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We’ve talked about what happens when you don’ stay grounded in Christ. When you don’t keep who you are in perspective of who Christ is. We covered Isolation already and we ’bout to get offended. When we don’t keep our identity in Him secure, we risk having a strong spirit of offense. We walk around READY to be offended because we aren’t secure in who we are without outside approval.
My son was diagnosed with Autism about 5 years ago. It was a really dark time in my life. I took everything personally- TV shows, fleeting ignorance, everyone’s opinions. I wanted to explain everything to every judgmental side-eye and every scoffing smirk. I felt like I needed to be justified in every action and decision, the reality is, I should have been satisfied with already having been justified by the only One who matters. My offended spirit started before anyone opened their mouth. It started in MY fear, MY brokenness, MY tore up heart, but mostly my shaky identity.
I was in a season where, by the worlds standards, I was wholly and completely a failure. My marriage was floundering, my job was terrible, we were hopping around from family members and basements with an autistic toddler, and I had no idea how to be a mom to him. My emotional darkness started long before my situation was dim though- it started when I was trying to be defined by what I could do (being a wife, my job, my parenting ability) and not WHOSE I was. In retrospect I’m so thankful I didn’t have success in that season,or I could see myself being defined by the stuff. I wanted so much to have SOMEONE say “I’m proud of you”, when someone already was. I’m HIS DAUGHTER. I’m HIS IMAGE. that’s all I need. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I had gotten that in my thick skull a little sooner.
It shouldn’t matter whether someone else understands or not, THE ONE who understands everything does.
When we get our roles mixed up with who we are, we feel rejection at every turn. This world is full of a million different opinions on EVERYTHING. Literally. Just google “parenting styles” and you will see an opinion from every possible corner. Just because someone has a differing opinion, doesnt mean its a personal attack or rejection.
Moms, here me on this especially, just because someone parents differently than you, doesn’t mean you should be automatically offended. Dont start off on that same road I was on- ready to be offended. Don’t put all your identity in your kids, or you WILL be consumed by a spirit of offense. Every side comment about your kids’ behavior or body or brain or spirit or whatever, will crush you or enrage you if you don’t know who you are and know what your kids are and aren’t. This body we are called to is beautifully diverse. We have different personalities and gifts, why would we think parenting would look the same on all of us? <Small caveat… There ARE biblical standards for parental training and we DO need to follow those. Keep in mind there is also a difference between butting heads and loving accountability- receive loving correction if its due!).
Personal annoyance rant- What’s up with the mom-wars guys? Really? Is everyone so desperate to pick a fight that we are going to divide the church because of baby-wearing, vaccines, breastfeeding or GMOs? Seriously? Why would we let the devil have that foothold!? (rant done)
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” Col. 4:6
The next time you’re offended, mad, or ready to type that comment online- think- is this as big as the Cross? All these hurts- are they as big as the Cross? Really, we know none of them are. But its a good reminder for me in it all. When my heart hurts from a smart remark- is it as big as the cross? No, its not. It’s really not. I’m not willing to let bitterness into my heart and rip me and what God has for me up and just so I can feel justified and stew in my anger. how DUMB!
“Don not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecc.7:21-22
I only try to give as much grace to other people as was given to me. I should clarify, I’ve been given a lot of grace (mostly because I have a mouth that moves faster than my brain). Be careful what you say and be careful not to hold onto one person’s fleeting fault and emotion become a root of bitterness in you. Its hard to take out once its planted.
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy” (Matt 5:7)
Sounds good to me. Put on your crown. Know who you are. It doesnt matter what other people say if you are confident in whose you are.
DID YOU FAIL YESTERDAY? HOW ABOUT THE DAY BEFORE? I have been trying to stay away from desserts and in the past two weeks I’ve had two slurpees, lemon meringue pie, and a slice of tuxedo cake. I’d say I’m a big, fat failure. BUT today is a BRAND NEW DAY! Just because I’ve failed a few times, doesn’t mean I have to go back. Is there something you are struggling with? Just because you’ve dipped your foot in the slop, doesn’t mean you have to go and roll in it. I know people like this; “well I already messed up,I might as well jump in.” NO! Get up! Shake the slop off and press on, its a NEW DAY. “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassionate fail not. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: great is thy faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23 Forget about yesterday, last week, or even last year. His mercy is for TODAY. Yesterday is gone. Forgive yourself. Draw strength from the Master and keep going. Don’t go back to that thing He is trying to deliver you from. It’s not for you, it’s bad for you. Just because you gave in a few times, does not mean you have to live in the slop! There is mercy and strength for today and you can overcome!
I HAVE BEEN SERVING GOD for 20+ years now. He found me and I completely surrendered at the cross. I have served Him with my whole heart and I have never departed or went back to my vomit. BUT, I have fallen A LOT. I have gone around that same stupid mountain more times than I can count. I have gotten it wrong many, many, many times. I have had to apologize and seek forgiveness for my actions and my words on way too many occasions. I start out walking on water, but end up drowning crying out for Him to save me. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCY! “O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for his mercy endures forever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endures forever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136 This repeated refrain teaches us that God’s mercy and love are the FOUNDATION of all His works on our behalf and the FOUNTAINHEAD of all our THANKSGIVING. God’s mercy, Hebrew “hesed”, is the everlasting love that keeps His covenants. His hesed is new every morning. GIVE PRAISE! He will DO WHAT HE SAID He will do! GIVE HIM PRAISE! Have you messed up? His mercy is new today. Do you feel far away? His mercy is new today. Are you drowning? His mercy is new today. Are you losing hope? His mercy is new today. HE IS A PROMISE KEEPER. His mercy is new today! Praise Him for the victory! His mercy endures FOREVER!