No Holding Back

One of the hardest things to do is be completely and truly unconditional in action. More specifically, being able to give and do for a person without receiving any reciprocation. It’s not uncommon to see a man give and do for a woman he intends to be with, but in his mind he’s expecting something in return at some point. In fact, all of that is done in order to elicit a response from her; for her to feel that he is worth her time and emotional effort. It is most likely that he will not continue to do these things if she doesn’t give an indication that she plans to give anything in return, be it material or emotional. Many people will draw the conclusion that all of what he did is now a waste of time and money since he didn’t get out of it what he was expecting, but I believe I have an opposing argument. All of his efforts should not be considered useless just because he did not get out what he was expecting if his actions were connected to the true sentiment of his heart, which was a genuine interest in the woman. Many take an approach to love that says “My actions are contingent upon the reactions I receive” or “Whatever you do to me, I will do that or even less in return” because in our mind it has to be ‘even’. People don’t always verbalize this perspective but its exhibited in one way or another.

What’s wrong with giving more? What is it that makes us feel “cheated” for giving more to someone than they give us? Of course the answer has to do with our human nature and natural propensity to think of our own feelings as most important. I’ve heard it called self preservation. However, in my quest to understand God’s heart, I’ve been faced with the hard lesson of learning to love unconditionally. This is undoubtedly the most vulnerable place to be emotionally. The common misconception is that being unconditional has to do with accepting a person as who they are. While that is a part of the definition there is so much more. The aspect of unconditional that I’ve become acquainted with lately has been continuing to give 100% even without reciprocation and not regretting it. I never thought I would have to admit to myself that I love someone who I wasn’t sure felt the same way. But when it comes down to it, I can’t deny the truth just because I am unsure of the other party’s sentiments. The reality is that God loved and loves us before we did things that please Him. He loves us all before we confess that we love Him and He doesn’t withhold his confession or acts of love from us until we turn to Him. In fact He goes to great lengths to show us how much He loves us. The epitome of unconditional is when you don’t allow the conditions of the relationship to determine how you express your true feelings. What I have come to understand is that it is pointless to hold back. God has pushed me past the place of contingent love, which I’m sure will come in handy when I get married. Love can be sweet but it can also hurt. A time will come when it’s difficult to love your spouse but since you’ve made a vow before God you cannot choose when you will or will not exhibit your love for them.

Love with no regrets. 

This Love Is Beyond Me.

