This faith in Christ is more than knowledge. It is something evident in every part of my life. But what does that look like in everyday life?
You are ready to snap, but you’re also trying to get right with the Lord. Perhaps you’ve got someone all up in your face and you might just lose your witness? Maybe you’re faced with a choice between something good and something else also good. Wife, is your husband irritating the ever-lovin-stew out of you? Momma, your toddler or teenager is on your Very. Last Nerve.
As my friend Jack likes to say, this is where the rubber meets the road.
Pray without ceasing.
Fear, guilt, envy & anger melt in His presence. As I live in constant contact with Him, I’m able to face each situation aware of Him. Imagine the Creator of the universe with you right in the middle of every difficult circumstance. How would that change you? Understand, not change the hard situation…change YOU.
As Bro. Lawrence says, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
Be a peacemaker.
Whether it’s a misunderstanding among co-laborers, an argument with my spouse, or sass from a teenager; I can move toward others in peace. This doesn’t mean giving in, this means using gentle words to turn away anger rather than harsh words that stir up wrath. This means leading with love and never withholding truth. At 15 years old, my sweet Abby grasps this and says “criticize with a compliment sandwich”. She’s a ballet teacher. Her example is speaking to a parent about an unruly child: “I can tell Madelyn has been working hard outside of class, it shows in her improved technique. She had a hard time focusing today, I had to call her attention a few times. It is a joy to teach her. I always look forward to our time together.” Truth in love.
Not just the shiny happy people that we want to impress. In the face of an angry boss, a lazy co-worker, a clueless customer service agent…anyone we encounter in difficult circumstances treat them as more important than yourself. What? You mean don’t look out for #1?!? I know-this is completely contrary to the world that we live in. But remember this world is not our home. Of course this isn’t easy. But it’s worth it. It isn’t natural. It’s supernatural. (Don’t give up on this list yet.)
The power to do these things comes from being rooted in Christ. As I spend time with Him, I look like Him. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He creates these things in us, His new creation.
That beautiful idea brought to us by Ann Voskamp, Living a life of thankfulness. Being grateful to God for even the hard stuff changes you. Your soul transforms as the thoughts you think and words you speak are life and thankfulness rather than anger and bitterness. James was on point when he wrote about the the tongue steering our lives. Speak and write and think encouragement and appreciation to the people in your life. This change takes time. Ann challenges us to do it a thousand times. Seem overwhelming? Start with ten. Then do it another ten. How do you eat an elephant?
Being a disciple of Christ means being in a humble posture before the throne of grace and before others. Rather than seek my fame-I must strive for the Lords renown! In ministry, marriage, and motherhood-I can’t compare myself to others-nor wish to be a standard for others to follow. Only follow me as I follow Christ.