Friday, June 26, 2015

Dear Christy...

Dear Christy,

Be careful, you know you need to be. It’s happening, and only you can stop it. Life is getting away from you, so it is critical that you take time to stop and ponder. 
Reflect. 
But you know that once you start thinking, it can be hard to stop. Maintain a life where constant reflection is allowed. Where you aren’t too hard on yourself, and you let pain in. It hurts to process, to let yourself truly admit your own
failures, struggles, sin patterns. What can hurt even more is letting other people in your life speak to you of those things. But why? No one is perfect. All of us have faults that are evident to those around us. Even when people don’t address them with us, it doesn’t mean they don’t see them…or worse, aren't affected by them. They are.

Let loved ones in …to speak truth. You need it to grow. You need help in order to stop those excuses you are always making to yourself. Trust them to do it in love. Trust they want what is best for you. Believe good will come from it. It will. But you have to let it. You have to welcome it.

Here are the questions you must ask yourself…but it will hurt. 

Do it anyway.

Where is your time going? Do you live life like there is no end? Are
you spending it paranoid? Worried? Stressed? Tired? Feeling guilty? Angry?
What’s on that “long range to do list” that you keep in the back of your mind? Why aren’t you starting it?

Who do you love? Why do you love those people? Are your actions evident of that love? What about your words? Do they go in contrast with your actions?

Who is hard to love? What can you be doing to love that person better?
Why aren’t you doing it?
Are you too proud? You think you are better? You think your struggles aren’t as bad? You think you have more to offer the world? That the world needs you?
What makes you proud? Do you obsess over it?
Where do you find your identity? In a job? A person? A reputation? A skill? How important is your outward appearance? Is it more important that
what is inside? No you say? Well lets look at how you spend your time? What moments of the day are for the outer? How are you working on the
inner?

Do you truly believe prayer changes things? Really? How much time are you spending in prayer? For your loved ones? For strangers? For the government? For those you think are "bad people"?

Do you think about the persecuted church? Christians being tortured this very moment for choosing Christ? Do you think about them? Do you ask God to encourage them...to do miracles in those dark little dungeons? To use them to help other prisoners? Why did God take them there? What does He have planned? What about their families at home who know what is happening to them? How excruciating for them to know their loved one is suffering. Are you praying for their rescue if God wills? What about their captors? Are you praying for those torturing them? 

What about ISIS? Are you?

Look at your day. If you truly believe prayer changes things, then why is it not consuming your thoughts? Scattered moments throughout the day where you say a small prayer can change things. Can you take your mind off yourself for a moment, to pray for someone else? Do you know God’s word? Truly? 

What holds your thoughts?
What makes you cry?
Are you willing to forgive?

Do you see your money that you earn as “yours”. How are you spending it? Are there others who need it more than you do? Would you say you aren’t selfish but you also are very attached to it? Is your lifestyle more important to you than being generous? How would you live life if only your basic needs were met?

Or…

Are you primarily consumed and concerned with those things that affect you: with goals, your to-do list, your family, your success, your money, your reputation...you?  

Gross....

but there's grace. Rejoice that there's grace.