I feel like I’m just not doing a good enough job.
I don’t feel like I know how to effectively minister to people.
Those words (and others like it) poured from my mouth yesterday. I began preparing lunch while mulling over my feelings. Disgusted with myself, discouraged, and feeling like I should just go crawl back to bed, I stood at the counter and prepared veggie quesadillas for my husband and me. The assembly had been done; now was the mindless task of grilling them on the stove. My mind wandered back to my words, and the Spirit of God rebuked me, using His Word. The verse He used was Philippians 4:8 – perhaps you have wisely memorized it:
If I feel something, does that make it true? No. So I had to remind myself of what I knew to be true.
- God works in me to will and do His good pleasure. If He’s doing the work, then it’s good. Period.
- When I give someone the Word, it is always profitable – even if my own words are not.
I let it go. I knew better than to hang onto my feelings, but here I was doing just that. I had to shake my head at myself – just hours before I had given that very advice to someone else. Now here I was having to tell myself the same thing!
If you’re using words today like,
- “It seems like…”
- “It appears…”
- “I think…”
- “I feel like…”
- “She looks like she…”
Stop. Run to Philippians 4:8 and tell yourself only the Truth rather than believing the lies the devil is feeding you!
I have to say, lunch was a whole lot sweeter without the bitterness of those lies in my heart!
Believe the truth, friend!
Wow! Yesterday a few hours after posting my pictures of our Thanksgiving on my blog, I had gotten over 800 views! It’s pretty amazing to me how much people enjoy seeing pictures of what others do, how they spend their vacation, their free time, or their family time. But it’s true. They do. I do. We’re curious.
There is a danger, however, that I think we should be aware of. It’s the danger of making assumptions. We look at pictures on blogs, Facebook or Instagram, then we start processing what our eyes see. We might assume that:
- They never struggle with “stuff” like we do.
- They’re well-off.
- Their life is easier, better, or happier than mine.
- They wake up gorgeous and never have a “bad hair day.”
- Their family life is perfect.
- They never work.
- Their house is perfect.
- They have no inner struggles, hurts or losses.
I won’t go on, but I think you get the picture (pun intended!).
None of those statements are true, of course, but we often let ourselves go on believing it’s so until we’re ready to jump off the proverbial bridge. It’s at those moments that we need to do two things –
- Stop looking in-between the lines. This means to just look at the picture for its face value. Is their tree decorated beautifully? Don’t assume that “everything is always perfect at their house” just because their tree is lovely. What isn’t pictured is the mess from the ornament boxes, the pine needles on the floor everywhere and the crying child in another part of the house. No one has a perfect house all the time.
- Start thinking the truth. Everyone has difficulties, every marriage has to work through issues from time to time, everyone struggles and needs the Lord and His Word.
So, the next time you slide your way through pictures, be aware of what thoughts are going through your mind and “stop” and “start” with the right assumptions!
We all like to think we have no enemies, that everyone is behind what we represent, how we live and what we do. But the truth is, none of us will ever please everyone. There will always be someone who will criticize and slander our name.
When was the last time someone spoke evil of you? Maybe it was to your face, or perhaps that word was behind your back, but got back to you (as gossip and slander always do!).
Apparently David also knew what it was like to be criticized and talked about. I recently read Psalm 119:23
Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
I love David’s response! Rather than thinking about the people who were talking, rather than repeating what the people said, and rather than dwelling on what he’d tell them if he got the chance, he made the choice instead to meditate on the Scriptures!
When I’ve dealt in the past with criticism, I have often done all the highlighted things above. I rehearse it in my mind, I think about “those people!,” and I make long, speeches in my mind, instead of meditating on Scripture. My thoughts did not help or comfort me! But what if I had chosen to dwell on God’s Word? Oh, the comfort, the counsel and the wisdom it would bring!
Are you dealing today with ugly things that have been said about you? Don’t think about it! Instead, follow David’s example and find a passage of Scripture to meditate on. Write it on a card and keep it with you all through the day. Commit it to memory. Pray it back to the Lord. Those biblical thoughts will profit you and encourage growth – something that dwelling on the evil will not do!
Refresh yourself with thinking on God’s Word!