Cheek to Cheek

Recently, I have been struggling with anger. Towards who, is not the important question here. The important question is what does God tell us to do? How do we react to it? How do we handle it? Our flesh and our spiritual man are two different identities in this equation. Which one do you follow? I don’t have all the answers yet. While I wish God would give me one swift answer – He hasn’t. And He won’t. He wants me to learn it for myself so I can apply it later in life and pass it along to others. If you think what we go through is only for us you are highly mistaken. Many times what we go through (minus free will) is for others… so we can know how to help that person. Imagine if we followed the script (the Bible) line by line and actually did what we were told to do – the influence we would have on others? Imagine the “brownie points” we would have with the Lord?! It doesn’t matter what the subject – finances, loving someone, encouragement, praying, stepping out, sharing our testimony… it all required obedience and He sees everything we choose to do or not do.

This week, I was reminded by the Lord of a few things. Last Friday in my prayer time He said, “Your blessings will continue to come as long as you are obedient.” Sunday morning’s service was all about finances. I knew that meant we were on the right path – but to keep going. Then He spoke to me early this week, “I will not take you out of here until you change your attitude. I have incurred this problem. You have to pass the test. I am watching.” As you can imagine the 2×4 was about as big as it could get. My own attitude had created a situation I wasn’t happy with at all… but for the Lord to tell me it is my own fault? Goodness, that took about a day to adjust to. So I dive into more prayer trying to fully understand His word. Yes, “attitude” is referencing my immediate tone with this situation but it also runs deeper. What I am beginning to discover is this: there is always a deeper reason for our actions besides what is on the surface. Not to sound like a psychologist – but it’s the truth. When I started to think about why I would have an attitude in this situation I realized I had deeper issues than I wanted to acknowledge. Now my flesh – here is me being brutally honest – doesn’t want to face “diving deeper”; however, God saying I have to pass the test and that He is watching makes me realize I don’t have a choice if I want to move forward. So where am I left? Angry, confused, feeling conquered, and often alone because it seems no one else could possibly be where I am. One day at a time is all I can take and unpeel one layer at a time and deal with it. I know, I know – I sound like a shrink – but it’s the truth. How can I deal with moving forward when I can’t even deal with my past? As hard as it is to be thankful in times of discomfort I am thankful God loves me enough to chastise me and reprimand me. He is my loving Father – enough to discipline His little girl.

SO… back to the original question. What to do when you are full of anger? God says love. And it’s hard! Everything I have read says to love. Not bite back – sabotage – speak badly against – but instead to turn another cheek. By turning another cheek God is showing us the power love has and He believes THAT is what changes people. Not money, wealth, status or any other worldly obtainable thing. Only love. This devotion I received today says it all… I can’t argue with the Word. I don’t necessarily care for it at the moment, haha, because I really don’t want to apply it. Again, brutal honesty. What is more frustrating is when you are starting to see people for who they might actually be and it’s not who you have convinced yourself they are. If you claim to have never been in this place you are lieing to yourself because if you have flesh on your bones you have been here.

44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Most people believe in force: guns and armies. Most people believe in money: “financial power.” Many people believe in education, that “If we just educate people enough we can change the world.” Hardly anyone seems to believe in the power of love to change things. No one seems to think it would do any good to “turn the other cheek.”

Jesus didn’t tell us to “turn the other cheek” just so we could get beat up more. Jesus believes in the power of love. Jesus believes that evil can be overcome with good.

ROMANS 12:20-21 NKJ
20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God still believes in the power of love. He believes that if you love enough, and for long enough, people will finally come to their senses and respond to that love.

JOHN 13:34-35 NIV
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus said the mark of His believers would be their love. Where did we go wrong?

SAY THIS: Lord, help me to believe in love, and to act in love.

And You Are?

Seems like everyone is “Brother Getchell” or “Sister Collins” when you run into someone and you want to say hey! Seems like everyone is “a brother” or “a sister” if you are close friends with someone. Bottom line is – when you consider someone who is so close to you that you consider them “family” you acknowledge them as that…

But we need to rethink what we call people if we aren’t willing to act it out!

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother, is born for a time of adversity.” The definition of adversity is a ‘state of hardship or unfortunate event’. This is times when life is hard, people are down on their luck and feel like things couldn’t get any worse.