Love is such an abstract idea and is therefore expressed and felt differently. I won’t say that there’s a right or wrong way to love or that there are definite signs of whether or not it is “real” love, but I think I’ve recently experienced the true essence of love.
For a long time I would believe I was in love with someone based on how they made me feel. When they would give me the right amount of attention and do nice things for me, when I knew they were thinking about me and wanted to be with me all the time, those things made me love a person. Recently though, I have a new understanding of love. This love is selfless, my love is no longer based on the attention I receive, but it is now tied to the well being of the person I love. I never knew you could love someone who you don’t spend much time with, but here I am, loving someone from afar. They have not done anything for me, yet I love them. I am constantly concerned about how they are doing. In fact, there are times that I am unhappy knowing that they are discontent. In true love, you are affected by the condition of the person you love. Love hurts sometimes, and not only when someone breaks up with you. It is a risk to attach yourself to someone and allow yourself to love them because once you’re in, it’s hard to disconnect yourself. And since you can’t disconnect yourself what happens is you end up bearing the pains and sufferings of that person. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is patient and kind. The New King James version says that love suffers long. The situation may not always last for a long time, but when you love someone you should be willing to suffer as long as it takes for the situation to change. You can’t only love someone and be there for them when things are good, love is truly exhibited in those hard times. In fact, a person may claim that you don’t love them based on the fact that you weren’t there when they needed you the most. And if you aren’t willing to be there when they need you the most, it’s quite possible you may need to grow in the love department. The Bible says that love bears up under all things. This is why traditional wedding vows are so important. (One should probably read and meditate on the words of wedding vows, prior to the wedding, to get a real sense of what they are agreeing to.) When you say those vows, you are stating that no circumstance can or will change your commitment to that person. Love should be unwavering and unconditional.
In relationships I say that I don’t want to say ‘I love you’ to my significant other until I’ve had the opportunity not to love them, but I still chose to. In saying that I mean that I don’t want to get caught up and say I love you during the wonderful bliss of a new relationship when everything seems to be perfect and we enjoying being around each other, etc. Rather when the truth comes out and we start to see the ugly parts of one another, that’s when the decision is made to accept them completely for who they are and therefore commit to loving all of them.
Also at that moment, it is important to love them for who they are at that time. Many people fall in love with or stay with potential in hopes that the person will become who they want them to be. That is an unrealistic trap because if they never change, they aren’t to blame for your unhappiness with them because you formed unrealistic expectations in your head. What should happen is when you’ve observed them in many instances, you should evaluate them as a partner. If you feel the ugly parts of them are things you can’t see yourself overlooking for the rest of you all’s lives, nor does the person see it necessary or feasible to change those things, the next step is to evaluate whether it is worth making a fuss over and if you feel it is, you should consider ending the relationship. That seems very cut and dry, but the problem most people have is that they agree to something they know drives them crazy and then later they can’t figure out what the problem is. The problem is that they hoped they could force change on someone over time when that person never planned on changing and now they’re stuck with something they can’t stand.
All in all, love is more than just saying “I love you”, it’s not a feeling but rather an action. Love is best exemplified by our Heavenly Father who loved us enough to forgive us eternally for any sin we would commit, just so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. Love isn’t only good times, hugs and kisses it is also found in tears and truth. Allow yourself to love unconditionally as our savior loves us, suffer with those you love and rejoice with them as well. It’s all in love and it’s all worth it.

Before you walk down the aisle, What are you here for?

As stated before, when considering marriage or even relationships/dating one should know their purpose. Once you know your purpose you will be able to decline relationship offers from people who don’t fit your life path. Many people disagree with the idea of getting married young because their understanding is that once you get married you will have to forfeit your life dreams to do what your spouse wants, which usually is geared toward having children. Getting married should not hinder you from pursuing your dreams and life goals, especially if you feel that those things are what you were put on earth to do. Your mate should be a compliment to who you are and be of support to you in your endeavors no matter what moment in time of life you meet.
Another important thing to consider when discussing the future with a perspective spouse is that you should know and express an ideal timeline of events, such as how soon you would like to have kids or some goals you would like to have met before you are ready to have kids. It is vital to first know what you desire is in that aspect, then to make that clear to your significant other. Don’t be so focused on trying to make a relationship work that you let your own wishes go unheard because it will be a problem when your counterpart makes their requests known and they don’t coincide with what you desire to do. Both parties need to say their piece and the couple should be able to come to an agreement. If a definite agreement is not made, a person should be strong enough to walk away from something they aren’t totally comfortable doing in order to avoid manipulation.

It is important to know and be confident in who you are so that you don’t find yourself wrapped up in someone else’s life. If they are sure of what their future is but you aren’t, they will quickly give you a supporting role in their life and that will be all you know and do. That’s modern day bondage because the day they decide they don’t need you and you are no longer an asset to them, they will leave you and you will find yourself without purpose because you lived to be apart of their life.

Forward in Faith

Lately God has been dealing with me about fear. I’ve realized how fear has snuck into certain areas of my life where I know God has graced me. What I’m learning is that it is the attack of the enemy to stop you from accomplishing the will of God through your God given gifts. For instance, I’ve been singing since I was a little girl. As a matter of fact, I lead songs in the mass choir, full of adults, at my old church at the age of about 7. I continued to sing fearlessly growing up until I came to college and met a new group of singers. Suddenly I felt like the weakest link, they were more talented than me, so I decided to hang out in the background. Finally an opportunity came for me to sing a lead after years of just singing in the choir. After losing sleep and being anxious at the thought of that song, I realized wow, I let intimidation come in and it grew into fear.

