Peace & Perspective

Living in Peace by having the right perspective. Peace – ˈpēs Noun: Freedom from strife; a state of tranquillity or serenity. Perspective – per·spec·tive – pərˈspektiv – Noun: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.


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The Culture of Offense

I admit it. I am easily offended. I am that girl. Am I proud of this? No. I wish I weren’t this way. I wish I didn’t take snide remarks, rude behavior, and people with no filter to heart. Truth is, I do. And, I know exactly why. It’s a combination of harsh environments, abrasive people, and incomprehensible ridiculous injustices I have experienced peppered throughout my life. And, quite honestly, people are offensive.

As I wrote in my blog, “The Culture of Me”  we are living in a time when everyone’s first and foremost concern is themselves. It’s easy to get offended simply by going out in public and interacting with people. Offense is easily triggered when kindness allows the car in front of you to effortlessly enter traffic – with no wave or thanks in return. Grace holds the door open and allows someone else to walk through first – with absolutely no acknowledgment. Self-control says nothing as distracted shoppers bump into you – while they turn back and give you a dirty look.

What happened to us as a society? I can never remember living in a time such as this. It’s not just public interactions either. It’s family, friends, and acquaintances as well. Blatant rudeness, disrespecting personal boundaries, zero filters, sarcastic or demeaning comments, and my favorite, initiating and provoking conflict. Yet, all become bewildered – and offended when the offensive behaviors are held accountable.

It won’t stop until one person steps up to be the bigger person. Either the offended person lets it go without incident or the one who has done the offending takes accountability for the offense. Rarely do we have a situation where both parties do their part in keeping the peace. Typically, it’s the offender who expects others to not be offended by their offensive behavior.

As a follower of Christ, I know we must show the love of Jesus to everyone including people who offend us. Most people who offend us don’t even know they’re offensive. They lack the social cues and missed the opportunity to learn and gain what is necessary to be a giving and selfless individual. For those who have a desire to grow, this can be remedied by discipline and a teachable spirit. However, some see no need to change as their self-centeredness is all they know and care about.

At times, I wonder if showing the love of Christ will make a difference in the lives of others. Will they even recognize my effort to overlook their offense or simply see it as permission to continue the offensive behavior because I did not oppose. I know that the hope is they will learn from it and show the same grace to others as well as recognize their own offensive behavior, however, it is not the reason why I should show the love of Christ. Showing the love of Christ to the unlovable does a work in me because it suppresses my fleshly desire to react naturally. This cannot be done without humility. It disciplines me on how to react on a supernatural level depending solely on the help of the Holy Spirit.

So, how do we navigate past another’s lack of self-awareness and insensitive offenses? By understanding that we are all dealing with some type of past hurt in our lives and a great majority of us are living with unhealed wounds. These internal wounds of offense that we all carry are sure to surface outwardly by our demonstration of offensive behavior or by our reaction to offensive behavior. Basically, we’re all a ticking time bomb of emotions ready to explode.

That’s where grace comes in as we discipline ourselves to stop our natural reaction and instead pause and do something unnatural – show love in return. Love can be as simple as practicing patience or it could be bold by overlooking the offense entirely. It sounds impossible. It even feels impossible. But with Christ, all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

Let’s start being better humans to one another. Next time someone is kind to you on the highway or holds the door open for you, stop and give them a wave, a thank you and a smile. It will make their day and I guarantee you’ll feel good about it too! Then next time, you be the one to go out of your way for someone with a selfless act of kindness and begin to plant seeds in them of what selflessness truly looks like.

Proverbs 19:11

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

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Christ Followers – Stop with the Karma!

I always cringe when I see Christians posting on Karma. Karma has nothing to do with God. Karma is a theological concept found in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. That fact alone should make Christians run but why do I see so many Christians wishing “Karma” on others or seeking any form of revenge?

First, as Christians, Karma is the last thing we should want on those who have betrayed or hurt us. Sure, our flesh may want revenge and for them to feel the same pain they caused us, but as Christians, we are to die to our flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us with humility. Once you do that, your flesh takes a back seat and the Holy Spirit takes over and you begin to recognize the root cause of the lost soul who hurt you and how desperately they are in need of healing and prayer.

The Holy Spirit within us prompts our hearts to want the best for others – despite… Despite the pain they’ve caused, despite the betrayal, despite the unfairness. This is a great test to see where our level of spiritual maturity is. Wishing revenge or karma on someone who’s hurt you is a telltale sign of the level of your spiritual maturity.

  • Those with no spiritual maturity will wish karma and seek revenge upon those who have hurt them and will be at peace with that decision.
  • Those who are infants in spiritual maturity will wish karma and revenge on others but will feel that Holy Spirit nudge and know it’s not right to wish revenge on anyone and do their best to withdraw from these feelings.
  • Those who are growing in their spiritual maturity will reluctantly but obediently pray for the best outcome for those who have hurt or betrayed them. It’s difficult for them but they still do it and in doing it, they continue to grow spiritually and God rewards them for their obedience in giving them peace in the matter.
  • And lastly, those who are fully spiritual mature will have an automatic instinct to pray for someone that has wronged them and their heart will hurt for them because they have the discernment to know how badly they are in need of saving and inner healing that can only come from prayer and intercession. There is no wish to do them harm and all they desire is to see them healed and whole again. Because someone who is healed and whole cannot and does not hurt others.

Scripture is very clear that if we are walking the path of righteousness – not our righteousness but His, God will always vindicate us. I find comfort knowing that He knows my heart and my intentions always and I don’t have to explain anything to Him because He already knows and I can rest in that.

