The Power of Words

Have you ever seriously considered the impact of your words? People care about what you say. Your cynicism or judgement can bring down someone’s spirit.

Words can build us up, and words can tear us down.

I had someone say something to me the other day, and it continues to bother me. He may have meant it as a joke, but knowing him as I do, I couldn’t see the funny side of it. I felt he condemned me because I had to go to work, and had to miss church on a Sunday.

Does working on some Sundays make me less of a Christian? What about my relationship with God?

Have you ever treated someone with disdain because of this same issue? I used to be a lot more judgmental than I am today. But God used college, time, maturity, and perspective to give me a kinder and more understanding spirit. I realized that it’s all about your relationship with God.

Don’t get me wrong, I long for fellowship… and the day where I get to do that regularly with my church family.

But please don’t tear down my spirit when it is already downtrodden.

I need you to speak life, to care about each person you talk to. You could totally make someone’s day, just with a few words of encouragement. Be the light of Christ in their lives. Don’t make them feel bad for something they have no control over. Your words can build them up, and give them hope.

So, will you use words to build up, or tear down?

 

In Christ,

Ariel

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Where’s Your Anchor?

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Choppy Waters

You’ve come a long way, and parts of the journey were so much harder than you expected. Sometimes you thought you couldn’t bear the pain and disappointment a moment longer.

What got you through those hard times? I pray that all of you have friends or family in your lives that have helped you shoulder your burdens, lend a listening ear, and just be there for you. I personally recommend having a mentor who is not a relative. They can give you a perspective that is totally new, and get you back on track.

My anchor in the storm is Jesus Christ.

I’ve panicked a time or two as I saw water gushing into my boat. I’m not even a good swimmer, so being surrounded by water (aka trials) could naturally cause anxiety. I wasn’t prepared for this… but God knew that before the storm even came, that I would not feel ready. He knew that I would have to trust Him, and not my own strength.

In Matthew 8, we read of a stormy gale the disciples found themselves in. The disciples struggled with fear and panic during this storm even though many of them were seasoned fishermen!

Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Jesus was not concerned by the waves. In fact, I think He knew they would come. This was an opportunity for the disciples to anchor their trust in Jesus. But their fear caused them to panic.

Even the Wind and the Waves

I’ve felt the rebuke, similar to the one the disciples heard that day. They saw Jesus do a miracle… just think, the wind and waves obeyed Him! The disciples were humbled and amazed. Their faith was strengthened because of it. When God acts, it doesn’t seem to be in our timing, or in the way we expect. Looking back, I’m sure the disciples could see times they could have acted differently, trusted more, or been more prepared.

We can’t undo our past, but we don’t need to. God’s grace covered them, and His grace covers us. We learn from the past so we can have a better tomorrow. We need to live today for God’s glory, and trust Him for tomorrow.

So… where is your anchor?

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%208&version=NIV

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

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There are always going to be problems, trials, or adverse circumstances in life.

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” ~Charles Swindoll

Our attitude towards our circumstances and people in our life makes a huge difference in our quality of life. Will you choose to forgive when someone lets you down? It can be an offense as small as forgetting a coffee date, or as big as lying or someone throwing away the friendship you’d worked hard to create. These things hurt, but with Christ, we are able (and should) forgive them. After all, forgiveness actually frees you.

Rolling with the Punches

One life changing lesson I learned at college was to “Roll with the punches”. Things never seemed to go as I’d planned, and people didn’t place the same value on things I felt were important. But it’s okay! I know I have plenty of flaws, and my true friends loved me and accepted me anyway… and we talked about things so that nothing built up that would harm the friendship.

The glass really is half-full, if you choose to see it that way. Don’t let disappointment and discouragement keep you from living life to the fullest! God has blessed us in many ways, and is working things together for the good of those who love Him. When we love God, and have His Holy Spirit in us… we have all we need to turn lemons into lemonade.

Romans 8:28

New International Version (NIV)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.”

Charles Swindoll Quote: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/5139.Charles_R_Swindoll