It is so important to be able to discern these attacks and catch them before they take root and grow because  when it gets too far, it takes a lot of digging and healing to get them out.

So I sung the lead and that was it for a while. A year or two later I met another group of singers, who were even more talented and annointed. This time I decided I wasn’t even going to be in the choir, much less the praise team! How would I even compare, I thought. EVERYONE here can sing!

Although all these things may be true, it does not cancel out the fact that God has placed a gift inside you, 1 Corinthians 12:11 tells us that God does the distributing of gifts and He gives what He wants to who He wants. Our job is to be good stewards of that gift, not to compare it to the gifts of others.

Well once I realized I would not be fulfilled until I was operating in the gift God gave me, I started going to praise team rehearsals thinking I would go through this long training process, but I ended up singing right away!

You never know how capable you are until you do the thing. No matter how inadequate you may feel, if you worship God with all of you He will honor your efforts and be glorified in it. 

One of my favorite scriptures about fear is 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. I’ve always wondered why God chose those three things to counteract fear, so I did some research.

Power in greek is dunamis which means physical strength or ability. So the first reason not to fear is because God gives us the ability to do whatever it is we are afraid of doing. Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Love in greek translates to agape which means goodwill and esteem. 1 John 4:18  says that perfect love drives out fear. Since God is love and he has given us His love, we should not fear. In addition to that, in Jeremiah 29:11 God lets us know that the plans He has for us are to prosper us and not to harm us. So even when He leads us to situations and we get fearful (God doesn’t give us that fear), we have to trust in Him and remember that He is not trying to hurt us, He’s just trying to use us and sometimes there are some things He’s trying to work out in us. 

Finally a sound mind. Those words translate to sophronismos which means self-control, sobber-minded, temperate and prudent. There are numerous scriptures that tell us how to safeguard our minds. Romans 12:2 is the beginning and continuation of salvation, it says “And be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” If we follow the command to always have a renewed mindset we can be sure that our minds will be sound and free from fear. When we do not renew our minds with the words of God, we allow fear to creep in with the standards, stereotypes and ideas of this world, which many times do not coincide with the thoughts that God has toward us. 

Examine your life and find out where fear has stopped you and held you back from accomplishing the will of God for your life. Don’t even be afraid to face it, God also says in Romans 8:15 that the spirit we have received does not put us in the bondage of fear but we now have sonship with God and cry Abba, father. Don’t feel guilty for having held back because of fear. Just repent and ask God to renew your mind, strength and confidence. Now is the time to forgo fear and move forward in faith!

Birthday Testimony

So my birthday was March 10th and I have been meaning to post this blog since then, but this week has been pretty busy for various reasons. However, I knew it was necessary because of the reflecting that God had allowed me to do a couple days leading up to my birthday. Since I came to college, I haven’t really been able to do much for my birthday because either I didn’t have the money, or since during my first two years of college I was a student-athlete, I either had a tournament or practice. This year I was determined to do something big. I turned 21 last year and I spent the time with family. It was a nice time, but it’s not exactly what the average 21 year old does to celebrate that milestone. But this year, the closer it got to my birthday I realized, “Wow, not only do I not have any plans but I don’t even have money to do what I would really like to do”, which was go out of town and do some real shopping. So then I became “depressed” (just me being dramatic) and disappointed and decided well I’m not doing anything because I can’t do what I really want to do. So people were asking me if I was excited about my birthday coming up and I would bitterly answer “Not really, it’s just another day at this point, plus I have to go to work.” The struggle of growing up; when I was in college my birthday usually fell somewhere during spring break, so at least I wouldn’t have to go to class. But now that I’m a teacher, my spring break is the week after, which means most likely I’m going to have to work on my birthday for the duration of this particular occupation. So here I am upset, ungrateful and just plain unhappy until Sunday March 9th. It seems like no matter what, God can always pull me out one of my moments by going to church. At some point in service I had begun to think about my life and God began to remind me of different events in my life and I realized how His grace has kept me over these 22 years. Many people say they are just happy to see another year when their birthday comes around, and I’ll be honest and say that I never really thought about it that way. I don’t think it’s that I didn’t consider it a blessing or anything, but I never took inventory on my birthday to say “Hey, I’m glad I made it” or “God has kept me”. But this Sunday God really allowed me to think about some things.

