And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT
How many times do you pray for something for somebody else that you could easily take care of yourself? I believe we get so wrapped up in the assumption that God is supposed to do everything, that we neglect to see how we could easily be a blessing to that person. We can get so consumed with thinking about what we would be losing on our end instead of doing what Acts 20:35 says, “it is better to give than to receive.” The devil keeps our minds occupied with fear and doubt regarding helping others because if we actually do our Christian duties, people will be blessed and God will get the glory—two things the devil absolutely hates. Sometimes before we pray about certain things for other people, we need to see if we can answer the prayer ourselves. God will always provide for us when we take care of each other as today’s scripture states. Continue reading
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 NLT (emphasis added)
This may come as a surprise to you, but one sure fire way to eliminate stress in your life is to simply mind your own business. Have the mindset the less you know the better. The more you know the more you want to help, and the more you will end up being stressed over the situation. We always want to be in the know, but it’s really so we can be nosy or stay in the loop that we have no business in in the first place. If you think about it, how many people do you know who find out what they want to know actually do something productive with the information? Oftentimes people’s motives are not pure to begin with, so once the information is received, it can be used as a source of gossip or manipulation. You need to be selective with the information that you let resonate with in spirit. I’m not saying to not help people who genuinely need help—even though that can still be stressful in and of itself—but what I am saying is if you don’t need to know certain information, be content without knowing. You will find that you will have so much more peace in your life if you just worry about your own affairs rather than adding the stress and pressure of someone else’s. To operate like this will not happen overnight, especially if you are the type that always has to know what’s going on. It will take the help of the Holy Spirit to constrain you, and discernment to know what to get involved in and what to leave alone. Continue reading
I planted, and Apollos watered, but God made it grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6 GW
Everything has a time and place (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), and we are just living out our parts in God’s script for humanity. You’re on your job for a reason, you have the friends and family in your life for a reason, each relationship was for a reason, every circumstance is for a reason etc. Nothing is by accident, but it’s all by God’s design and purpose. Continue reading
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Galatians 6:1-3 MSG
We all need each other in the body of Christ. We are called to love one another and to help each other. Those of us who are strong in faith have an obligation to help those who are not as strong as we are. When someone falls into sin or has burdens that seem too heavy for them to carry by themselves, we as believers are to step in and edify them. No one needs to hear harsh criticism or have people turn their backs on them. In hard times, people need to hear and feel the love of Christ. If you were down and out you would want someone to be there for you, so extend that same courtesy and be there for your fellow brother or sister in Christ in their time of need. Continue reading
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
1 Corinthians 13:5,7 (AMPC, emphasis added)
One way we stress ourselves out on a daily basis is dealing with people in the wrong way. We have to learn how to start living by the spirit and not by the flesh. The flesh does everything opposite of what God wants, and it does this because it is sinful. Galatians 5:16 (NLT) says, So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Your flesh wants to hold a grudge, cuss somebody out, let them have a piece of your mind, give them the silent treatment, etc. The world tells you to act in the same way—eye for an eye. If we act the same way that the world does, how does that set us apart as God’s holy people? I know, because I’ve been there most of my life, how people can just send you over the edge with how they act; and I know how badly you want to just let them have it. I get it! But I know the other side and I know how that side actually wins the hardest of hearts. That side is walking in love. I know you are thinking, “Walking in love! They don’t deserve that after how they treated me.” That’s the devil sitting on your shoulder feeding you lies. Think of Jesus…He was abused, talked about, spit on, lied on, beat up, and ultimately crucified, but what did He do? He prayed for those people on the cross and asked God not to hold it against them. If Jesus can pray for people who mistreated Him, what more should we do when we think we are treated unfairly! Continue reading
Peter came up to the Lord and asked, “How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?” Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
Matthew 18:21-22 CEV
When people do us wrong, we instantly want to get revenge and make them pay for what they’ve done. Sometimes we wish ill-will on them and make them feel guilty for the offense. This is one of the biggest mistakes we can do in our Christian walk because what makes us any different if we’re going to act just like them? Jesus says to love your enemies and to pray for them (see Matthew 5:44). This is what wins souls and melts the coldest of hearts. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and if you’re the Christian in the situation, you have to do what’s right first because you know better. Continue reading
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT (emphasis added)
One way that we can ease frustration in our lives and maintain peace is to realize who our enemy really is. It’s not the people in our lives or even our circumstances, but the devil and his demon spirits. For all intent and purpose I will focus on “people.” We all encounter people every day of our lives with different personalities from our own. The devil is our ultimate enemy, but he can only be in one place at one time, so he sends out demon spirits to manifest in people, namely people that are close to us. People who are dearest to you may pose to be an enemy in the natural, but once you understand how the spiritual realm works, you will be better equipped to handle any type of person, in any circumstance. Continue reading