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Bite-sized Blog: You probably shouldn’t be dating him if…

12 Apr

Today’s Bite-sized blog comes from “10 Reasons I should not be dating him/her” by Perry Noble.

 

You probably should not be dating him if…

1.   He is not willing to fight for purity.

In relationships, it is primarily the job of the man to set boundaries regarding physical purity. If your man doesn’t, or does but then doesn’t abide by them- this isn’t a good sign. The man should be the protector of your purity. If he isn’t willing to protect your purity before marriage, he won’t be willing to do so after marriage.

2.   He tries to get you to compromise things that God’s Word states clearly.

God’s Word is the manual that should guide our relationships. Once again, if he leads you further away from God and His word before marriage, he will do the same after marriage. Remember: you cannot change him, only the Holy Spirit can.

3.   You are always defending him to the people who know you, love you, and love Jesus.

Love is blind. We can become so smitten with love that we are blind to the obvious truth of who a person really is. Your Godly friends and family have an important role in your relationship because they can see what you often can’t. If you find yourself always defending him to these people, they might be seeing something you can’t.

4.   You hide your relationship from people because you suspect they may disapprove.

When you feel like you have to hide parts of your relationship from people, you need to stop and ask yourself why. When you hide it, you are eliminating the chance for Godly people to speak truth into it.

5.   You know the relationship has no future.

Many girls will hang on to dead-end relationships simply because they feel who they’re with is better than being alone. This shows that your identity is in who you are dating, rather than in Christ.

6.   You find out he is lying to you.

If he lies to you before marriage, he will lie to you after marriage. If you find this out, do not ignore it.

7.   You can’t confront him about issues without him losing his temper.

If your relationship has any future at all, you will need to learn how to overcome and communicate on issues. If he is incapable of this, it is a bad indicator for the future.

8.   You discover he is unfaithful to you.

You are a prize and worthy to be cherished and honored. If a man cannot remain faithful to you he does not deserve to waste one more minute of your time.

9.   There is something about him that drives you absolutely insane.

I’m talking about more than a pet peeve here. They are what I like to call “deal breakers”. It is something that you absolutely cannot get past. Often times people ignore problems and convince themselves that after marriage it will go away… it won’t. In fact it will probably become larger.

10. You constantly feel God leading you to end the relationship.

Many girls are too afraid to “hurt his feelings” or afraid they won’t get a chance at another relationship. Stop making excuses. Obey God.

 

If you can relate to 1, or 2, or 3, or 4 of these points… I challenge to you take a closer look at your relationship. You shouldn’t have to defend or make excuses for the guy you’re dating. You should be confident and proud of him. Maybe God is leading you to end this relationship because he has better things in store for you.

If you are a daughter of God, you are a princess. You deserve to have a prince who treats you like one.

 

 

Waves

9 Apr

“Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:6-8

Can you relate to this verse? I know I can. Sometimes I feel like it is a constant battle between serving God and my love for the world. Like waves, we can be blown back and forth by whatever new thing the world has to offer us. This verse is a reminder to us; that our loyalty must be to God and to Him alone. If we find ourselves in the middle, God cannot give us anything we ask for, due to our lack of loyalty to Him.

1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”

It is clear that what the world has to offer us is not what is best for us. But more than that, this verse says that if you love the world, you do not have God’s love in you. This should scare us a little bit. There are some days when I find myself still wanting to be part of the things of this world, even though I know it is just fleeting pleasure. We have to constantly remind ourselves to hate the things of this world, for the love of God is not in it.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24

Not only does our first verse say that divided loyalty results in being unstable in everything we do, the Bible also says that it impossible to love both God and the world. It is impossible to serve both wholeheartedly. Eventually, you will hate one and love the other.

God is a god who demands our all. It is not okay to simply be tossed like a wave back and forth. We have to be solid and committed to serving Him. His expectations for us are high.

Jesus says in Luke 10:27, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.”

Being like a wave in the sea is not good enough for our God. He demands our all. As long as we continue to be like waves, getting tossed between our love for the world and our love for God, we cannot receive all that God wants us to have in Him.

