You know, I’m starting to believe that Mondays are designed to be a test day: A test of your faith and character traits in Jesus. After all, Sundays are known as a day of rest, but also a universal day to enter the house of the Lord and to refuel for the week that lies ahead.
I write these devotions, and send posts and images through various social media channels that reflect who I am, being transparent without offense. In fact, I stretch daily through writing and speaking. These are areas of business that I would have never personally gravitated towards. Why? Because I have always applied a “non-disclosure” agreement to my life. What does this mean? I would never share personal information just to be sharing. I have always viewed my life as confidential, unless I needed to encourage someone through my experiences, but that is a one-one-one situation. I worked behind the scenes. Even in corporate america, my positions did not require personal interaction or face-to-face with the business. I built servers, networked and troubleshoot this issues. I participated in an on-call rotation during the evening hours to resolve technical issues, while the Team Lead explained to the Business Manager what the issues were and how they were resolved; that is…until I was asked to fulfill a Liaison/Project Management position; but I was asked, I did not desire it by any means.
I do not gravitate to things that would require me to be the focal point of the attention – but here I stand, in the midst of a career, transparent and often the center of attention (to some degree) to motivate, uplift and encourage others.
With all of that and just trying to do what is right all the time, it is so disheartening how people have no genuine compassion. When you do all that you can to help others, show no respect of person (not intentionally), to be kind and to be a living example and people STILL find a way to judge you, what do you do?
Use that energy to be more kind, more loving, more sincere, more thoughtful. I do not like having enemies, but I also had to learn that if everyone speaks well of you, then consider if God is pleased. If Jesus was criticized, the one we say we are modeling our lives after, then how much more will we be criticized? If you do not have enemies, then your godliness is probably not showing very well.
Luke 6:26 (NKJV)
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
I have adopted so many mottoes, but one that rings clear: If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personal.
Learn the difference between forgiving and trusting. Forgiveness is free and is required for us to receive from our Father.
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses
Trust is earned. I can forgive you for your ill intent, but I do not have to allow you back into that space because you have broken the bond of trust. I can block you, remove you, or physically disconnect from you without wishing any harm on you, but the relationship we once had can no longer be. Listen! There is nothing wrong with that. Jesus forgave Judah, but He did not trust Him. HELLO SOMEBODY! Being a peacemaker is a gift. If my peace means staying away from anyone or anything that looks evil (that is bible) that SHALL I do.
Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV) Abstain from every form of evil
If a person that you have sacrificed to help through your time, personal resources, motivation, encouragement, late night texts and early morning calls…meetings upon meeting upon meeting…is willing to walk out on you or speak ill against you, be spiritually strong enough to let them leave, yet compassionate enough to pray for them. Most of the time, their frustration is displaced, you happen to be the recipient of it.
Luke 17:1-4 (NKJV)
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Did you pass the test today?
Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you