Let’s break the verse down:

“A friend loves at all times…” — this doesn’t say a friend loves SOME times or when it’s EASY to love or when it’s CONVIENENT to love or even when it’s BENEFICIAL to love. It says a friend loves at ALL times. This means through good times, bad times, arguments, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, chaos, defeat and every other verb and adjective you can think of.

“… and a brother…” — so who is the brother? This could go two ways — either family as in your blood related sibling or a friend you consider such a close friend that you actually consider them like a brother. Either way it’s a step above the your basic friendship. This person has a relationship so close with you that you tell people “I would do anything for them”.

“… is born for a time of adversity.” — this is the part of the verse no one wants to listen to. This is when times get hard and you still stick around. However when your feelings are hurt and instead of trying to mend the relationship REGARDLESS of what has happen you turn your head from it and would rather the relationship become distant (which all you are really saying is you don’t care). By definition remember, adversity is a state of hardship or an unfortunate event. You would not want someone ‘kicking you while you were down’… why would you do it to them?

The point is, we are created to be there for each other. Regardless of what ‘level’ you want to put yourself or your loved ones on (i.e. friend or brother) the rules are really the same. Be there for each other in ALL times not just SOME of the times.

Some supporting verses:

Proverbs 18:24 “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Now this scripture is referring to Jesus as being the friend who sticks closer than a brother (and we saw how close a brother is supposed to be in the previous verse). However, look at the first part of the scripture – “A man of too many friends comes to ruin…” When I thought about this what struck me is this is like the person who tries to fit in with everyone but has no true friends. The person who strives to be so popular but at the end of the day doesn’t know who he really is in himself. The attempt to spread himself so thin essentially ruins him.

Going back to Jesus being the best friend we could have who is closer than a brother… If you want to truly cement this relationship Jesus tells us how to be a brother or sister with Him: “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:50. It’s that simple! Review the minimum requirements God sets for us.

The next time you call someone “brother” or “sister”… do you mean it?

Dressed? or Naked?

I have a challenge for you today:

Everyone has someone they consider an “enemy”. It could be a friend who has done you wrong, a co-worker who stepped over you to gain a promotion, a family member who cut you so deeply you want nothing to do with them anymore… The possibilities are endless. I understand your flesh is saying “No way. I’m not giving them anything else”… see, you already have a person in your mind or you wouldn’t have even thought this statement.

By conquering your flesh you will experience such a sense of accomplishment you will actually enjoy it. God says to forgive – you too have wronged someone and hurt them deeply. Maybe your challenge should include an apology to that person? God also says to go and make good with your brothers (and sisters).

CHALLENGE: Somehow, someway, do something over the top  nice for this person that has hurt you. And if applicable, go to a person you know you have wronged and make it right. Ask for their forgiveness. God won’t forgive you if you are holding grudges against someone else. Here is your chance to make it right.

Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)

12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

♥ ♥ ♥
Are you dressed with love? or naked with hostility?

The person I choose: Shane Getchell

Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated? Everyone does and everyone has their own way of wanting to feel that appreciation. I love to be physically touched whether it’s a hug or a pat on the back and I love hearing the appreciation. Someone telling me I have done a great job or that what I did really helped because… (insert reason here). But I shouldn’t do that to others unless I know it’s how they like to know appreciation.

Just because you like to feel appreciation one way doesn’t mean your spouse, friend or colleague does too. If you are not sure how you like to feel loved and appreciated go to 5 Love Languages Quiz and see what you are! There is a quiz for men and women separately. It’s fantastic for the marriage!

My challenge to you today: Pick a person and show them appreciation.

My person for today? My husband. I know he likes hearing it, so I’m going to share it with the world (or at least those of you reading this blog! lol) what exactly he is for me.

My husband, Shane Getchell, is in one word (well two) my hero. He has saved me in so many ways through his love, his dedication and his heart. He would do anything for anyone at anytime. He is unselfish, brave, adorably handsome (I’m biased, lol) and sweet. In a time of fear for me he shows confidence. In a time of weakness for me he shows strength. In a time of being down he lifts me up. I’m so appreciative he asked me of all people to marry him because now I get to spend the rest of my life waking up to my best friend. No one else will ever understand my in’s & out’s like he will. No one else will ever see the bad days like he will. And yet he still sits besides me, picks me up when I need to be carried and pushes through with me so I reach the other side. Shane is the love of my life and I love him more and more every single day! Thank you baby for the best years of my life and more to come!

Tell a person that means so much to you how much you care. You might just make their day on a day when they are at the end of the rope.