I became saved in 2008- and as my best friend Nicole warned- everything in my world hit the fan. The adage that bad things happen when you become saved is absolutely correct. The enemy is extremely upset when he loses a soul and does everything in his power to divert your attention away from your new path to righteousness.
With this in mind, it has been a challenge to change my behavior, my way of thinking, the way I react towards difficult situations, because I had been living my way for 29 years. There are many, many references in the Bible as to how we should behave- and I remember reading some of them and thinking to myself… : “I’m supposed to do what?” To name a few:
James 1:26: If anyone thinks he is religious, without controlling his tongue but deceiving his heart, his religion is useless.
James 1: 19: My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for a man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.
Luke 6:27: But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.
Romans 12: 19: Friends, do not avenge yourselves, instead leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
Two things I have the most trouble with are forgiveness and my temper. I have improved (a lot!) only because God has proven to me time and time again that I dont need to fight my own battles, He will take care of them for me. You might feel satisfaction on the surface if you get even with someone who hurts you. But, you still carry that seed of resentment in your heart, and you still feel anger. Handling your own business means you dont trust Him to handle it. Release your troubles to Him, pray about them, and leave them at His feet. He will handle them better than you ever could.
My temper was another issue- very quick to condemn, curse, yell, lose my cool. Condemning others is something many of us Christians are known for. There is an underlying sense of entitlement; some of us feel we can condemn because we are saved. But- the Bible says the following:
Romans 2: 5: But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgement is revealed.
Romans 12:9: Love without hypocrisy….
I remember a few months back I saw a Facebook post about a woman who was proud to be ‘the other woman’ and was gloating about it. Having had loved ones go through infidelity, and knowing the pain of that myself, I let this woman have it. I told her in no uncertain terms what I thought of her. How dare she tear a family apart for her own selfishness! Then, (this is how God talks to us- if we pay attention!) I saw a different post a few minutes later that read “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”- Gandhi.
I remember thinking, wow… Would Jesus condemn this woman like that? I was ashamed at my reaction. We are supposed to love the sinner but hate the sin. (Luke 6:37: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven…”) How could I call myself a Christian and behave like that? I deleted my comment and gave thanks for God’s immediate correction on my lack of understanding. It’s not my job to judge; its my job to pray. Simply put, if your feeling is to judge, feel superiority, anger, bitterness, then that is not of God. But- if your feeling is to reach out to someone who is making bad choices, leading you to pray for them, help them heal, help them feel love despite their choices, and help guide them to make better decisions, that is what we as Christians are responsible for. Have a great week Fam…. XOXO