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 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!


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Rejected Reconciliation – What next?

This is a post that I’ve been looking to find somewhere else. I’ve been searching for answers to this burning question I’ve had for years: What if you know you’ve done everything in your power to resolve a conflict and still receive brutal rejection from a bully who wants to control even the outcome of a reconciliation?

I’ve sat through countless sermons on forgiveness and reconciliation. I’ve read God’s Word and am quite knowledgeable about His instructions on the matter. I honestly know it like the back of my hand. I fully understand it yet throughout each teaching I’ve heard, I always sit there on the edge of my seat, waiting for the part that instructs you on what to do when you’ve done all those things and are still up against a brick wall with someone.

That is the sermon I want to hear. That is the blog I want to read. That is the information I am searching for. I want to hear it from someone else. I want to read it from another perspective.

I have my thoughts on what to do in this scenario and since I can’t find anything on this topic, I’m going to go ahead answer my own question.

So, I am a bible believing Christian. I believe we are to be obedient to God’s Word in everything. I do my best to try to follow his Word. I am a Christian. That doesn’t translate to I am perfect. At least not for me. Some Christians, however, may feel this way, thus giving the rest of us a bad reputation.

I’ve learned a lot throughout my journeys. I was not always in tune with everything in God’s Word, but I always had deep solid convictions which always kept me on the right path. I’ve made mistakes but always came back to what I knew to be true about being obedient to God.

So, back to my question. What happens when you’ve done everything biblically correct? You’ve extended grace and mercy in such a way that you consciously put your own painful feelings aside from someone who has hurt you so deeply it has left a permanent scar on your brain because you know deep down inside that you are to do what is right in God’s eyes – not your own eyes. Pushing through your damaged psyche at the works of someone else’s hands and yet finding the grace to still reach out and attempt to wipe the slate clean in the spirit of peace and you are still met with a brand new fueled retaliation, an even more controlling and condescending tone from a verbally abusive bully.

Here’s my answer. It’s not me, it’s them. Plain and simple. I’ve wracked my brain over and over again trying to find answers as to why and how and everything in between. It’s very very simple. It was never about me.

Someone who refuses true peace and resolution from a humble and open heart clearly has some deep rooted issues of their own and it is no reflection on me. Someone who would rather defiantly hold their ground and refuses to compromise in any way as a demonstration of power shows how weak one really is. One who has a philosophy of “my way or no way” and equates peace to I rather be alone than abide by your stupid rules of mutual respect and kindness ends up on an island and a very lonely life. When allowed, bitterness will consume you and drive your reckless decisions and lead you to self-destruction.

Pride goes before a fall my friends and I am witnessing it before my very eyes. While it’s quite sad watching as someone continually makes poor decisions with a rebellious spirit of “I’ll do what I want!” it is so necessary and important to remove yourself as part of the equation because it has nothing to do with you. Stop taking other people’s poor behavior personally. You are not the issue. You never were. EVER!

With each ugly encounter I endured, I began to see more and more that it was never about me. With each act of humility I demonstrated toward peace that was brutally rejected, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With each act of kindness I attempted from my heart that was brutally dismissed and mocked, the light became brighter and brighter.

If I fought, acted in the same manner, stooped to the hellish level of ugly I had been provoked to do, I would never know the depth of the issue that I had been dragged into. I would be part of the problem. But I never was, because I never stooped that low.

It took my acts of utmost humility for me to understand exactly what I was dealing with all along. Had I not had such humility in my efforts, I may have never understood the complexity of the darkness I was dealing with.

MAN! That statement above is so powerful and as I typed, it just effortlessly flowed out of me, it is a revelation of which I am so incredibly in awe of! It’s the answer to all my questions!

The reason I know this for sure is because I see the polarizing differences in our lives. My life is filled with blessing galore. Outside of a nasty conflict that we never wanted, tried to avoid and resolve for four years and never have been involved in anything even resembling the darkness we encountered with someone who has a continual flow of chaos and turmoil in their life, we are blessed with a very stable, peaceful life. We are not only blessed in the worldly realm but spiritually as well, which is most important. My family, children, and marriage all have God’s hands in them and that alone is proof that humility and obedience get rewarded.

It took me a long time to get here and I’m finally here. Healing. Not healed, because it’s a process but I’m on my way with a renewed mind.

