Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Learn To Love Your Enemies

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Image result for learn to love your enemiesLoving your enemies, this sounds like an oxymoron.  Why would you want to love someone that has hated you , persecuted you, done you wrong?  It just does not make sense and it goes against our natural human instinct.  It is easier to hate those who hate you and dish out the same disrespect that they did to you.  But as Christians we are called to do something different.  We are called to mirror the emotions of God which is love, always for all people, no matter what.

God wants us to show other people His love, despite their sinful nature, shortcomings, and despite their wrong doing toward you.  Not only because it exemplifies God, but it sets us apart from the other nonbelievers.  Can you imagine trying to tell people that God is love and we are to exemplify God's love, but when faced with hatred from someone else all that love disappears?  Why would anyone want to believe in God with that type of behavior.  You are no different from any person that do not believe in God.  Anyone can hate those who hate them.

“In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.”  Matthew 5: 43-46 

Image result for learn to love your enemiesTrust and believed I have been hated, persecuted, I have been called dumb, gullible, and thought of as weak because I want to forgive those who have done bad things to me.  But after a while I come to realize something.  Instead of anger I began to feel pity.  God revealed to me that the closer we get to Him the more we start to see things like Him.  So while God hates the bad things we do to other people.  I am sure that it is pity that He feels more than anything.

The reason being is because God created all of us, He knows what He has created us to do and what He has created us to be.  And so when we do things wrong to other people and are so consumed with wrecking havoc on other people's lives it is kinda of sad.  It is sad because there is something inadequate in these type of people as to why they have to compensate by being mean to others, and mostly because they ignore the fact that the evil they do in this world they are going to have to be held accountable for, by God.

I once had a old boss that was so insecure.  She was hated by all and no one wanted to be around her.  She forced people to be her friend by using pay raises and promotion as a weapon to be hanged over their head.  And then for kicks she would scream at them and degrade them in front of others.  She knew if they wanted a promotion they would simply have to take it.  And many people did.   And to me, she would often follow me around in the halls and get mad when I did not want to have conversation with her.  She would call me into the office and ask about my personal life and then get mad when I did not want to tell her.  She would cut hours from me, lie about me, and tell other employees not to talk to me among many other things.

Image result for learn to love your enemiesAll of this of course was stressful and the natural reaction would be for me to go back at her at hard as she was coming at me.  But when you read this, do you not feel sad for her more than anything.  Sad that she has to force people into being her friend? Sad that she has to use her position as a supervisor as a way to dominate people?  The hate that I could have used for her was used instead for me just feeling sorry for the type of person that she was.  And I realized that I should not waste any mind space retaliating against this person, her living in her insecure mind should be torment enough.

Instead I forgave, went on with my life, went on with my calling, and went on with m education.  Although her bullying on the workplace was torture, it just made me stronger and it did not stop any of the plans that I had for myself.

The same with my son's father.  He is a bad father to say the least.  I used to care, get mad and angry for his blatant disregard for my son.  But then I realized something.  It was probably better not to have him in our lives then it was to have him in our lives.  He is a felon, he is selfish, he does not want to be a father nor does he know how to be.  He prefers to spend his time pretending on social media that he is a good father then actually being one.  I looked over at my son and realized that my son is happy, he has positive male role models in his life.  My son told me that he wants a father, but it does have to be his father because even at 6 years old he realizes that something is not quite right there.   My son had forgiven his father for his shortcomings and does not think twice about him, I had to take a lesson from my son and do the same.

And in both of these situations, instead of feeling anger toward either of them, the anger turned to pity.  Pity for my supervisor because she is insecure, jealous, and these emotions have kept her in the same place as oppose to her moving forward in life; and actually getting to know people that want to be her friend instead of trying to force people to be her friend.  And pity for my son's father, pity for his other children that he left all these years.  Pity for his seven aborted children that never had a chance to live (none by me).  And despite us not getting along, I feel he has a lot of potential, most that is wasted due to his inability to look past himself.