Don’t be like a wave tossed back and forth in the sea. Commit yourself fully to Him. Love God and not the world. Give Him your all.

 

Bite-sized Blog: 7 Myths Single Women Believe

2 Apr

Bite-sized Blog: 7 Myths Single Women Believe

Today’s Bite-sized Blog comes from “The Seven Myths Single Women Believe” by Suzanna Hadly

If you are around women for any length of time, you will realize that there are plenty things we are taught to believe about singleness. However, not all of these things are true. This blog covered the top 7 myths that single women believe, and I couldn’t agree with them more. I myself have fallen victim to believe these lies, and I know many of you probably have too.  The enemy uses these lies to discourage us and leave us feeling lonely and defeated. If you live believing these lies, they can be destructive to your life and relationships. Let’s acknowledge them and start to change our thinking.

And the 7 most deadly myths are…

1. God will give me a husband when I’m ready

Not true. Finding a mate is not based on our own righteousness. Many women believe that if they just obtain a certain level spiritually, that it will somehow makes them ready for marriage. All of us are sinners and must constantly rely on God, whether we are single or married.

“Being in a single state may or may not have anything to do with your readiness. It likely has more to do with God’s timing. If you are daily allowing the Lord to mold you into His image, you are probably ready to be in a Christ-centered relationship.”

2. God views me more as a useful tool than a beloved child.

Wrong again. Many times you may hear that while you are single, you should maximize those years in service to God. While I believe this is a wise thing to do (Stop Waiting), God isn’t withholding a man from you so that you serve him longer. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” God is our loving father and he wants to give us the desires of our hearts. Not only does our Father want to bless us with good things, He knows the perfect time to give us those things.

3. When it’s the right guy, I’ll just know.

Not exactly. In our romanticized culture we are obsessed with the idea of finding “the one” or our “soulmate”. While these things aren’t bad, we often form unrealistic expectations as a result of this.

“In the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye Joshua Harris writes: “Too many couples overspiritualize the decision of whom they marry. Instead of realizing that God leads us by providing wisdom and allowing us to make our own choices, those couples wait for a ‘mystical experience’ that will tell them what to do.”

Don’t wait for a tall dark and handsome man to come sweep you off your feet. If you do, you’ll be waiting forever. Don’t wait for a mystical experience. Don’t over complicate it. Too many girls wait for a guy who meets every criteria they want in a man. I encourage you, give the good, godly men around you a chance (even if they are not the exact height, build or type that you imagined.)

4. When I get married, then my life will begin.

No, no, NO! This in my opinion is one of the worst, most prevalent lies that single women believe. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be a wife and mother. However, it is NOT okay to put your life on hold until then.

“Of the more than 500 references to life in the Bible, none puts marriage as a prerequisite. Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” John 5:24. My life started when I believed on Jesus, and it does not hinge on my marital status.”

It may seem that marriage cannot come soon enough, but embrace this time and use it to prepare yourself to be the best mom and wife you can be someday.

5. Marriage will/will not meet my deepest needs.

These are two extremes that women will go to, neither of them being correct. The first is that marriage is the answer that you have been waiting for! A husband is all you need to satisfy your soul’s deepest longings. Wrong.  God created woman for man to cure his loneliness. So while a husband may cure your loneliness, (this is a great thing, something we should be very thankful for!) there are some things that your husband will not be able to satisfy in you. Those are the things that only Jesus can.

So while our marriage cannot satisfy the needs that Jesus can, neither can our relationship with Jesus meet the needs that He intended other humans to satisfy. They go hand in hand. A relationship with Jesus and a husband will satisfy our deepest needs.

Marriage cannot satisfy all of our longings. However, you shouldn’t set your expectations too low. Marriage is an awesome institution created by God. When you put God at the center of your marriage you will experience amazing things.

“As women, we must embrace a balanced understanding of the distinctive roles that Christ and a godly husband should play in our lives.”