The first thing He reminded me of was one night when my dad had come home after being gone for a couple days without notice. At this point he was on and off drugs and I’m sure that night he was under the influence. I was about thirteen at the time, sitting my room as I heard my parents talking, of course my mom was upset and giving him an ultimatum because she was tired of this, and I just wanted it all to be over. It was horrible because my dad and I were close, I hated to see him like that but I didn’t want him to leave. My mom came in my room sometime later and asked me how I was feeling, and I told her “I kind of want to die.” I remember those words and the picture I was doodling like it was yesterday. I know it broke her heart but she didn’t let me see her cry that time. But I just think about how if God had let me have my way that day, I would not have made it to twenty-two. But for some reason he’s kept me alive and I’m grateful.

The next thing I thought about was the story of my mom’s pregnancy. While she was pregnant she had a miscarriage, of course she was distraught because it had already taken so long for her to get pregnant and then to lose the baby was just too much. But when she went in to the doctor’s office and they did an ultrasound, they told her that there was another baby in there (me). So all along she was pregnant with twins and didn’t know it. In a sense, I was a miracle baby because she didn’t even know she had me until she lost my twin brother. And for whatever reason, God had her to carry me and give birth to me.

I came back up to recent events in my life as God has delivered me and protected me as I lived my life contrary to His ways. There were many instances where I could have contracted incurable diseases, gotten pregnant, and who knows what else just because of the places I went, alone, in the hours of the night. But God spared me! His grace is sufficient. And I am indeed grateful to be here at twenty-two, because at thirteen I didn’t plan on making it and at nineteen I wasn’t living in a way to say that it mattered, but God’s plan always prevails and I thank Him that I am apart of what He’s doing in this present time.

So I admonish you to be thankful, not only on your birthday but just spend time to truly count your blessings. Look beyond your current situation. Even if you don’t have the money to celebrate like you want to, thank God that you have another birthday to see and celebrate His goodness and mercy because it’s free and priceless!

Good success in 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and its not that I haven’t had anything to say but I must admit this first month of 2014 has had me on the move. I am excited about all this year has to offer and I plan on taking part of every bit of it. This post actually kind of relates to that last thing I said. What I meant by saying that ‘I plan on taking part in what this year has to offer’, was that there will be so many possibilities and opportunities because God has promised a great and prosperous year to those who keep Him first, (which is always what He expects). However, what you believe can happen will affect what actually does happen. The act of believing has a few steps or guidelines too: What to believe and how to actually believe. So let’s break it down.

What to believe

As believers in Christ our direction comes from the Word of God, A.K.A. the Bible. Although God was talking to specific people in some of the stories in the Bible, if you read it enough, you will begin to see that those people were much like we are today and that those words or dialogues are applicable to our lives. Jesus even told Satan that this is how we live our lives: 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

So first, whatever God says is what you should believe. And we know we can believe that because: 

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Number 23:19

In other words God means what he says and we can hold on to that better than anything else we hear or read.

I won’t say it’s impossible, but it is highly unlikely that you will be able to read and apply the entire Bible to your life in one year. However, I do encourage you to read and meditate on as much of it as you can, because everything God desires to do for you/ through you is addressed in the Bible. It may not say plainly that He will drop 6 figures into your bank account or see to it that you get a brand new Mercedes Benz but it does say this:

 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 28:2


Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it

Malachi 3:10


Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:38 

These verses have a few things in common: Heeding God’s words and the blessings that come with it.The second one speaks of the kinds of blessing God desires to give those who are obedient. He says there won’t be room enough to store it, He’s not just going to give you a cookie or a high five but He wants to do BIG things! 