So often times, people who hurt you or have your hurt you, something is wrong with them; not you.  It is their problems not yours, but you cannot wallow in unforgiveness and hatred toward that person for what they  have done.  You cannot allow the flaws they have in their personality to affect yours.  And if you chose not to forgive them but remain in hatred and animosity toward them, then you will allow their demons to swallow the goodness about you as well.  This is why we must forgive, and move on.  Make sense?  I hope so.

Afraid Of Getting Older and Still Being Single

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This past weekend was my birthday, I turned 31 years old.  I personally do not think that this is old at all.  However, others seem to still give me that
Image result for afraid of getting older

“ Your getting older, still single, and not married yet” face.

 And to this, I just have to laugh.  I cannot help but to laugh, it appears as though my relationship status affects other people more than it affects me.

Let's take this example. I was speaking to my cousin today.  I went to tell her about some great news that I received about a professionally opportunity.  The conversation started out by me saying that I was speaking to a guy. I went on about the opportunity I was presented with, and she told me

Image result for afraid of getting older“ Oh, when you told me you were talking to a guy, I thought you were going to say you met someone.”

To which I laughed.  I laughed because to me it is just not that big of a deal any more.  Did the idea of marriage consume my endlessly to the point of obsession at one point? It did actually but not any more.  I have my son, who I love, therefore I already have my live in dose of testosterone.  And even better I get to raise him to be a good man, and so my son actually treats me better than a lot of grown men do.

He opens the door for me, write me love notes, we laugh, and joke together.  It is the ideal relationship with a male.  So it made me wonder, why did I idolize marriage so much?  Was it because I wanted to be married, is it because I wanted a companion, or is it because I felt at this age this was something I was suppose to do?

What I have learned, is that we cannot compare ourselves to others or conform to other people's expectations of us.  Aside from my son, God is my best friend.  He is a perfect friend.  I always can talk to Him, we laugh together, and I can always bet on Him to love me and keep it real.  That is what type of close relationship I am sure all Christians should strive for with God.  It would cure your feeling of feeling lonely (check out my blog here on loneliness) and cure your disease of wanting to be with bad men.  After you have spent so much time with the perfect Father figure (which is God) how on Earth can you go back to mediocre men that treat you like trash, or less than what your Father is willing to treat you?

In this one whole year in my 30's this is something that I realized, something that God told me, and once He did, I felt peace.  God started to show me what He wanted me to do in this season in my life, and marriage was not it.  I did not get disappointed because what God showed me about this season in my life, outweighs me getting married in this season in my life.

He told me that I would meet someone along the way in this journey that He has me on.  Meaning that if I do not go through the journey, then I would miss out on that “someone” as well as the awesome life that He has planned for me.  In my 20's I tried so hard to do it my way and to get where I wanted to go my way.  God directed my steps anyway, but sometimes it was with  me kicking and screaming along the way only to see that God was right in where He was leading me.

So I learned to trust God and to stop wreaking havoc in my own life by trying to go my own way.  I am sure, more than anything that this trusting in God has come with both experience and age.  So how can I despise getting older, and going deeper into my 30's and closer to my 40's when God is leading the way.  And things seem to get better and better with each direction that He is taking me.

There are things that I thought that I would have accomplished by 31, marriage being one of them, and financial freedom to do what I want being the other.   I have not gotten to these areas yet, but God surprised me with other things that were better or that I did not think I could achieve.  And the best thing about knowing God is often times He tells you why He did certain things in your life.  So now, instead of getting mad at God for some of the things that I have been through, I understand why I had to go through them.

Image result for afraid of getting olderIn closing, at 31 do I feel older? Of course. But I do not feel self pity or anger for the things that I have not accomplished.  To do so would be slap in God's face, telling Him that the blessings He has given me is just not good enough.

Perhaps you are in your 30's, perhaps you are approaching 30, perhaps you are approaching 40, 50, or even beyond that, and you are still single or not in a position that you thought you would be end.  It is never the end of your life, until you die and go through the pearly gates of heaven or through the highways of hell; and even then if you chose to go to heaven, another life for you has just begun.  And it will last forever.  So do not get caught up in the technicalities for your life in this world.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Allowing The Past To Haunt You Can Affect Your Future.

