The Commonality Of Humanity. (or, Are we really just like everyone else?)By Timothy Baugh.

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45.       Regardless of how we may characterize ourselves; evil and good are present in all of God’s Creation. Yes, we all are sinners. Some characterize themselves as the “Saved”. Others could really care less. When we all are part of struggling Humanity; does it ‘really’ matter who gets it “right”? Yes, ultimately, whether it matters to us or not, it DOES ‘really’ matter! Why? Because as the children of our heavenly Father; He wants us all to live happy and fulfilled lives. And ‘that much’ whether we actually believe in Him or not! Faith for the unbelieving in seen as a ‘guessing game’ for gullible minds. Yet, they too “have faith”, if only in themselves. It doesn’t matter if they acknowledge a deity; what is truly important is getting what they want. Sometimes even we “believers” can excuse and justify our thoughts, feelings, actions, and behavior just like those “unbelievers”. So… where is our ‘status’ any higher than that of another? Perhaps, as we draw closer to God; He, in turn draws closer to us. We only need to see that Life ‘can’ work for us, before we deny the Source of Being altogether! And we only need to admit our “true condition” before we can even begin to make it work! No, in many ways, a “we verses them” attitude was never what Jesus would condone. However, let us not forget, we are all in need of something called ‘Grace’. Saying we have our act “altogether” is both a cop-out and an escape from responsibility to our lives working the best for us. Jesus makes it work. Let us all come to see that truth.

Devotional Daily

Devotional daily Faithway

 

Yesterday’s Hurts in Today’s Relationships

by Lysa TerKeurst, from Embraced

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. — James 1:19

“We don’t need you there.”

A simple sentence. Five words. Five syllables. However, in my brain the interpretation of this sentence was anything but simple.

It unleashed a flood of uncertainty. My brain instantly fired off locator arrows that traveled to past rejections in my memory. Pulling past hurts into the current conversation. Suddenly, I wasn’t hearing “We don’t need you there.” I was hearing, “You aren’t wanted.”

Rejection always wants to steal the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.

The best of who I am was certainly not the one interpreting this comment.

The most hurt version of me took what was said and added pages of commentary. This additional dialogue highlighted my insecurities, brought to mind all the many reasons I was surely being excluded, and vilified the person who uttered those five words that started this whole thing.

Suddenly, this person was unsafe. She was insensitive. And worst of all, I pictured her rallying others to believe the worst about me as well. I blinked back my tears. I swallowed the long-winded speech I was dying to spew in retaliation to her hurtful proclamation. And with a simple, “Okay,” I walked to my car. Later that night I retold the whole story to a member of my family.

With great emotion and lots of added commentary, I gave them the play-by-play. Finally, I paused long enough to catch my breath and fully expected them to jump right in with absolute support and an offer to rush to my defense.

Instead they said, “What else might she have meant by her statement? Is there any chance she didn’t intend to hurt you, but rather was just simply stating the fact that they had enough people participating and you didn’t have to feel the pressure to attend?”

I shot back, “Oh no, I’m telling you this was so much more than that.”

Right as I was about to unleash another dramatic retelling of the whole situation, they stopped me and said, “Just make sure you aren’t holding her accountable for words she never said. She didn’t say you weren’t wanted. She didn’t say you weren’t capable. She didn’t say others were thinking the same way as her. She simply said they didn’t need you there.”

After stewing for a while, I dared to consider what my family member had said. I called the gal and asked a few questions. And in the end, I realized there was absolutely no agenda behind her statement at all.

In fact, she thought she was doing me a favor by assuring me that I wasn’t needed so that I wouldn’t feel pressure to be gone from home during that very busy season.

This situation happened eight years ago, but I think about it often. It taught me three perspectives that I don’t want to forget:

1. When I’m tired or stressed, I’m likely to interpret interactions way more emotionally than I should. Therefore, I should wait to respond to others until I’ve had a chance to rest and de-stress. A depleted girl can quickly become a defeated girl when she lets emotions dictate her reactions.

That’s one of the reasons I love today’s key verse and the way it interrupts me:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
— James 1:19

2. Believe the best before assuming the worst. Even if they didn’t have my best interest in mind, they probably didn’t have the worst intentions either. Regardless, being positive will keep me in a much better place.

3. Clarify. Clarify. Clarify. When in doubt, I should ask them to help me understand what they truly meant. And when I clarify, I must recognize and resist adding any additional commentary my past hurt might add to this situation.

