to isolate us and take us for the spoils. But in those moments, cry out that you are not on the enemy's team. Send the enemy away with your prayers and words from the Bible.

But, always remember to thank God for his words (Bible), his love, his concern for you and everyone you love.  With God, we can only underestimate his power and willingness to be a positive part of our lives. Hallelujah!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why the virtue of submission wins in the end...

Submission is not our first inclination. We naturally think of ourselves first. We, as a species, have an appetite to rule and conquer. And for some, submission is harder than winning. And for most people, they would never choose such a path, but be forced into it.

Submission is a part of our social construct. If there isn't submission in a workplace the hierarchy would be a sham. If there isn't submission to the law, our world would be overtaken by crime. If there isn't submission to laws of nature or science, we will walk a sure path toward death. We even struggle to submit to our futures by living each day scrupulously and wisely.

Two people who are dominant always have struggle between them. And there can only be one winner in the ideology of "I must prevail." Compromises are a power struggle in themselves. Finding a win-win resolution should be their goal; but they see it as a tie.

When there is one dominant and one submissive, this is also a recipe for disaster. The dominant person will be stunted personally and will not enrich themselves because being dominant, according to them, has worked without a hitch. Win-win situations are not a concern in this mix. The goal for the submissive is to keep the peace.

Now- when we put together two powerful individuals who engage in a submissive relationship to each other- they have the most pleasant relational vibrations available to man. Each person serves the other in equal servitude and they see each other as equals. They often become more evolved as they bend in harmony with each other. Both needs are met without reservation and they feel secure that their needs will be met into the future.

But the most powerful social interaction is when someone who has a passionate investment chooses to die to themselves and opt to submit in order to serve the other in love (not romantic, but for the sake of love). When that one person gives that other person undeserved and unearned deference: that is a picture of God's will for our society. In this example, the weights are taken off the interpersonal scale. And even if that person who received the deference doesn't feel humbled by that experience, even if they inflate their egos; their style of dynamic imbalance will not serve them. Dominance repels and submission attracts. There's no point in being dominant if no one will socialize with you. In the end, dominance loses. The so called "underdog" is destined to win.

Using the power of character outshines and outlasts manipulative dominance. I believe that is why Jesus taught us so well. Though he was the greatest of us and any one of us should be honored to die for him, he died for us. He earned loyalty by leaving his crown in Heaven. He never forced anyone to be blessed by him and he never manipulated people into following him. He ruled without might; opting instead to attract and love with servitude.

On a personal note:
God blesses me to the extent that I submit to him. If I submit my finances to him, he gives me excess. If I submit my marriage to him, he gives me relational wisdom. If I submit my family to him, he does his best to knit us together. And if I live submitting each day to him, he has ample invitation to work in the areas of my life that need blessing and or pruning.  By taking myself off the hook and submitting to him faithfully, he will take over- and he never fails. Hallelujah!

Here I am Again

Mouse Clicks