So now that we’ve covered what we should believe let’s discover how the Word of God turns into what we believe.

You know, it wasn’t until recently that I had read Deuteronomy 28:2 for myself. I actually heard a couple people tell stories about random people who just gave them things that they had been needing or wanting. I would think to myself “Wow that’s cool and miraculous, but how do you become a recipient of such things.” Like what do I have to do for someone to just have to give me something of theirs without them even know me or knowing that I need what they have. Part of it probably has to do with the person who received those blessings, first knowing that God said these things would happen. They had to know God’s word and expect those kinds of things in faith knowing that God would hold up His end of the deal if we did the same. So I would gather that the key to receiving, is knowing that God said it and believing it for yourself. And this is how you believe:

 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

 Once again, God gives a mandate to know His word, but he also says to meditate on it. So that goes even further to say, that you need to spend time thinking about it and letting it sink in. You have to understand what it means, understand what it means for your life and how it will impact your life. He also sneaks in some responsibility because when YOU observe all that is written it says that YOU will make your way prosperous. In other words, He has given us the resources to live right and if you do live right you can ensure prosperity. This scripture is as plain as it can get about what God will allow to take place in your life: If you know His word, you’ll be inclined to obey Him and as a result you will have good success. And God’s idea of success is way better than what we can imagine. 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20

In conclusion, as believers we have to know what we believe and expect it to manifest in our lives. If that takes reading the same scripture every day or multiple times a day, so be it, but don’t sell yourself short when you serve and believe in God, who desires to give you the world. (And He’s the one to do it because its His, not your boyfriend’s [And if you’re the boyfriend then um… leave that to God.]) He says that he will not withhold ANY good things from those who walk upright. Psalm 84:11 So if you know you are striving to live a life pleasing to the Lord, expect Him to do amazing things in your life, it’s what He promises and He doesn’t change His mind.



Why are you ashamed?

Throughout life I’m sure everyone has a thing or a person they become ashamed of at some point. For instance, in middle school a boy might be ashamed because he likes the girl that all his friends call ugly. Or both genders at some point are ashamed of the effect puberty is having on them. What ever the case is, we’ve all had a moment of shame. In Christianity we see it all the time, where we are ashamed to let the world know that we are believers. Some might say “because, people get offended if they don’t believe” or “I don’t want to force my religion on them” or they might just feel like its not cool among the people they hang out with, so they hide it around those people. The issue with that is, the Bible clearly states a few things about being ashamed of Christ.

1. A reason not to be ashamed. Joel 2:26-27

You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

Here’s the interesting thing about Christians. When it comes to receiving and claiming things from God we are all for it and will do what ever it takes to “get our blessing.” But as soon as He wants something from us, we act like we didn’t hear that from Him. The basic stuff is already in the Bible, like the Great Commission. God does not have to call you to be a witness for Him or to pray for someone you KNOW is hurting and doesn’t know God for themselves. This scripture is talking about blessings God is giving to his people, but yet he still has to say TWICE that his people will not be ashamed of him. You mean to tell me that even after the blessing that clearly came from the Lord, you still don’t bear His name on a daily basis? Sometimes we do God so wrong. When you get something from the Lord everyone will know its something special, so when they ask you about it, a way to bear His name would be to say “God did that.” You have to recognize His power in your life. The glory is not for you it’s for Him, ALWAYS. In that scripture it tells you what is going to happen (the people will have plenty to eat) then it says THEN you will KNOW I am your God, which means the reason He’s doing it is to show himself and for Him to get the glory. He cares about you so you got something in the process but His point was to make Himself known. Don’t steal or hide His shine.