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Image result for the past can haunt youOne of the main things that comes to haunt us is our past.  We think of the wrong things that we have done in the past, how others have wronged us in the past, and how we cannot get over the things that were done to us in the past.  It is often times our inability to get over the past that leaves us stifled, stuck in depression, and wallowing in self pity.  It is being stuck in the past that keeps us from moving forward and keeps us from missing out on our futures blessing.

Take think about this Bible passage.

“The LORD said to Samuel, 'How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.'"   1 Samuel 16:1 

It was around this time that Saul had lost favor with God and God wanted to anoint a new king.  Instead of accepting this, Samuel was grieving, crying, sitting around mourning over what was already done and could never be changed.  God was not going to change His mind, He had another king already in mind.  And Samuel needed to anoint him.  However, Samuel was sitting around stuck on Saul and God finally called out to him.

It was like God was saying,

“How long Samuel, are you going to sit here being all depressed over the fact that Saul is no longer king.  It is over, it is done with, and there is nothing that is going to change my mind.  Instead of sitting there being sad over what you cannot change.  I have already chosen someone else and I need to use you to go get him.”

 I am paraphrasing of course, but I am sure this is what God was thinking. And even more so, how many of us is God also saying this too. If Samuel was to sit and stay stuck in one place over the fact that Saul was not king then there would have never been a David (click here for more on the life of David).  There would not have been a slaying of Goliath, the killing of thousands of Philistines, nor would there be the birth of Solomon, the wisest king in the Bible.

If you have missed the point that I am trying to get at, wallowing in self pity and depression and the past will quickly make you miss your future.  This is why is is so important that we let go of the relationship that we know we are not supposed to be in, the friendships that are toxic to us, the past situations that have caused us pain, forgiving ourselves for times in which we were wrong and caused others pain,  forgive the people that have done us wrong, or the unfair treatment or circumstances that we had to endure.  There is no going into a time machine to change it and since there is no changing it the only person that it is effecting is us and our future.

I cannot tell you how many years that I have spent on dating men in the hopes that they would change or come around.  I know God was saying,

Image result for the past can haunt you“How long are you going to waste time on this loser, before you move on and see that he is not it?”

I have been lied on and treated unfairly by other people even by people that I considered friends, and people that I did no wrong to.  I would sometimes sit and tell God about how unfair it is, and that I did not do anything but yet I was the one getting punished. I was sit and blame God for not protecting me from these God awful people and situations.

It was as if God was saying, “How long are you going to be upset about what they did, you cannot change it? So you mine as well move on from it.”

Can you imagine if Samuel was still stuck on Saul when he anointed David?  He could have treated David bad or punished him for being anointed the new king, when David had nothing to do with God's decision.  That is the same thing that can happen to us, we can ruin a new blessing by bringing unresolved past issues with us to future blessings.

Image result for the past can haunt youI am not saying this as someone who does not have a shaky past. I am not saying this as someone who has not had to endure jealously, lies, gossip,  unfair treatment, and people not like me for being a Christian, being black, or because I was the person that I was.  They hurt me for reasons I did not know, over a man, or even no really good reason at all.  And even though I would start to despise them for what they did I had to get over it.  People who have done you wrong want you to hate them back so they can feel they have justification for their maltreatment of you.

But what I have come to learn is that you cannot waste valuable time trying to fight them or even feeling sorry for yourself for what they did.  If God allowed it to happen then it must be something else that He has in store for the future, right?  Even though you may not get it, even though you may not understand it, you have to trust that God wants you to come out of your past and on to a bigger and better future.  You can never look forward if you are always looking back. And if you are always looking back, you will have trouble moving forward because you will be bumping and stumbling on things along the way.  If you are looking back, you cannot see what is in front of you and you won't be able to avoid the obstacles ahead.  So it is best to keep the past behind you, and always keep your eyes forward. Learning from the past, forgiving those from the past, and looking better to a brighter future no matter what you have gone through.