live simple. love simple. be simple.

my life with a Christian perspective

Tag: relationships

actions not words

this was inspired a few moments ago while sitting in the shower apologizing to God.

i do that quite often.  i like to talk to God while im in the shower.  i have no distractions.  no one to bother me.  im at my most vulnerable.  its kind of my quite/alone time if you will.

what i am going to write about is the expectations i have of a friend and the expectations God has of me, and how they are parallel each other.  so here it goes.

every time i find myself apologizing to God and telling Him that im sorry for sinning, two things happen: 1. i get a huge blanket of guilt that covers me because i know im going to commit the same sins im apologizing for again. and 2. God always reminds me of my relationship i have with a friend of mine.  so with that being said, let me go into detail about my friendship.

i have this friend that i’ve known for about 5 years.  it hasn’t been the easiest friendship to say the least, but its been good.  we don’t talk much anymore and thats mostly my fault.  this person over the years has put me through the ringer.  they have let me down numerous times.  hurt my feelings.  said some mean words.  and yet i kept giving them a second chance.  i keep giving them another chance because they always apologized.  so i let them come back, in hopes that they would eventually show me through actions, not words, that they were actually sorry, but they never did.  so now we don’t talk anymore.

the problem with this situation is that i was tired of hearing the apology.  i wanted to see it.  i wanted to feel it.  eventually their words lost meaning and i didn’t believe them anymore. and through this experience i’ve learned the importance of showing action behind your words.  if you say you love someone, show it.  if you are sorry for something you’ve done to someone, show it.  if you make plans, stick to them.

here is where i am going with this.  while im in the shower apologizing to God for a sin i’ve committed a thousand plus times, He stopped me mid sentience and said “hey, remember that friend you always get mad at for not showing you that they are sorry?  well you’re being that kind of friend to Me.”  and thats where part of the guilt blanket comes in.  He’s right.  im treating God the exact same way my friend treated me.  and yes, He does have the same expectations that i had of my friend.  He wants me to show Him that i am sorry, and to not just say it over and over like some broken record.  and to be honest, as im apologizing to Him, i feel no meaning behind my words.  they just roll off my tongue like a well rehearsed script.

now aside from what i just mentioned, there is a second part to this friendship: i should have portrayed God better than i did.  see God truly forgives me when i apologize and ask for forgiveness.  He knows im going to screw up again, but He takes me back regardless.  no questions asked.  i kept taking my friend back in hopes they would change.  if i would have been certain they would have kept on like they did, i wouldn’t have given them as many chances.  but thats not how God operates.  even though my words may have lost their meaning, He knows my heart.  He knows im just human and that im not perfect.  and that is how my friend is.  they are just human.  yes it would have been nice to see action behind their words, but thats the only thing i wanted to see.  the selfishness that is stored inside me refused to see my friends heart, but instead wanted to see only action.

so i guess what i am trying to say here is that when you come to God and say you’re sorry for something, do your best to show Him you’re sorry.  put forth the best possible effort you can in showing God that you’re sorry and i strongly believe if you do that with a pure heart, you will soon find yourself distanced from whatever it was you originally apologized for.  also, ask God for the ability to portray the kind of grace He gives you, to others. we are all selfish and have selfish ways.  people will disappoint us.  people will let us down.  if they’re a true friend, they mean well.  look into their heart and cover them with grace.

goodnight world.  love you.

 

learn from the past

i’ll start off by saying its been awhile since i’ve written.  thats for a few reasons, actually.  one, i’ve been busy with school and work.  both consume about 12 to 13 hours of my day 5 days a week, so by the time i get home, i’m tired.  second, i haven’t really felt inspired by anything lately.  and if i write something that mentions God or Jesus or something that is faith based, i try to take it as seriously as possible.  i won’t just come here to write something that has no heart or thought behind it just to crank out another blog.  i prefer my blog to have some form of meaning and thought.  with that being said, let me begin.

i know you’ve heard people say “hey, don’t live in the past” or “don’t look back, it does no good.  look toward the future!”.  i’ve definitely heard people say this to others and to me as well.  and i agree with it, but to a certain extent.

here is why i agree with it.  i agree that one should not live in the past constantly.  its poisonous to the body.  living in the past will prevent you from growing.  it will prevent you from realizing what you have right in front of you.  lets say you had a really great relationship with some guy or girl a few years back, but they broke it off.  now you’re stuck comparing every guy/girl you’re with to the person that left you years ago.  all because you keep yourself in the “good times”.  another example is if you went through a traumatic experience at some point in your life.  now you use that experience as an excuse for why “life isn’t good” right now.  you tell yourself that “well so-and-so really hurt me, and i don’t know if i can learn to trust anyone else.” there are a ton of examples, but this isn’t my main focus.

so basically, living in the past and coming up with excuses only holds you back and prevents you from maturing, growing and experiencing life and everything it has to offer.  that is why i agree with the aforementioned quotes.

now here is why i don’t agree with it, and the purpose of this writing.  there is a difference in looking in the past and living in the past.  if you look in the past too often, you start to live in it.  now if you look in the past every once in awhile, its ok, but only if its for good reasons and not for ill purposes like feeling sorry for yourself or remembering someone who has long moved on.

looking back on your past is good, and can be good for you.  yesterday i was at work and doing a lot of thinking (which i do a lot there) and started to realized where i’ve come from and where i am now.  it was a pretty humbling experience.  i stood there just thinking of some of the stuff i’ve been through and was kind of amazed at how i’ve made it through.  i also thought that i didn’t make it through on my own and definitely not on my own strength, and  the only reason i’ve made it through anything in my life is strictly because of God and His grace.  and that is why i am writing this.  if you look back on your past and see all the stuff you went through and how you made it out alive, you start to realize just how much God has been working in your life.