2. Persecution is coming, REGARDLESS

Luke 21:17-19

Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

The scripture is plain here. EVERYONE will hate you because you believe in Christ. That may be exaggerated a bit but the truth is a lot of people will be mad when you mention Him. Some people have not come to believe in the God and Jesus we’ve never seen and the holy spirit they’ve never felt. God knows its hard for us to wrap our human brains around him but that’s why this is a faith based religion. The only way you can believe in it is by believing in Him and his son. So if you know you’ve experienced God in your life and you have salvation through his son, its time to be open about it. America loves for you to be open about everything else but as Christians we have to include this and make it the number 1 choice at that. The promise that comes with being bold about Jesus is that you will not perish. He’s going to make sure you get to heaven just for making his name great in the earth. We just have to come to terms with the fact that our life may not be cool or accepted by everybody, but for a God that continues to bless us and open doors for us, it should definitely be worth it.

3.  The consequences of being ashamed. Matthew 10:32-33

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Finally, here’s the worse consequence of being ashamed. This may seem a bit blunt, but its the word of God. Jesus will deny you in front of God on judgement day if you’ve been living your life as if He hasn’t been in it. Now think about it, you’ve believed in God ALL your life, you got saved at the age of 15 and you never miss a Sunday, you do outreach with the church you’re in 5 different ministries, but outside of that your friends don’t know a thing about your Christian life. Let’s stop there, because there shouldn’t be a difference between your daily life and your Christian life. Once you give your life to Christ, it (your life) becomes completely Christian. Yes you’re going to mess up and your ways may not change right away, but there should be enough evidence for people to know you are not the same person you used to be. Stop hiding Jesus. He’s the light of the world, his purpose is to shine. That’s like trying to block the sun. Its too hard! Because it’s supposed to be there, just like Jesus! You don’t want to live this life just going to church but not letting your light shine the rest of the time if its going to mean you’ll miss heaven. That would be the absolute worse. Don’t be ashamed, God is everything and if you know that for yourself, you should share it with someone who hasn’t experienced it yet.

Don’t Be Generic

When you go to the grocery story, how often do you pick up the box of great value or member’s mark of cereal, juice or cookies? Most often the generic brand is cheaper but is it usually better than the name brand grocery item? (My vote is no.) Sometimes without us recognizing, we say generic prayers and give generic praise to God. Generic by definition means general. To have a general relationship with God is to almost have nothing because He cares about you so much so that He sent Jesus to die for your sins, which was personal, because that was His only son. For Him to do something so significant and personal for you and I, we owe it to Him to have a personal relationship. When I think of what God has done for me, He didn’t generally deliver me, as if he only has one way of fixing everyone. When God delivered me it was specific to my struggles and needs (see Just Can’t tell it All). God doesn’t work like Chemotherapy where it just goes and kill cells because they don’t know which ones are good or bad, He gets rid of precisely what you don’t need at that moment and replaces it with good. So then in our thanksgiving to God, we have to recognize that specific work He did and give Him a praise worthy of His work.

If you think about a human friendship, maybe a best friend, your favorite cousin or your mate, what is it based on? How do you know that what you all have is different compared to other relationships? I use that as an example to say that there should be something about your relationship with God that reminds you why He plays such a major role in your life. We sing songs in church all the time like “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. Those are lyrics from someone that looked over their life and realized how God has impacted their life. It was probably their personal testimony and they shared it, which we as fellow believers are able to relate to.

God can be anything you need if you believe that He is. Never underestimate the power God has. Matthew 19:26 say “Jesus looked at them and said “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.” So when you see God’s power working in your life, you should share it and make sure its a personal story. God works in so many different ways and His works are too diverse for us all to tell the same story. “He’s been good.” “He made a way out of no way”. There is nothing wrong with those statements at all however, those are very general statements. When you go to say that, tap into that relationship you have with God and tell that person HOW He made a way and HOW He’s been good to you. Your testimony is powerful and you never know who needs to hear it (or read it). : )

Watch Your Mouth

James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to pass judgement but rather to help. We all have our downfalls and although this may not be mine, I would like to help someone understand their wrong and help them make it right.