6. There must be something wrong with me. If I could just figure out what it is, I could fix it and guys would start showing interest.

In our messed up society, girls are often tricked into thinking that there is something wrong with them. Our society tells us that in order to be attractive, we have to be the right height, weight, and wear the right clothes…right? Wrong. The Bible makes a point to mention that “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting…” Proverbs 31:30. We cannot rely on beauty alone.

“The things I should be concerned about improving are spiritual in nature. Am I submitting to Christ? Am I manifesting the fruit of the Spirit? Do I have a gentle and quiet spirit? The right kind of man will be attracted to these qualities.”

7. The older I get, the less likely it is that I will find someone.

If this is something you struggle with believing, I challenge you to examine your view of God. Do you think God’s ability to bring you a mate is limited by the number of years you’ve been on earth? Do you think that he forgot about you? He didn’t. God is working in ways that you will never know. If I can get one thing across to you, it is that His timing is PERFECT. We may never know why or how, but it is.

“As you cultivate godly attitudes and avoid damaging lies, you allow the Lord to pour out the things He has for you. That way, when the right guy comes along, you’ll be ready.”

 

Stop believing the lies. Don’t allow them to leave you hopeless anymore. Remember, loneliness isn’t a destination; it’s just a place you pass through.

 

The Right Questions

26 Mar

This one goes out to the single/dating girls. Specifically, those who are trying to pursue a godly relationship with a man who is a passionate follower of Christ. So many times I’ve seen great Christian girls settle for average “Christian” guys, and sadly the guy’s lack of passion often brings the girl down. Now, there are plenty of situations in which the sexes are reversed, but in this blog I’m specifically going to talk about girls who fall for losers.

Dating is hard. It’s harder when you’re a Christian. You don’t have the option of all the fish in the sea… you have the option of a very small portion of fish in the sea. But the reason it’s even harder is that you have “Christians”… and then you have real Christians. It’s not always easy to tell them apart. I want to try to provide you with some questions that can help you decide if the guy you are interested in, or the one you are going to be interested in, is really what they say they are. There are the right questions to ask… and then there are the wrong ones.

The wrong questions to ask:

Are you a Christian?

In our society, the term “Christian” has lost a lot of its original meaning. The Greek word for “Christian,” is Christianos which literally means “follower of Christ.” What started as meaning literally a follower of Jesus Christ has become a blanket term for 100 other religions that have nothing to do with Christ. Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and Muslims are all covered under this term “Christian.” It turns out that according to the most recent poll taken in 2012, that 78% of all Americans are “Christian.” Just because someone is “Christian” DOES NOT mean they are a Christ follower. Although 8 out of 10 Americans consider themselves to be “Christian”, a “Christian” is not good enough if you consider yourself to be a follower of Christ.

The right question to ask:

Are you in love with Jesus?

The key to being a real follower of Christ is a personal relationship with Him. It’s not about being a part of a religion. If a man is truly a Christ follower, he will be in love with Jesus. This question should be a no-brainer. However, for someone who is just part of a religion or just part of a Christian church, this one might be a little harder for them to answer. Jesus may have little to no part in their life. You want someone who can answer this without hesitation. A true Christ follower must be in love with Jesus.

The wrong question to ask:

Do you go to church?

43% of American claim to go to church regularly. What “regularly” means is not defined. This could mean every Sunday, once a month, or on holidays. It’s hard to really tell. Just knowing that a person goes to church is not enough to stamp approval on them. There are so many other things that you must take into consideration. What church? How often? Are you involved? Many people go to church in America, but that fact alone is not enough to determine whether someone is truly in love with Jesus.

The right question to ask:

Have you ever been a major part of leading someone to Christ?

If the answer is no, walk away. “No” should not be good enough for you. If you are trying to find a man that will eventually be your husband, the answer has to be yes. If you settle for someone who has never even led another person to Christ, how will he lead your children to Christ? How will he lead you to Christ? The Bible says that the man is the head of the house (Ephesians 5:23), and he must lead his wife and children to closer to Christ. Settling for someone who has never done that will affect the degree of your family’s faith. Seriously, ask this question. If he says no, walk away or tell him to come back when he does. If he says yes, it shows that he actually believes what he says he believes, and that he is capable of leading people closer to Christ.