Patiently waiting for God to vindicate us means we must trust in His timing and that is very difficult. It means He alone will bring truth to light and expose darkness without any effort from us.

We must remain obedient and silent, not seeking to vindicate ourselves while we wait. We must understand and recognize that through the waiting, He is doing a work in everyone involved, including us and by being obedient, He will vindicate those who are walking in His righteousness and He alone will deal with those who are not. This brings me peace.

Once you have reached this peaceful realization that the bad behavior of others has nothing to do with you (assuming you’ve done some self-reflection and have owned your part of any conflict), give it to God and just wait. Soon peace will come, not by wishing punishment on whoever hurt you, but because you know a greater power is in charge of the situation and you can finally let go of all the exhausting effort in vindicating yourself. By waiting, trusting, and handing it over to God, you’ll not only receive righteous vindication, but it will be the purest form of justice you will ever receive without one bit of effort from you.

Take it from me because this is where I am now, receiving Godly favor in all areas of my life. Be sure to recognize what vindication may look like…sometimes it’s not as obvious as you have envisioned it. Vindication may be good health, good fortune, wonderful children, a blessed marriage, peaceful and joyful living, restoration of your reputation, or the emergence of new, Godly friends. Just be sure to recognize the blessings in your life…they are God’s favor for your obedience.

Psalm 17:2
Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.

Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! If this blog has helped in any way, please share with others.


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The Repercussions of Denial and How to be Free From it

Denial will:

  • Allow you to continue to stay in a pit of darkness indefinitely.
  • Rob you of your peace.
  • Promote a delusional way of thinking where you believe your own lies and justify unjustifiable situations.
  • Eventually cause you to self-destruct.

Denial will not:

  • Bring resolution to any problem.
  • Change the facts of a situation.
  • Improve your life in any way.

Are you using denial as a coping mechanism? Denial falsely allows you to believe that if you don’t accept and deal with an unpleasant or painful situation, you don’t have to accept the truth and reality of it and therefore, it doesn’t exist. You blindly go about your life pretending everything is okay when it’s not masking your pain with the facade of joy and peace. This results in living a life of deception and will catch up with you as deception opens the door to more pain and difficulty to take root in your life.

By not facing truth and reality, the only thing you are accomplishing is holding yourself prisoner in your very own jail. You alone hold the key to escape out of your prison.

Soon you will see that avoiding whatever it is you don’t want to accept and burying it further and further inside you will only manifest into dysfunction in all other areas of your life. The more you prolong acceptance, the more detrimental denial is in your own life.

It will manifest into your mental state, your physical state, your relationships, your marriage, your home, your family and your overall peace.

Why not consider taking a new approach? There is a way out. Simply accept what is and face it head on!

Easier said than done, I agree. But once you begin by taking the very first step toward acknowledging that the denial must end and that you must now learn to cope with what placed you there to begin with, you are on your way to freedom! My advice comes from personal experiences resulting in many successful final outcomes motivating me to share it with you.

How? Here are a few easy and doable steps to freedom:

  1. You cannot do anything to improve your circumstances if you act in pride. Refusing help, guidance, truth, and reality will only keep you right where you are forever. Give yourself ample time to process the difficult situation, but do not stay there! As you begin to drop your pride, you will find that you are now able to humbly ask for help. As you do this, the main focus should be your freedom and revelation that the weight of the issue on your shoulders that you have been carrying for way too long will now be exchanged with a healthier way of coping with the problem. It won’t change the situation you have to deal with it, but it will drastically improve your quality of life as you navigate and accept the truth and reality of what you’ve been denying in a more objective and healthy manner. It will make a huge difference.

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.

  1. Seek wisdom. It’s amazing what we learn when we seek and thirst for wisdom and are ready to grow and be tested. The scales on our eyes are peeled away and light appears in the form of truth and understanding. Solicit advice from those who tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear – those are the people who truly care about your well-being. Those that speak with such boldness do it with your very best interest at heart, otherwise, they would not put themselves in such a vulnerable position of the possibility of your rejection and anger. This is a sign of true friendship – hold onto it dearly. It means they love you and want what’s best for you at any cost. This is where your humility will be tested. Do you accept the advice or do you resist? If you’ve checked your pride before soliciting advice, you’ll be sure to learn, consider new approaches, see things in a different light and be on your way to better understanding and dealing with your difficult situation. You’ll also be able to remove all emotional pain associated with it and cope merely based on facts and solutions and hit it head on. This is the difference between being a prisoner and being free.

Proverbs 27:5-6  – Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 4:6-7  6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

  1. Now that you have dropped your pride and searched for wisdom, you are on your way to freedom. Be assured that God has recognized your obedience thus far and is orchestrating all things to work out for your good as He works behind the scenes to send blessings your way. As you pray, remember to come boldly yet humbly before Him and ask Him to shield you with his protection, make a way where there seems no way, and guide you on the path that is His will for you as you allow Him to use you as His vessel in whatever it is He wants to accomplish through you in your trial.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

  1. Last but not least, wait for His timing. This is where He does a work in you and refines you like silver. He works on your patience, your trust, your faith, and your self-control. You cannot rush His timing. The level of your faith, trust and obedience will show God the true condition of your heart and whether or not you are ready to be promoted and blessed. Do not give up if you do not see instant results. The longer your situation lingers, the more you have to learn. Resolution only comes when God sees you have learned all the lessons He wanted to teach you. A willing and submissive heart will learn these lessons much quicker than those who stubbornly and defiantly give up before the lesson is learned. A failed lesson will only result in further testing.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Zechariah 13:9 – And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.

Be blessed as you accept what is and live in freedom!