Now, I want to take the lessons I learned and I want to desperately help all of you out there who have been wounded by mean-spirited people or by narcissistic sociopaths, and tell you it was never about you. Don’t allow anyone to change who you are because they have bitterness and hate in their heart. Don’t allow anyone to control, demean, belittle, verbally abuse and bully you – stand up and have a voice even if you are standing alone.

It is possible to be graceful and merciful and obedient to God while still standing up and demanding respect for yourself. Never stoop to a level that is beneath you. That’s on them, not you. God will vindicate the righteous – those that are obedient to his instructions.

Humility and obedience will get rewarded. Have patience for it to be revealed in your life as you continue to live in this manner. Any small kind act that is difficult for you to do toward someone who is not deserving is an act of humility and God will see it. You will be rewarded for it if you have a heart for doing what is right and not doing what you want and feel.

I am living proof of one who has walked in obedience when it was difficult and am seeing God’s blessing throughout my life. His promises are real and true!

Author’s Request: I’d really like to get more traffic on this blog and really need your assistance. If you find this blog to be helpful and insightful, please consider sharing it to your Facebook/Twitter, or other social media. If any of you are members of Facebook pages that deal with this topic, please post a link to this blog so I can reach more people. Thank you in advance for helping me attempt to help others who have been or are going through painful times in their lives.

Psalm 135:14
For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.

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

Proverbs 29:23
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

James 4:6
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.


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Attempting Peace with a Narcissist

Right off the bat, forgive me for using a title for this new post that is an oxymoron. It’s a contradiction of words. Peace and Narcissist do not belong in the same sentence. It’s like they need their own paragraphs…perhaps even their own chapters; that’s how far away peace and narcissist are from each other.

How do you bring reason to an unreasonable situation? How do you insert logic into an illogical mind? How do you begin to rationalize with someone so irrational?

Encounters with a narcissist are dizzyingly incomprehensible. Each and every encounter leaves your mind baffled and confused as it repeatedly asks, “What just happened?”

How can one strategically attempt to craft the correct words and actions, pre-planning every step of the way so as not to offend or anger someone who believes their land of delusion is reality and still be brutally shot down because it was once again not sufficient enough to satisfy their domination over you?

You finally think you’ve arrived at the precisely chosen peaceful, loving, merciful walk-on-eggshell verbiage in order to approach an unapproachable person for no other goal than to try to resolve situations which derived from absolute nonsense to begin with provoked and instigated by an overbearing controlling bully with a wacked ideology, only to be met with a new round of more demands, more belittling, more demeaning, and more control.

I’m really not that slow of a learner but why don’t I know this yet? Ugh. I think this time I finally get it.

It’s not because I’m unintelligent. It’s because of how I do life. I give others another chance. I give others the benefit of the doubt. I try to find the good in the bad. It’s the mentality by which I live by.

Here’s the revelation I finally get. I am trying to apply social graces, civility, normality, logic, and rationale to someone who doesn’t grasp the most basic common sense behaviors and norms that stable, healthy members of society live by. Whew! That’s a relief. I get it!

Yes, I get it. However…I still can’t process it and it’s still dizzyingly incomprehensible to me.

Keep on doing what is right and that includes removing unresolvable toxic relationships once and for all.

lowerstandards


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Abusive Relationships

When we think of an abusive relationship, our minds automatically gravitate toward physical abuse. One that leaves visible scars or bruises as evidence of the abuse. This visual evidence prompts compassion and inquiry from others. The abused is able to release pain by explaining circumstances and even implicate the abuser. After all, there is evidence that cannot be denied.

Unless you have personally been subjected to emotional and mental abuse, I’m going to boldly declare that you have no idea the level of pain inflicted on a person’s mental state. Verbal abuse, shunning, rejection, berating, and belittling takes an enormous toll on one’s emotional state. That, coupled with carefully crafted lies in order to discredit and devalue someone, is part of the abuser’s diabolical agenda to vindictively hurt someone.

While I’ve never been physically abused, I’m also going to boldly declare that I believe it is most likely equal in its effect on a person. Yes, there are no scars or bruising on the outside as evidence but that doesn’t minimize the abuse and the pain going on in the inside. Mental and emotional abuse leaves internal scars and bruises no one can see or understand. And because it can’t be visually seen, others don’t offer compassion and there is no inquiry about the pain because they don’t know what you are enduring.