 

I challenge you, ask the right questions. To a potential boyfriend or to your current boyfriend. If you ask these questions to your current boyfriend, will you be disappointed?

One last thing I challenge you with. What if your boyfriend or potential boyfriend asked YOU the right questions? What would your answers be? You can’t expect a man to have the right answers if you yourself don’t.

 

Bite-sized Blog: Are you a coward?

21 Mar

Bite-sized Blog: Are you a coward?

Today’s Bite-sized Blog comes from “Calling All Cowards” by Mark Driscoll.

For most Christians, sharing our faith with others is not the easiest thing in the world. Most of us struggle, whether it be inviting someone to church or actually telling someone about Jesus. But it’s not because we don’t want to tell others about Jesus, it’s because we are cowards.

“There are many reasons why this the case, but I believe it typically boils down to one issue: fear of man, which is a form of idolatry. When we fear people more than we fear God, our behavior will be motivated by what others think and say about us, not the glory and enjoyment of God.”

The reason why we sometimes hold back is because we are afraid of the reaction we might get. Talking about Jesus could evoke anger, could get us ridiculed, or it could change the relationship between us and others. Do you see what all these things are motivated by? We want to be liked by people. We hold back because we are afraid of men. If we weren’t, we would have no problem sharing with anyone and everyone

“When this happens, we have allowed someone other than Jesus to sit upon the throne over our life. We want to please and appease them, which means we end up worshiping them instead of Jesus. This is idolatry.”

It might not seem that bad on the surface, but by keeping quiet about Jesus we are showing that what man thinks of us is more important than what He thinks of us.

I know this is something that many of us struggle with. If this is something you struggle with specifically, don’t worry. There is hope.

“God hasn’t left us on our own. He didn’t even give us a Twelve-Step program to overcome our fears. No. He did something much deeper and permanent than that: he promised to transform us into courageous witnesses for Jesus from the inside out.”

The solution isn’t to just all the sudden start trying to invite everyone you know to church. It is deeper than that. We must be transformed. Jesus will transform us into bold witnesses for Him, through the Holy Spirit.

“Becoming a courageous witness is not based upon our natural strength or abilities, but rather a supernatural strength provided by the Holy Spirit.”

I used to think that I just wasn’t one of those people who could talk to others about Jesus so boldly and naturally. But that is giving humans too much credit. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us boldness. If you want to overcome your cowardice and speak boldly about Jesus, He is willing to empower you to do so.

“Through faith in Jesus we are forgiven of our sin, empowered by the Holy Spirit to put sin to death, and empowered to be courageous witnesses.”

We are all surrounded by people who need Jesus. I’m sure that there are people in your family, at your school, or at your job that are lost. God has put certain people directly in your life for a reason; so that you can reach them. We have a responsibility to these people. Without Jesus, their souls are headed to hell. We have the answer! We have to let go of our fear and share the answer with those around us. By sharing what Jesus has done for us, peoples’ eternal destinies can be changes.

“Step outside of your comfort zone, acknowledge your cowardice, believe the truth that God wants to save people, and trust the promise of God that you will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness for Jesus.”

You won’t know if God has empowered you to be a bold witness unless you try. Step out of our comfort zone, begin to talk about Jesus, and see how Jesus will empower you to speak boldly about him.

“So regardless of how you have denied Jesus with your deeds and words, he is faithful to forgive you and restore you to a vibrant relationship with him as he did Peter. Whether you’ve failed to be identified with Jesus while your friends were mocking him and Christians, or you’ve walked away from him and the church for many years, he is faithful to forgive you of your sins and empower you with the Holy Spirit to live courageously for his glory.”