Can you think of a time in your life when these perspectives might help? I certainly haven’t perfected making these perspectives the first thing I think of when I’m in an uncertain situation. But at least I do think of them. And that’s great progress, so feelings from yesterday’s hurts don’t take away from today’s relationships.

Dear Lord, I don’t want to allow hurts from my past or runaway emotions to steal from my present relationships. I surrender my heart to You today — asking for Your wisdom and healing touch. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.
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Your Turn

Have you ever done that? Have you ever heard someone saying something they didn’t say because their words tapped into old hurts? Which of Lysa’s new perspectives is a word for you today? Come share with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

 

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Proverbs 31 Ministries

 

Encouragement for today Proverbs 31

May 23, 2019

A Good Purpose for That Bad Story
SHARON JAYNES

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“The second son he named Ephraim and said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’” Genesis 41:52 (NIV)

I’ve had some things happen in my life that I would just as soon forget. I bet you have, too. But as soon as I start to rip out the pages and shred the memories, God says to my soul, “Hold up. I’ve got a good purpose for that bad story.”

Joseph learned that lesson, too. We find his story in Genesis, chapters 37-50. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of sexual assault and left in a prison to die.

Then God miraculously rescued him from prison and made him second in command to the Egyptian Pharaoh. By his 37th birthday, Joseph had two sons. One he named Manasseh, which means “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household” (Genesis 41:51b, NIV).

The second son he named Ephraim, which means, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering” (Genesis 41:52b).

Many years after his sons were born, Joseph learned that his father, Jacob (later named Israel), was ill. So he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and traveled for one last visit to see his father. When they arrived, Jacob said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them” (Genesis 48:9b, NIV).

Joseph brought his sons to his father’s bedside. He placed Ephraim on his right toward Jacob’s left hand and Manasseh, his firstborn, on his left toward Jacob’s right hand. But instead of giving the blessing to Joseph’s firstborn, Jacob reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger. Then he crossed his arms and put his left hand on Manasseh’s head.

Joseph tried to stop his father from giving the blessing to the second-born rather than the firstborn, but his father refused:

“I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations” (Genesis 48:19b, NIV). So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

What a beautiful picture. Yes, Joseph had a life of trouble and suffering at the hands of those who abused, neglected and betrayed him. But God didn’t want him to merely forget his suffering, as the name Manasseh implied. He wanted him to be fruitful in his suffering, as the name Ephraim implied.

It’s the same with you and me. God does not want us to simply forget the pain of the past. He wants us to be fruitful in the land of our suffering! To use it for good.

Years after I experienced secondary infertility and loss of a child, I read Song of Solomon 2:1. The bride said to the groom, “I am a rose of Sharon …” (NIV) Feeling prompted to look up my name, Sharon, in my Bible dictionary, I learned it was a fertile valley in the Holy Land. God didn’t want me to just forget my personal pain of infertility, but to be fertile in other ways … fruitful in the “land” of my suffering by helping others experiencing loss.

God doesn’t comfort us just to make us comfortable. He comforts us to make us comfort-able: able to comfort those with the comfort we have received. (2 Corinthians 1:4, NIV) So don’t rip out those painful stories and try to forget them — allow God to heal them and then use them. Someone needs to hear your story.

Dear Lord, I thank You that nothing is ever wasted in our life experiences. The world says, “Just forget about it” … when it comes to our past struggles. You say, “Just use it! Be fruitful!” Show me ways I can use what I have gone through to help other people. Lord, I pray You will make me fruitful in the land of my suffering. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

Romans 15:4, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES: Do you feel God is calling you to tell your story, but you’re afraid? You’ll enjoy Sharon Jaynes’ book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, and learn how to move forward with holy confidence. You’ve got a story to tell! Don’t let fear stop you!

Are you ready to begin making your dreams of becoming a writer, speaker or ministry leader a reality? Don’t miss this year’s She Speaks Conference, July 25-27. Over the course of two days, you’ll become equipped with practical tools to enhance your ability to communicate God’s Word. Registration is open. Click here to learn more and sign up!

CONNECT: Visit Sharon’s blog today, and click on the link to the free Enough coloring book journal.

REFLECT AND RESPOND: Have you simply tried to just forget about your past? It doesn’t work, does it? What have you gone through in your life that you could now use to help someone else?

Read Romans 8:28. What do you think that means in light of the hurts and pains in your past?

Join the conversation! Tell us what you think about how God might use the pain from your past to help someone in the present.

© 2019 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org