PrayerPoint ~ Letting Go and Living

I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life I have held on to things for far too long…

A pair of pants I wore many moons (and sizes ago).

A momento from an old flame.

A wound from a friend.

Disappointment in myself.

Last year, I had the opportunity to help a family member do some purging. If you know me well, you might be laughing because you know I have some purging of my own to do. And I actually am getting around to doing just that! But the stuff seems to multiply quickly if I am not proactive and intentional.  I often set things aside to deal with later and then, when later finally comes around, the opportunity or need has passed. Well, at least, when I make my next pass, it might be easier to toss!

Sometimes I hold onto things because they are interesting, I need to know more about it so I can make a decision, or it is something that needs to be saved. Sometimes I hold onto an item that is simply too difficult to release for any number of reasons. Trust me, the person who has to sort through all your treasures after you die will be thankful if you don’t have lots of piles to sort through. Start purging!

But those old wounds?

Release them!

I don’t know that this can be done on your own.

I know I can’t do it on my own. 

But these things — they need to go! I am pretty sure they can suck the life right out of a person. You’ve seen people that are drained and depressed by old wounds. Their pain is evident.

Do I want to look like that? 

Do I want to LIVE like that?

I don’t.

I can’t.

I can’t because that isn’t living.

I need to place it all “At the Cross” and work through the process of forgiveness!

Below are the lyrics to a song that I have loved for quite some time. The melody is just as sweet.

I know a place, a wonderful place
Where accused and condemned
Find mercy and grace
Where the wrongs we have done
And the wrongs done to us
Were nailed there with Him
There on the cross

At the cross
He died for our sin
At the cross
You gave us life again

Are you holding onto something that you need to let go?

 

Do Your Best…

We are told “do your best”! But what if your best isn’t:

a) good enough?
b) possible?
c) worth the effort given the circumstance/time frame?
d) [fill in the blank]

And how often do you find yourself disappointed in others when they don’t choose to do “their best”?

There are many times I don’t give my best effort. I make plenty of mistakes. Sometimes I am tired and overcommitted. And if I wait to be sure I only “do my best” than some things simply won’t ever be done! Can you relate?

What is good enough? What is close enough? If you berate someone for their effort–even if you know it wasn’t their best effort–what are you accomplishing?

If you have demanded or simply expected the best of others this week it is very likely you were disappointed with the results. Aside from Jesus, perfection isn’t possible. So look at those around around you. Look for ways to encourage and celebrate their contributions. Don’t always try to sneak in correction with a compliment. Recognize that there often isn’t only one right way. Instruction is good but constant instruction can be exhausting to receive.

Have you been too hard on yourself because you have made decisions that weren’t “the best” and they have lead you to a difficult place? I think we probably all have regrets. And some of our concern for others involves our regrets about our own behavior. Most people will not glean as much from the experiences of others as they will from their own experiences, as difficult to watch as that may be. Most people learn life lessons by living their life.

If you have been difficult to live with due to your incredibly high expectations of yourself or others, maybe it is time to re-evaluate your hopes and dreams. Be sure they are closer in line with reality and bathed in God’s love and grace. No one makes the best choice or invests their best effort all the time and your response to those choices will say a lot about the future of your relationship. Your love and grace can make all the difference!

1 Corinthians 13:1-8

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Listening to God

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Listening to God
I am currently studying the life of David. There are two chapters of I Samuel you should probably read for a greater understanding of this PrayerPoint: 1 Samuel 24-26.
The quick summary of where I am in this study of David’s life is this: Saul is the king. David actually is chosen (by God) as the next king. While Saul is king he is jealous of David and pursues David’s life relentlessly. David is in two situations when he could kill Saul but does not do it. Instead, David let’s Saul live.
Have you ever been targeted by someone personally or professionally and placed in a perfect public position to retaliate and let the moment pass without acting on it? Can you imagine the self-control that would require? David would have been justified (humanly-speaking) if he had killed Saul. In fact, it could have even been viewed as God giving Saul over to David by placing him in the perfect situation (even twice) to take Saul’s life. By all accounts it looked like God was delivering Saul into David’s hand except David knew God’s heart on the matter. What are the baby steps of self-control that lead up to that level of maturity? Not all of these relate to this exact scenario but they do all relate to self-control…here are a few I came up with but I am sure there are more:
  • not insisting on my own way
  • turning away from things that look good “in the moment”
  • honoring God in “little” things (which are really big things)
  • deferring to another’s idea
  • saying no to “good” things because there is a “better” or “best” choice
  • not looking at every open door as a place to enter
  • allowing someone else to be honored
  • a very solid relationship with God
You simply do not know when you will be placed in a position when you need to discern what God would want of you but practicing self-control now as well as deep relationship with God certainly will place you in a better position. Now, keep in mind that David will be making some really poor decisions when he is king so even though he is walking closely with God during this scenario with Saul, David obviously does some drifting as the years go by. A sobering thought.