Here’s a clue: Emotional and mental abuse will reveal itself through sadness, anger, insecurity, and even paranoia. It will reveal itself through the insatiable desire to talk about the pain and find reasons to explain why and how…why did it happen and how did I let it? It reveals itself through an overbearing need to seek justice against the abuser by uncovering their false mask to everyone.

I’ve been very lucky in my life to be mostly surrounded by stable, healthy individuals and good relationships. People who know and understand boundaries. People who live by societies norms and live life with mutual respect and kindness. People who know not to burst into someone’s home and begin verbally abusing them in front of their family and then storm out exclaiming, “I can’t deal with her!” People who know that sending multiple profanity-laced texts to a “family member” is unacceptable and warrants an apology, not justification. People who know how to practice self-control and resolve disagreements in a calm, civil, and rational manner not throw explosive temper tantrums when they don’t get their way. People who don’t rationalize hate and relentlessly punish someone for disagreeing with them in order to make them pay. The list of insanity is endless for those who have a very unhealthy view of relationships.

I’ve always been known to my closest friends for giving the benefit of the doubt way too much. I am the girl that maintained certain friendships even though they were unhealthy and lots of work. I’m the one who overlooks things for the sake of peace, grace and even hope. Hoping the things I witnessed were just a season of questionable behavior toward me or to others. I guess I could also confess that there was probably a smidge of denial in my overlooking too. My mind doesn’t comprehend irreprehensible behavior, so, therefore, when I witness it, I’m left thinking that there has to be some justifiable reason behind it and truly people cannot be this cruel to others. My heart usually always goes to the underlying cause…the root of the problem. Privy to information as only one in a close relationship has, the root of the issues has always been what prompts me to extend that grace and to give one more chance.

I rather be known as the fool that gave the toxic person one more chance out of grace and humility than be known for being the toxic person.

Yet another lesson I have learned. Grace can and should be the driving force in all conflicts. However, historic events reveal the true character of people. There are people who don’t want peace and only want to fight. Their ultimate goal in conflict is control. They thrive on chaos and turmoil. They believe they truly have authority over others and will go to great lengths to display this egotistical entitlement and try to dominate others with bullying and demands. Most always, their lives are a shattered mess, they’re exhausted from living a lie, and they wear a false mask of charm, peace and joy. They deflect what’s really going on in their own life by drawing negative attention to someone else with lies in order to set the stage that they’re not the only one with issues when the truth about their lives and who they are is ultimately revealed. If they’re going down, they’re going to take someone down with them.

It’s quite the game they play. Unfortunately, many times, others cannot see it and that is what is so mentally tormenting to someone who has been at the brunt of their horrendous verbal, emotional, and mental abuse. Watching as others believe they are charming and even feel sorry for them having no idea the level of ugly you have been subjected to.

I am a firm believer that truth will always be revealed at some point in time. However, sometimes you have to nudge the truth to come out to those who will listen because your abuser is a master manipulator. Allowing the abuser to paint a false picture of you with lies while portraying themselves as a victim by not speaking up with the truth is only submitting to their brutal control. At some point, it has to end.

I always believed these scriptures:

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

Galatians 6:7-9

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

However, I had a recent revelation. After four years of being silent and allowing my abuser to control me by telling a distorted version of the nightmare we have been living under her domineering authority to anyone who would listen, it is time to speak up with the truth. Sometimes we have to be a participant in our own victories.

Perhaps the lesson is not to “Be still and know that I am God” but the lesson is courage! 

And then this hit me:

David Giant


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Inspiration. How I became a Blogger.

Where do bloggers get their inspiration? And what compels us to share our stories, talents, and passions with complete strangers on the internet? Some bloggers turn into authors and of course, many authors turn into bloggers.

Bloggers come in a variety of flavors and colors and are inspired for a multitude of reasons. Some are inspired by their desire to share their academic knowledge, their exciting adventures from traveling, or their hobbies, talents and passions from everything from cooking to photography and everything in between. Some blog about their life of opulence and indulgence, while others blog about the mundane life of common folk. Then there are those who are emotionally motivated to blog about their life experiences and share their stories birthed from either immense joy or unspeakable heartbreak and tragedy, all contributing to some really great reads. We blog about our transformations, our expectations, our realizations, and our perceptions. We blog to teach, inspire, share, and for some, to heal. Regardless of why we blog, we all have a story to tell. I’m excited to have entered into this world of blogging.