coming from personal experience, when i’ve been through really crappy situations, i find it extremely hard to see God at work.  its as if He suddenly becomes silent when you cry out.  you feel abandoned, unwanted.  you start feeling sorry for yourself.  and since you’re human, you’ve been through this. but even though it sucks at that moment, its a glorious life experience that you cannot get anywhere else.

i’m 27 years old.  i’ve been through some pretty lame stuff in my time here on earth.  and to be cliché for a minute, i wouldn’t trade it for anything.  and the reason is because of being able to look back at my life and see God at work during those times.  and yes, there are some things i’ve been through that God hasn’t revealed to me just yet as to why i was put through those seasons of life.  and He may never reveal the reason for those seasons of life.  and i’m ok with that.  looking back and being able to see God in those rough patches puts a smile on my face and makes it all worth it.

this may sound kind of crazy, and it should because it sounds crazy to me, but i look forward to the bad seasons of life.  i don’t look forward to them because i enjoy it, but instead because i know God is bringing me through this with good intentions in His eyes.  if you look at bad circumstances with the mentality that God only does things on your behalf to build you up and mature you, and not to harm you, then you realize just how great the bad can be.  fitness legend jack lalanne said this: “I work out for two hours every morning, seven days a week — even when I’m traveling. I hate it. But I love the result! That’s the key, baby!”  i believe that exemplifies just what i mentioned.  it sucks to go through it, but the outcome is glorious!

i hope this made some sense.  its a bit lengthy and scattered so if you made it this far, congratulations and thank you.  so i’ll close with this: look back on your past to learn from it, see where God has brought you from, and to better yourself.  if you learn to appreciate the tough times and know they only build you up and make you stronger, you’ll realize just how good God is to you and it will fill your heart with joy!

good night and i love you.

Crazy Love – Chapter 3

Before I begin, let me apologize for missing yesterday.  I ended up getting preoccupied with things and unfortunately, this took a back seat.

The title of this chapter is Crazy Love.  Chan talks about two things: God’s love for us and our love for God.  The one I have the most trouble with is our love for God, or should I say, my love for God.

One thing I have recently learned about myself is the fact that I have a hard time with hearing someone say I love you and with me saying I love you.  Unfortunately, those three words get thrown around way too much in this day and age.  I take them as seriously as I can.  To me, you can’t just say I love you and hope that the recipient of those words believes it.  Action behind those words is mandatory.  I once heard that Love isn’t a noun, its a verb.  Obviously if you ask Webster, he’s going to tell you that it can be both, and trust me, I understand that.  But Love doesn’t stop at the lips. It continues with your heart, your body, your mind and every fiber of your being.  That is why Jesus said to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  You can’t just tell God you love Him, you have to show it in every way possible.

I’m going to get a little personal here, but its the reason why I feel I have a hard time loving God.  My mom is a drug addict.  Plain and simple, she is a very sick woman.  Not sick in the head, but sick in the sense that for 2/3 of her life, she has been deeply addicted to prescription pain killers.  This addiction has not only left her in jail multiple times, but it has forced her to miss out on the beauty of life.  When she wasn’t in jail, I lived with her up in north Louisiana.  When she was in jail, I lived with my aunt and uncle here in south Louisiana.  So for the first 13 years of my life, before my aunt and uncle took me in for good, I was in what felt like a constant tug of war between two different lives.  My mom would tell me she loved me all the time and I believed it.  My aunt and uncle would also say the same thing.  But as a child, it didn’t make sense to me.  I was told the same thing from different people, from 2 different families, yet the actions from both weren’t the same.

Living with my mom wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but it did have its challenges.  I remember when we lived in north Louisiana when I was around 7 or 8, she fixed supper, sat down to watch tv and passed out with her face in her plate.  It was just her and me in the house.  I tried waking her up by screaming and shaking her as hard as I could, but I never got a response.  So I ran to my suit case that I used to travel to live with my aunt and uncle and dialed their number they had written on there for instances such as this.  Another instance that sticks out is when my mom and I lived together here in south Louisiana.  My mom is a cat woman.  She’s obsessed with them.  While I was living with her at this time, I was in high school.  Also, I didn’t just live with her, but i lived with about 15 – 20 cats in the house.  Not outside, but inside.  I joke now and say that it was as if I lived in a litter box.  The house was filthy to say the least, my clothes wreaked of cats despite washing them, so every morning before school, I would spray my uniform down with febreeze hoping I could mask the smell.  One day I had enough and I gave her an ultimatum; It’s either me or the cats.  She chose the cats.  And that was the first time that I can remember not having any feeling of love or affection.

I tell you this not because I want to bash my mom, receive pity from anyone or anything negative of that sort.  I’m using this as an illustration between saying you love someone and actually showing them you love them.  I know my mom loves me with everything she has, she just didn’t show it well.  My aunt and uncle showed me love by taking me in, completely transforming me into the person I have become today and they did all this without saying a word.  They never expected anything in return.  They not only told me they loved me, but they showed it, unconditionally.

I have no doubt that God, my Father, loves me more than my tiny brain can comprehend, but I have a problem with giving and showing Him the love He deserves.  I have trouble giving and loving Him with everything I have.  I’m not sure why exactly that is, but I have a feeling that its something I have within me that is unresolved from my relationship with my mom.  I desperately want to get to the point to where I can approach God with everything I have, no conditions, and be able to truly fall deeply and madly in love with the One who knew me before I was born, has a plan for me, and who has always been deeply and madly in love with me.  I also believe that before I can really love someone else, I have to love God 100%, and not just on Sunday mornings or when I feel sad.

My mom still struggles with her sickness but we have a great relationship now, and I hope it continues to grow.

 

live simple. love simple. be simple.

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