There are so many quips and quotes that are meant to encourage us to be better people. A part of society (and I hope a large part) are earnestly trying to serve their fellow-human. The very basic idea of making servanthood our purpose is so Biblically based that even good people who don’t profess to be Christian, can’t deny that God said it first.
When asked what is the greatest commandment? “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:37-39
The book of Matthew has great instruction for interacting with fellow humankind, even those who treat us badly. In chapter 5, versus 43-48 we are even told to love our enemies! There is so much wrong with self-preservation thinking because it is the opposite of what Jesus taught. For example, this is one of those social media posts making the rounds that have taken a hold of people’s thinking – so much so that even Christians begin to speak these kinds of things.
Believers! what ever happened to Turn the other cheek; Forgive seventy times seven; Live humbly, Allowing God to be your Protector, and Above all things – Love, show Mercy and Forgiveness, and be Gracious?
We have been given such a gift of inner peace and other people need it so badly. No thing or no person’s behavior can destroy that. Our mission is to share His peace, putting into practice the ways that Jesus taught us.
In this world, all people have hurts and hang-ups. As Christians however, we know where our peace comes from. We can become ineffective as Christians if we become closed off to the world that we are called to serve. If we fall into the trap of the practices of self-preservation that society promotes, we risk being as empty and lost as those who behave in the way we were trying to protect ourselves from..
Let’s change the message and allow Jesus to protect our hearts while we practice sharing the only kind of inner peace that will satisfy every troubled heart.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
We all know what insecurities are or at least we know the general gist of what it means to feel insecure by today’s world of self-awareness. To be emotionally insecure by definition, is to lack confidence, assurance, or to have self-doubt. And that is enough all by itself but the layers of severity or areas of insecurity have become extensive in the minds of people today.
What if we viewed insecure as the opposite of secure? Most definitions of the word Secure don’t even mention emotions or behavior. Secure: dependable, firm, to be trusted, to obtain, free from danger. If our insecurities are rooted in our emotions or thoughts, why would we give weight to something that is Undependable, soft, NOT to be trusted, or dangerous?
When a steam kettle is left on the stove, it will whistle and make all kinds of noise when it reaches the boiling point. That’s your first warning. Left unattended, it may boil over and make a huge mess and eventually it will go dry, leaving the kettle to burn and possibly causing a room full of smoke and maybe even fire. That is the same with thoughts and imaginations that are stemmed in insecurity. A thought may come to mind that is based on a personal emotional insecurity – by the definition above that would be a thought based on “lack of confidence or self-doubt.” It’s when we let it heat up to a boil that it becomes the kind of insecurity that is the opposite of secure: undependable and dangerous.
So how do we nip those thoughts that are based on self doubt, in the bud before they come to boiling point? the Bible tells us this about our thoughts in Philippians 4:8.(MSG)
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
I can only imagine what chaos life would be if I were being tossed around by the storms that surround me. Somehow I am able to lay beside the quiet water. It’s not like I’m in charge of any of the storms or have any control over them anyway. It’s still true that they are certainly out there, except they have no impact on me and I have no control over them.
I see myself laying on the edge of a large, mountain lake where I can feel the wind blow over me while the gentle ebb and flow the water splash against me where I lay. The sight is almost hypnotizing in its rhythm, back and forth across the pebbles. The wind through the pines are the perfect level of sound like the best background music I could have ever chosen. However, if I sit up a little and look out across the lake where it meets the horizon, I can see the water is rough out there. Little white caps from the waves kicking up and folding over themselves are a little disorienting because it is in contrast to the water here on the edge, where the water just trickles gently back and forth. The wind is doing more out there than making sweet music in the trees. If I strain, I can hear how it makes the water create it’s own noise in the splashing. The sky looks a little dark, too, as if it is a completely different sky from the one I’m laying under at the shoreline.
The thing is, I know that the storm is out there. It might be coming my direction or it might just blow on past. From where I lay beside the quiet water, that storm is out of my reach and beyond my control. So I lay back down and let that distant storm play itself out while I lay beside these quiet waters.
“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”