But what makes us bloggers want to write and share our stories with complete strangers that we will never meet? What makes us want to connect with people with whom all we’ll only receive is that highly-hoped-for LIKE or if we’re lucky, a brief reply?? The answers run the gamut depending on who you ask. For me, it’s the possibility of connecting with someone who, after reading my blogs, has a new way of looking at and responding to situations in their life. Also, it’s a way for me to share what I’ve learned through the pain of my trials and testify that goodness prevails over evil, that there is light in the darkness, you can turn a negative situation into something positive, and ultimately how to live in peace through it all, despite what we endure.

My blog is about my life experiences from the half century I have been fortunate to live on this earth. 40 of those years were what I would call uneventful. Not necessarily boring or unimportant by any means because through those years, some amazing things happened in my life. I gave birth to two amazing children, watched them grow up to be amazing young adults, putting God first and inspiring others to do the same by their choices and lifestyle. I have lived through the ups and downs of marriage and survived them all with a wonderful husband who has been by my side through sickness and in health and demonstrated a level of loyalty to me, our marriage and our family that wipes away anything negative that tried to come in and destroy it. I have been very fortunate to travel with friends, my family and alone with my husband, making memories that will last a lifetime.

Indeed, prior to the last decade, my 40 years on this earth were pretty good, sprinkled in with some trivial upsets. I was living a typical, normal, somewhat predictable life. I was blessed in many ways. Reflecting back now, I clearly see that the “upsets” I once thought were difficult to endure, were so very inconsequential. They always resolved themselves quickly and never produced any roadblocks, detours, nor did they require or prompt me to change, grow or give me a thirst for anything more. I was just getting by on what I had always known to be what I thought was enough. I didn’t know any other way and had no clue that I was completely mentally stagnant and robotically enduring day to day life, never realizing how much more there was to learn and how much further I was able to grow.

I certainly wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t great either. I never sought to become better because it never dawned on me that I was in need of any improvement. Not out of pride, but out of ignorance. I had never known anything other than what I was living, a life of complacency. I was unaware that my level of wisdom was halted because I wasn’t seeking any for there was nothing that motivated me to pursue it. I was seemingly satisfied and satiated with my level of knowledge despite the fact that it was incredibly lacking.

It wasn’t until I began to reflect on the many difficult trials I have faced within the past decade that I truly felt inspired to write a blog about my experiences and my true perspective on who I am, what I’ve learned, and what I now aspire to be. I’ve grown more in the past ten years of my life due to pain and heartbreak than I had grown in my previous 40 years of life prior to experiencing the reality and despair of true darkness as I now know it.

Yes, frighteningly, it wasn’t until tragedy and turmoil hit my life this past decade, heartbreak broke my spirit, uncertainty and fear ruled my life, and physical and emotional pain consumed every ounce of my being that I was propelled into wanting, needing and desperately desiring more in life. They were the driving force for my thirst for wisdom, knowledge and much-needed understanding in order to comprehend and learn how to cope with issues I never thought I would face.

No, my years of a normal, predictable, and blessed life mostly filled with joy and happiness with a few bumps in the road peppered in did not urge me into any reflection of who I was and how I was living nor prompt me to seek anything more. It was entirely due to my decade of despair and devastation.

That my friends is what my blog is all about. Healing, hoping, growth and peace through trials, tragedy and turmoil. My hope is to teach you how to turn your negatives into positives, bad situations into good, encourage you to never repay evil for evil, and learn how to relinquish control in situations where you have none in order to maintain your peace. I will share the knowledge that helped dig me out of a dark pit and enabled me to see the light again and who and what this light is that I now rely on and turn to when I’m in need of lifting up, guidance, and being an inspiration others. It’s to teach that when trouble inevitably comes in its many unique and devastating ways, there is a time to mourn, to feel, to react, but there is also a time of healing and recovery and to understand that we are never meant to stay there.

With wisdom comes humility in asking God what the purpose is of our trials and what lessons are we supposed to learn from them. When we come to the end of ourselves and stop doing it our way with our effort and allow God to mold and shape us through our trials into who He wants us to be in order to fulfill His will in our lives, we will indeed heal, grow and lead others to hope through their darkness.

 


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The Power of Hate. The Power of Love.

I cannot ever remember a time I was filled with such hate that it changed the course of my entire life. That it would be the sole driving force for all my decisions and the basis on which I live my life. I cannot remember because hate has never dominated my life.

But, I have witnessed how hate can destroy, divide, and blind those consumed by it.