If you want to tell others about Jesus and be a bold witness for him, I challenge you to do these things:

1.   Ask for forgiveness for your cowardice.

2.   Ask that the Holy Spirit would give you boldness.

3.   Open your mouth.

After you do that, here is an easy first step you can take. Easter is coming up. Step out of your comfort zone and invite someone to church with you. You will be surprised by how painless it will be! Even if you face rejection, don’t be discouraged. Be obedient and tell others about Jesus.

 

What do your words say about you?

19 Mar

It’s no secret that girls like to talk. It seems to be something that is built into us. We can literally just sit and talk to our friends for hours upon hours and think nothing of it! Most men can’t even understand it… It’s a girl thing!

However, as a result of being talkers, we are also often gossipers and complainers. We can use being women as an excuse for talk that is so clearly warned about in scripture.

Ephesians  4:29 says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

I don’t know about you, but the way I talk is not always good or helpful. I think as women we can tend to focus on two types of sinful talk.

The first is gossip. This is basically talking about other people in a way that you wouldn’t if they were in the room. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever had a conversation with a group of women that doesn’t involve gossip! It is so prevalent and seems to come so naturally to us. But as Christians, gossip should not be a part of our conversations.

What our gossip says about us is that we have a sin problem of our own. When you point out the problems in other people’s lives, you may as well put a magnifying glass on your own.

 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” –Matthew 7:3-5

We are hypocrites when we gossip. In attempting to point out the sins of others, we actually point out our own. We shouldn’t sit around and discuss others’ lives because it is not beneficial to anyone. There are far better things to use our breath and energy on discussing.

Second is complaining. This could possibly be one of the most annoying things to those around you. Nobody likes someone who just constantly complains about their life. Yet it seems like when we get together we can tend to complain about everything under the sun. Our husbands aren’t good enough, our jobs aren’t good enough, we wish we could have a better house or car, life isn’t fair… blah blah blah.

What our complaints say about us is that we are ungrateful and we don’t really trust God.

Ephesians  5:4 says, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.”

Our talk should be encouraging, and full of thankfulness to God. What if we actually spent our time talking about all the ways God has blessed us, instead of complaining about the ways he hasn’t?

When we get together, we have the opportunity to encourage each other and glorify God, we shouldn’t waste it on gossip and complaining.

What do your words say about you?

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

Are your words pleasing to God? I will be the first one to say that mine are not always pleasing to God. However, Jesus is always willing to forgive us and change us. Our prayer should be like Psalm 19:14; that our words would be pleasing to God.

I challenge you to be aware of what your talk consists of when you get together with your girlfriends. When you realize that your talk is really focused of gossiping or complaining, consciously make an effort to switch the topic. It’s not good enough to realize that our talk is sinful and ask forgiveness. We then must change the way we talk, to a way that honors God.

“But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.” –Colossians 3:8

 

Sweet Tweet: Weakness

15 Mar

“God is never impressed with strength. He deliberately allows your weakness for the purpose of showing HIS strength THROUGH you.” -@RickWarren

In our society we are constantly encouraged to be strong women. We are taught to be independent and capable of taking care of ourselves. After all being a woman has been associated with being weak in the past, so we are told we have to over-compensate and show just how strong we are.

While I don’t think that this is necessarily an evil idea… Like most things, the Bible seems to say the opposite of what society tells us.

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – Corinthians 12:9-10

This is Paul talking. Paul had this weakness that he just could not conquer himself. He would pray and pray and pray, but he could not overcome it. God tells Paul that having this weakness is okay! In fact, it actually brings more glory to God.

Did you catch the end of the verse? It says that when we are weak… that is when we are actually strong! Doesn’t seem to make sense, but let’s take a look at it.

1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Think of the strongest most powerful and independent woman you know. Maybe you think of Oprah, Hilary Clinton, or Michelle Obama. The Bible is says God’s weakness is stronger than her strength. His strength is unlimited and cannot even be compared to the strength of humans.

Just being human beings, we are weak. We can try to be tough and handle life on our own, but in the end we are all human beings. We all have failures, shortcomings, and weaknesses.

