You’ve heard the saying that it is better to give than to receive, but today I want to challenge you that the opposite may actually be true.
Not because the saying isn’t biblical (it is) but rather to reveal if your “gift of giving” may hinder your ability to receive.
Our culture loves to pride itself on how capable we are, how much we give to others and how good we can be. But, if we take in account Scripture and especially the teachings of Jesus, then we are faced with the reality that it may not about what we give, but instead what we receive.
Have you ever just needed a friend?
And most people I know have.
At one time or another, we all will need a true friend, someone who is willing to show up, even though it’s inconvenient, costly or hard.
This life, no matter how self-sufficient we are, is not meant to be experienced alone. Community is an integral part of the human design, but somewhere along the way to gaining 1K online friends and followers, we have lost our connection in understanding the need for real friendships in real life with the people right beside us.
One of the best examples we have of how to be a good friend came from Jesus. He was the master relationship craftsman and fine tuned the art of showing up and loving people well.
You may have awakened today in a hard place. Where down seems up, right seems wrong and easy seems so very hard.
Whether you are in a physical battle, financial struggle or even political fight, there are moments where each of us is given more than we can handle or comprehend, and the struggle wears us thin.
Friend, if that is where you find yourself today, then turn with me to (Luke 8) and see how Jesus handles us when our faith is painfully stretched.
I have a confession to make.
I am a gossip.
Seriously. I am a nosey busybody who wants the latest dirt on everybody who is anybody.
At first, it may sound a little silly to confess this to you but I am realizing that just because gossip is more of a “respectable sin” doesn’t make it any less hurtful or less ugly.
Sin is sin, and allowing gossip to breed in my heart is a subtle way to let the enemy sneak in and kill, steal and destroy from the relationships in my life. And I don’t want to do that anymore.
Over and over again in the last few months, God has been peeling back the layers of my gossiping heart to show me just how deep this sin runs in myself. And, friends, it. is. ugly.
Are there areas of your life where you seem to have less self-control than others? Tendencies that you know are not good for you, yet you can’t seem to gain victory over them?
Well, you are not alone.
All of us, this side of eternity, will continue to struggle with sin, even though we are born-again believers of Jesus Christ. Even the great apostle Paul struggled with the merry-go-round of sin:
Today I am speaking to those married women who are in the throes of an unsatisfying and difficult marriage. I want to speak to you who are tired, angry and finally ready to walk away from your marriage.
I want to have a heart-to-heart conversation with you because there was a day when I sat where you now sit and I, too, had finally had enough.
(Please note: I am not speaking to women whose marriages are dangerously unhealthy, where physical or sexual abuse is occurring, or there is a serious threat to you or your children. This encouragement is to women whose marriages are difficult, not dangerous.)
For many young Christ-followers, there is a question that is almost taboo to ask in certain Christian circles. Is it wrong to drink?
I think this is both a valid and a fair question, and it deserves a response. So today, we are going to dig into God’s Word and see what it has to say about this whole topic of drinking alcohol.
So, is it wrong to drink alcohol?
In a nutshell, Yes. And no. And maybe.
Yes, It is wrong when:
Whether it’s remodeling a house, starting a business or growing a garden, Praise abounds for those do-it-yourselfers out there. However, sometimes, I think we need more “I don’t know” moments and less “I got this” ones.
Tiny little smartphone squares and on-the-go hellos so often encourage us to believe that we need to have our lives together. No gaps. No stutters. No insufficiencies. Especially for others to see.
But, friend, that isn’t real life. Real life is messy. It is hard. And we aren’t equipped in our power to do it all by ourselves. Real life is not DIY.
And honestly, I think that it’s not even close to the life Christ would have us to live.
Some of us are struggling, carrying a burden that is often invisible to others.
It may be infertility, loneliness, depression or even chronic sickness. It is like a heavy pack on our back, loading down our shoulders as we go about the duties of life.
We work, we play, we learn, we teach. All the while, we carry this extra weight about us.
After a while, whether it’s months or years, it can start to feel like people no longer notice us. Doctors don’t have answers. Medicines provide no solutions. Friendships grow strained. Life keeps moving forward for everyone else, except us.
If this sounds like your story, then may I encourage you with the story of someone who also felt very unnoticed?
Although I have been a believer in Jesus since my teens, it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I learned how to study my Bible well. Oh, I would read it! I would spend time in the mornings reading God’s Word, along with a 5-minute devotional that helped me find new passages of encouragement. But studying it? Digging into life-shaping truths and studying passages cohesively? I hadn’t ever done that. I simply didn’t know how. So I looked to daily devotionals to provide me with what I was missing from my two-verse-readings to help me get through my day. But, like a pop tart for breakfast, the sustenance it provided would wear off long before my day ended.