I cannot imagine a hate so great that it would propel my pride to a level where no one else matters anymore but myself. A hate that demonstrates how I should react when I don’t get my way and/or how I should respond to those who do not see things like I do. A hate that hinders me from assessing my very own actions. That it would be so prevalent that it would seethe within me, take root, rule my emotions and dictate my every decision. A hate so deep that it would plummet me into a pit of darkness and blind me to the reality of the outcome of all my choices. A hate that instigates conflict, vulgarity and impulsive fits of rage without accountability. A hate so powerful it convinces me that my hate is good and love and peace are bad. That my hate would lead me to believe that not only am I entitled to it but that it is justified at any cost. And finally, that my hate is so consuming that Satan actually whispers in my ear that I am happy and at peace in my hate and I wholeheartedly believe it.

With a hate so encompassing, I would hope that I would fearfully ask, “Who is the source fueling this hatred within me and where is this power coming from?” You don’t need biblical wisdom to know that hate does not come from God. God is perfect love. This only leaves one other entity from which hate is derived. This dark power is very pleased watching as hate continues to be fed, justified, and projected all while dragging it’s victim into a deeper, darker pit that is inescapable without God’s intervention, the intercession of prayer, and deliverance from this bondage.

John 8:44
….when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

In love, there is light, hope, and a future. Love is an open door. Love makes you grateful, thankful and empathetic. It wishes the best for others. Love promotes peace and harmony and strives for resolution and reconciliation. Love puts others first. Love shows mercy. Love requests, not demands. Love doesn’t control, it grants freedom. Love repairs relationships and unites.

In hate, there is darkness, despair, and no future. Hate is a closed door. Hate is engulfed in chaos and turmoil. Hate is bitterness and resentment. It is envious of others. Hate is selfish. Hate refuses to compromise and refuses peace. Hate controls, manipulates and dictates. Hate breaks relationships and divides.

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The power of love is so much greater and offers so much more. Love can only be attained through humility whereas hate is derived from pride. Love and peace come from all things good. God is the source of love and peace. If you are serving God, you know peace and love. You are led by the Holy Spirit through convictions on how to react, respond and behave. The exact opposite can be said for hate. If you are serving Satan, hate is all you know. Hate comes from darkness. The powers of darkness too can lead your way of life. The more you feed these powers of darkness, the stronger the dark power will be over you. You feed darkness by your disobedience to God, your pride, ungodly choices and/or lifestyle, and what is in your heart. These are just a few things that open the door to Satan’s power in your life. And yes, you can and will open a door to Satan into your life by your choices. The same with God…you can receive his abundant blessings if you choose to follow Him and be obedient to His Word. It’s that simple.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Hate comes from brokenness and many times it is a reflection of the realization of the emptiness and pain in one’s life. It helps justify denial. Healthy people strive for resolution and have no room for hate in their lives. Hateful people want to remain where they are. Hating someone is never a healthy result of a conflict. Communication, resolution, and ultimately true peace should be the goal.

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Love can be very difficult at times and it requires much prayer and discipline. If someone has caused you pain, love will not come naturally from our flesh. Love is driven by the Holy Spirit within you and only through prayer. Hate is very easy. Hate requires nothing but our selfish, fleshly desire to serve ourselves and driven by the powers of darkness.

1 Peter 4:8
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

How do you love someone who has caused great pain? This cannot and will not be achieved on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us to forgiveness. We must remember that God grants mercy to the undeserving, and that would be you and me. Though difficult, we must do the same.

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

James 2:13
Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The Bible. It’s filled with wisdom and keeps me in line. If you are asking yourself, where do I begin in reading the Bible? Proverbs and Psalms are filled with wisdom and guidance on how we should live our lives. If you’re seeking wisdom, you will find it. Once you are finished with those, you will have a thirst for more and God will lead you.

We all have a choice between being loving or hateful. It all depends on what force we allow to rule our life…goodness or evil. It’s our free will to choose, but all our choices come with consequences, either here on earth or eternally. I choose goodness and I choose God. No one will ever have such power over me as to make me disobey and turn my back on the God of my many blessings. This is not accomplished through my own efforts, because if it was, I’d fail miserably. It is only attainable through God’s grace and mercy which He has bestowed upon me so that I may bestow it upon others. I am undeservingly forgiven every day, through a great price that Jesus paid for me…and for you. I must make an effort, with His help, to do the same.