But the crazy thing is…God doesn’t! His strength never fails. When we try to be strong, we don’t allow his strength to enter our lives. When we accept our weakness and give them to Him, that is when we can gain HIS strength.

Just like God allowed Paul to have a weakness, He will allow us to have weaknesses. You may have something in your life that you just wish God would take away. Maybe you aren’t a good speaker, maybe you have a really dark past, maybe you have a physical or mental disability, or maybe you continue to struggle with the same sin. Whatever your weakness is, it starts with giving it to God. Realizing that you are not strong enough to conquer it on your own, and that is when God will show HIS strength THROUGH your weakness.

It is so comforting to know that our God is okay and even wants us to be weak! He knows we are and He wants to be our strength.

You don’t have to try and impress God with you strength… You can’t fool Him. After all, He created you- weaknesses and all. It’s okay to have weaknesses. It is when we accept our weaknesses that we accept God’s strength, which is stronger than any human strength.

 

Book Review: 101 Questions

13 Mar

This is not your average book. Obviously you can tell from the title that there are 101 questions in it… and that’s about it. It is a book specifically written for Christian couples who are planning on being married in the future. It is designed to help you get to know each other, and discuss a wide variety of topics that should be talked about before committing to each other in marriage.

I know what you’re thinking.. . so cheesy (or stupid/ridiculous/etc.) At least that’s what I thought when I saw people reading this book.

However, seeing that I am in a Christian relationship headed for marriage, me and my boyfriend (now my fiancé) decided to try it out and see if it could be beneficial for our relationship.

What I liked:

The book had a wide range of topics that it touched on. From pets, kids, and family to past experiences, relationships, and goals, this book covered a lot. It definitely brought up things that you need to talk about BEFORE you get engaged

What I disliked:

One comment my boyfriend made was that the whole preface chapter was written to girls. I obviously didn’t notice this because I am a girl so it seemed right! But he was pretty turned off to start because it was all aimed towards women.

The questions were very repetitive. There were certain topics that the book seemed to focus on and asked the same questions over and over in different ways. It got to be a little redundant.

Some questions were kind of silly. Like “When you are sick, how do you want others to respond to you?” At least they provided for a lot of laughs along the way!

Final Thoughts:

I would recommend this book to couples. Even if you have already talked about most of the topics, it is fun to do together and I promise you will learn at least 1 new thing about your gf/bf!

However, my advice is not read it early on in a relationship. My boyfriend and I picked it up when we had been dating for 1 year and 6 months,  AFTER we had discussed the possibilities of getting married. I don’t encourage you to rush things or read this book to soon into your dating life. (Girls, this means don’t buy it for him for his birthday when you have been dating 2 months!) Introducing it too early will put unwanted pressure on the relationship. The longer you date the more these questions and topics will come up naturally to discuss. The book will help out in those areas that are hard to bring up, but need to be discussed.

 

Is this book for you?

Lovebirds:

- If you’re in a relationship but it’s not that serious, don’t rush to get this book. There are plenty of other books that you can read together for fun and for learning more about each other. I recommend The 5 Love Languages or just a book with relationships not as the primary focus. (See my Resources page for some ideas)

-Those of you in serious relationships, who can hear wedding bells in the distance, check it out! I think it can be beneficial.

Single Ladies:

- For you guys, this book can wait. But, keep it in the back of your mind for when you do get into a serious relationship!

 

Purifying Questions

12 Mar

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

Pursuing a life of purity is not easy. Society bombards us with messages that seem anything but “pure”, “lovely”, or admirable”. We can face tough situations in which we don’t know what is right or what is wrong. Not everything is black and white. Christians are often known for what they don’t do rather than what they do.

2 Corinthians 6:6 says, “We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.”

God has definitely called us to a higher standard of purity, and these are the things we should be known for as Christians. So how do we decide what is acceptable to God with the choices we make? Here are a few easy questions you can ask when faced by a difficult decision.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

Is it lawful?

There are some things that are black and white in God’s Word. Some easy examples would be the 10 commandments. We are instructed not to murder, steal, lie, commit adultery, etc. These things are not up for discussion. We are instructed to avoid them altogether.