Growing up I’m sure some elder of yours at some point has said “Watch your mouth”, “Don’t say that again”. In our younger years bad words were ‘shut up’ ‘stupid’ and ‘liar’ (at least for me) but as we grew up, the adults became a bit more lenient and words we couldn’t say (around them) became curse words: The words that were bleeped out on television and USED to be edited out of music on the radio. This day and age not only have parents become lenient but so have the media regulations and bad words are more likely to be heard with out a problem. As Christians though, we find in the Bible that although everyone else may be saying these words, it is unfitting for us to follow suit. As I said earlier, I know many people struggle with this for many years and there are several reasons for that. Cursing is a bad habit and is super hard to defeat (kind of like my bad habit of biting my nails). Some people curse because they grew up around adults that cursed around them or even when speaking to them. To tell the truth, it’s almost impossible to expect a child not to curse when you curse at them regularly while communicating with them and it is unfair to expect anything different. On the other hand some of us curse because of  what we listen to. Believe it or not, the music that we listen to has a big effect on what we say and think. You may think that Waka Flocka’s lyrics don’t affect your thoughts but they do. Although you may not carry out the action that crosses your mind, it isn’t a good thing for that thought to cross your mind.

Quick Story: I used to be a huge fan of Lil Wayne and knew (and still do know) lyrics to many of his songs. But when I realized how easily it was for me to slip and say a curse word in casual conversation I made a decision not to listen to his music as much. It isn’t easy to just stop listening to your favorite artist cold turkey but when you have a bigger goal in mind such as wanting to please God more, things like this will become a priority and help you to accomplish both goals.

The scripture above makes it clearer than clear. It is not favorable for us to praise God and a few minutes, hours or days later curse like it’s nobody’s business. Many of our flaws are hard to change but the reality is we have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and begin to be proactive in changing our ways if we really want God to be pleased with our lives. Matthew 12:36-37 say “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” If we want to make in into heaven, we have got to control our mouths. It’s hard, but remember one of our favorite verses “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” He will give you power over your tongue and guide your thoughts. All you have to do is ask Him.

I encourage you in your spare time to read James 3 (Its really short ; ) ) But it will definitely put this into perspective for you and I pray that you are able to see the importance and that your words will be positive from that point forward.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things” Philippians 4:4

Your words are largely what you think. Positive thoughts will birth positive speech.

What’s Your Point?

“Whats your point?”

This is something I am going to attempt to ask myself before I do or say something. Many times, people do and say things either with bad intent or no justifiable intent at all. A lot of times we do stuff in order to “get someone back”. But In this world, it is not our job to seek revenge. I will agree that it is so easy to react based on emotion. Many times we say things out of anger wanting that other person to feel as bad as we do for what they have done to us. Romans 12:17-19 clearly tells us that God will handle wrong that has been done to us. Verse 19 reads “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” says the Lord.” (NIV) So next time someone upsets or hurts your feelings, don’t respond out of anger. Ephesians 4:26 also reminds us that in our anger we should not sin. Sinning is anything opposite of showing love toward our neighbor.

What I have learned is that the revenge that we try to get most often makes things worse and even leaves us with the same hurt feelings or rage we had before. For instance, in the song “Bust your Windows” by Jasmine Sullivan, at the end of the song she says “Why can’t I stop crying, why am I the one who’s still crying?”. So after all that window busting trying to make her ex feel like he made her feel, in the end she remains heart broken.

So when you say you’re going to “tell somebody about themselves” or do something to get back at them. Your mission should be to let them know how they hurt you so that they won’t do it again. Not so that you can have the satisfaction of hurting their feelings as well, because that then puts you in the wrong and it becomes a game of “tit for tat”.
Matthew 18:15 summarized basically says to talk to the person that has wronged you, one on one and if they hear you then you have restored the relationship. Of course every situation will not go that smooth and everyone is not that understanding. Verses 16-20 tell you the other steps to resolving the issue if that is the case. Whatever you do though, make sure you don’t do it out of anger. Seek God to fix your disposition first before you go to someone else and tell them to fix theirs. Never forget to consult God’s word FIRST and not just the word of your friends. Its all in the good book!

Love God, Love people