No Comparison!

No Comparison!

If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6:3-5 NIV

It’s one thing for us to think positively about who we are–without the influence of others shaping or influencing us–and quite another for us to think more of ourselves than what we are.

We teach girls–especially–to think of themselves as beautiful and for some they are and for others–what others have said has gone to their heads and their attitudes can be quite ugly.

We teach boys that they’re strong and can accomplish anything (girls are included in this now) and when they exhibit tendencies that are not connected with “being strong” they get maligned, teased, and bullied.

Each one of us–should take note of who we are–learn to love us and not be concerned with other people. When we attempt to compare ourselves with others–we nullify what God has done in creating us to be unique within our own rights. God knows best! We have not need to compare ourselves to others. We are responsible for being the best we can be with what we’ve been given–our talents, our compassion, and our love for others.

If God had wanted clones–He could have created them, but He didn’t–He created me, and you, to be uniquely and wonderfully creative–not trying to please anyone, but Him.

So, I’ll never be a model or a great singer, but the models and the great singers will never be me! Oh what a relief that is! There is only one me and only one you! Embrace it and love it–not caring what others may think–but knowing God knows who He created us to be! There is no comparison where God is concerned!

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and though there may be others out there who tend to look a little like me, there is only one me–a little off-center from the rest of the world, creative, and loving–and I will live my life as God intended me to live it–praising Him all the day long.

Why Doing Good Is Better!

LORD, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. Psalm 125:4 NIV

Who is evil and who is good?

Do all people act as they should?

Is it right or is it wrong,

To follow good or evil throngs?

In this simple communication with God, asking Him to do good to those who are good, those whose hearts are right, we see there are more benefits for being good than being evil, although it appears that evil abounds.

No matter how many people do wrong, it will never be right or good in God’s sight. So, simply following the crowd in doing evil is not going to accomplish much, other than reaping the consequences of following the crowd.

Have you noticed that the people who do good–just do good–whether there is a crowd to follow them or them going it alone? Good people–those whose hearts are right with God and they only seek to do what is right, don’t need to be crowd-pleasers or crowd followers. They do good because doing good is what’s right. And they do what is right because their goal is to please The Lord, not people.

When our ways please The Lord, He makes even our enemy our footstool. Are we concerned if our ways please God or not? If we’re not concerned about pleasing God, then we must be more concerned about appeasing the enemy and his plots. There is a reward and many benefits from pleasing God. If we delight ourselves in pleasing Him, He says, He will give us the desires of our hearts. If our hearts desire to do evil, then we are wasting our time, but for all the good we can do, we should do–as unto The Lord–and not unto men.

How do we know when we’re doing the right and good thing? When we know The Word and we live our lives aligned with The Word, we have no fear of doing what is wrong. Instead of seeking counsel from others, we seek God’s counsel and His wisdom and knowledge and know without a doubt we cannot go wrong. 

And if we don’t know The Word, then our hearts should be as a child’s–who only wants to please his/her parents. Children will inherently do good unless they have been taught to do evil. Therefore, if we never teach anyone to do evil, they won’t. If we teach them to do good, they will. If we remember that all behavior is learned–and not attributable to osmosis, we would be more careful about what we do in front of our children and others.

Let’s determine in our hearts that we will only do what is good–seeking to please God rather than man and know we’ll receive the rewards of being good rather than the consequences for being evil.

Demonstrated Love!

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans5:6-8 NIV

That’s how God demonstrates His love for us, but how do we demonstrate our love for others? Are we to die for them–in an attempt to make ourselves seemingly more spiritual? No, there is no further need for a sacrifice by the death of anyone to demonstrate love to anyone.

We demonstrate our love for God, by living a life that is pleasing to Him.  We know how He wants us to live by reading His Word and when know we have pleased Him because of our relationship with Him.

We demonstrate our love for our children by always providing them with wise instruction, correcting and disciplining them along the way. We make sure that all their physical needs are met–appropriate housing, food and clothing. Buying them whatever they want, whenever they want it, is not a demonstration of love, but a demonstration of not knowing how to love since real love–cannot be purchased.

We demonstrate our love for others in how we treat them–considerate at all times, helpful when needed and living a life before them that demonstrates God’s love for us. When we love others, we know we must warn and admonish them when their actions are unseemly–or ungodly. We don’t allow those we say we love to continue on a dangerous path and say nothing. If we warn them and they ignore us–we have served our purpose, but if they heed the warning, they are saved from tragedy and God is pleased.

We demonstrate our love our spouses, by what we do for them, not just in saying words. Words are good–everyone likes to hear, “I love you,” but words without action fail to adequately represent what love is. I’d rather see love in action than hear words–with nothing behind them. The reality of love between spouses is not a feeling, but a commitment–to stay the course–no matter what. Our feelings are too fickle to rely on since one minute–we’re elated and the next–we’re depressed, oppressed, angry, and all out of shape. Emotional reactions seldom cement relationships of any type and in a marriage–they are prone to ignite other issues–that would not exist, when love is demonstrated because then, we know how to step back from a situation and think before we act.

As long as human beings are capable of emotions that run rampant, we’ll have songs of love and songs of hurt and betrayal, but the most important thing any of us can do is to see the love God has for us, and do as He does.When we love as He does, we’re quick to forgive and keep going, as we are guided by Him.

Hostile Roots!

“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7,8 NIV)

We are three part beings–mind, body, spirit. Our spirits live in our natural bodies and our minds (our soulish realm) is either going to be controlled by our spirits or our flesh (carnal realm). There is a war between our spirits–given by God–and our flesh–flesh wants what it wants and our spirits want what God wants.

We eat when we are hungry because our flesh dictates that need and all other fleshly desires–thirst, emotions, behavior. Our spirits line up with The Word and we are able to hear God when He speaks–allowing Him to determine how we respond to situations–sometimes. At other times, we allow the enemy’s spirit to influence what we do and say, which ignites fleshly reactions.

Notice what Paul says, the mind governed (ruled) by the flesh is hostile to God and when we allow our flesh to govern us, we cannot please God.

Now, I realize not everyone is concerned about pleasing God, but rather they are more concerned with pleasing the dictates of their flesh. God is not pleased, but they are and their pleasure is temporary at best.

For those who desire to please God, we must not allow flesh (that carnal nature) to govern us, but rather we allow our spirits, led by Holy Spirit to direct us in all we say and do. When we allow Holy Spirit to lead us, we cannot do what is wrong or hostile to God and therefore, we please Him.  

When we are hostile to people (and to God), it is because we have allowed our flesh to reign and flesh desires to do what flesh desires. If we get angry, we want revenge. If we are fearful, we want others to be afraid. If we are jealous, we want others to hurt. If we are insecure, we want to blame others for every downfall in our lives. If we have low self-esteem, we misinterpret everything someone else says or does. This is how we react to situations when we allow our flesh to reign and whenever flesh reigns, we end up with regrets. 

We choose (God always gives us choice) what happens to us on a daily basis and it is all determined by whether we want to please God or flesh. Are you trying to please God or flesh today?