Am I mastered by it?

One of the 10 commandments is that we should have nothing above God in our lives. When we do, these things become idols that keep us from God. Even good things can be idols: our relationships, family, money, etc. Things that are not necessarily bad can come between us and God.

You should also ask yourself the question “Am I mastered by it?” in relation to your activities, hobbies, and what you do with your friends… These things can control us rather than us controlling them.

This also means that even though you may have passed the “is it lawful” test, if you are mastered by something, it’s got to go

Is it beneficial for others?

This is the final question you need to ask. As Christians, we represent Christ. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you are a picture of Christ and people WILL be watching you. So since we have all these people watching us; we need to be more aware of the things we do, places we go, movies we watch, drinks we drink, etc. What might be lawful is not always beneficial for others. If your decisions cause others to stumble and become confused, it’s not worth it. Also, think about your relationship with God. Even if it doesn’t hurt the relationship, does it bring you closer to Him?

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 says, “All things are lawful for me,but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”

There are some things that we shouldn’t do, just for the sake of those watching us.

“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.  For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol?” 1 Corinthians 8:9-10

When we partake in activities, we are showing our approval of those things. Actions speak louder than words. We must be careful that our behavior does not encourage others to sin, even if it is unintentional.

Going back to the first verse, the Bible says to think about things that are pure, lovely, excellent… do your thoughts and activities qualify?

I challenge you to ask these questions in all areas of life. In your activities, where you go, what you talk about, what you watch, and what you listen to. These questions will help you set up boundaries in your life to assist you in living the life of purity that we all are called to.

 

Bite-sized Blog: Perfect for You

8 Mar

Today’s bite-sized blog comes from “Perfect for You” by Steven Furtick.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

If you have been around Christians for any amount of time you have probably heard the term “God’s will.” It is a term we use for being exactly where God wants you to be, doing what he wants you to do. People agonize and pray and talk about trying to find this thing called God’s will. But many people have a messed up view of what God’s perfect will for them really looks like.

This blog will focus on the word perfect listed after what God’s will is. Most every Christian can say they want to find God’s will for their lives, however our view of God’s perfect will and God’s view of His perfect will may be a little different.

“We need to clear up what we mean by perfect. Otherwise, we could miss out on God’s will altogether because we’ll be too busy chasing our own daydreams.”

“Our idea of perfect is perfect to us.
A perfect day to you might mean everything is going the way you think it should go.
A perfect marriage to you might be one that’s easy and stress-free.
A perfect job to you might be one where you’re high on the leadership pyramid and banking loads of cash.”

These things are not bad things to want, however they may not be included in God’s plan for you. God’s perfect plan for you is designed to develop you into the person you are meant to be. God can’t always develop you through perfect conditions.

His perfect plan might not look perfect to us, but it will be perfect for us.

“God’s will for Job wasn’t perfect to him. He lost everything. But it was perfect for him. It brought him to a whole new level of faith and positioned him for a double portion of blessing later in his life.”

“God’s will for Joseph wasn’t perfect to him. He landed in slavery and prison for over a decade. But it was perfect for him. Through him, God saved his family and an entire nation.”

“God’s will for Paul probably didn’t seem perfect to anyone. Few men have ever suffered so much for the gospel. But it was perfect for him. Few men have ever spread the gospel so vastly in their lifetime.”

“God’s will for you might not always seem perfect to you. But trust me, His will is perfect for you.”

The situations you are facing may seem far from perfect. Your job, marriage, health, finances and kids might seem anything but perfect. You might think that there is no way that this is God’s will for you. But think again. God is putting you through situations to develop your character and grow you into the person you were created to be. He lets us go through these situations so we can show His glory like never before.

“His will may not be easy, but it’s perfect for you.”

If you look at your life and think: There’s no way I’m in God’s will…my life is too messy, then you might just be exactly in his perfect will.

Remember:

“God’s will for you might not always seem perfect to you. But, His will is perfect for you.”