Write 31 Days-Day 12- Choices that Kill Your Positive Influence

Kill

Killers of Your positive Influence

The death of our positive influence can be sudden and unintentional.    However we sometimes lose sight of the sphere of influence God has given us and we begin to take people for granted.  We can kill their spirit and our influence on their lives in one fell swoop.  It takes the whole phrase of killing two birds with one stone to a whole new level.

Generally that term is a positive one that alludes to multitasking, and often times viewed in a positive light.  However tonight we are gonna chat about those things that we do that can instantly kill any positive influence we may have had.

(DISCLAIMER: I know that there are sooooooo many more that fit into this category and I assure you we will have a chance to discuss this in the comments below-Just hang in there)

Choice#1-  Don’t be a SNAP-dragon

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and then all f a sudden BAM- you don’t know what you have done but apparently some line has been crossed and you have found yourself  in  line of a SNAP- dragon.   You have no idea what you have said or done but just like that the person bit your head off.   OR WORSE You are the SNAP-dragon.  We have all been on both sides of this situation.

One of the major repercussions of this choice  is that over time people just stop wanting to be around us..   This really affects our  testimony.  I’m not saying that things always have to be good or happy or anything like that.  I want nothing more than people to be real with me, but it is not ok to be abusive in how we talk to each other!

Choice #2 Don’t be a Johnny -Jump -to -Conclusions

RecentlyI was in a situation where someone jumped to conclusions about my motives in something.  They thought they new my heart.  Then I have to chuckle because eI have done the same thing.  Usually it ends with and open-mouth-insert-foot sort of moment.

As I have thought about this, I have really come to realize that this is bordering on a god complex.  Thinking that we know all.   We don’t talk to people or ask questions and instead we assume we have it all figured out.  We can do this with every area of life.    AND if we aren’t careful it can become a habit in which we can literally begin to think that we and God  agree and God has shone us……..You fill in the blank.

Sadly God often has to out us in our place and in the process we have done some hefty damage along the way.  When we choose to be a Johnny-Jump-to-onclusions we can

  • alienate those around us by making them feel stupid or inadequate
  • we unintentionally become judgmental
  • kill relationships by thinking we know it all and have all the answers

#3 The Choice to Run Away

I wish I could runaway from my problems but every time I try I am still there.   Isn’t that the truth.  I have no idea who said it.  I have heard this said so many ways and yet the same sentiment is communicated.  We are really the root of our own problems.

I see it all the time.  No matter who I am with.  Especially me.  We think that so and so is the problem so we ditch that friend and move onto the next and low and behold we have THE SAME problem and so we ditch that friend  and we live in this crazy cycle.  We don’t deal with the problems we just run from them.  We build walls to protect ourselves.  The problem is we are still stuck with ourselves.  And when we do that do you know what tends happen. Bitterness and anger creep in.  and we become more and more upset with how we have been hurt so we keep running with those walls built and   carrying all that baggage.

God doesn’t want us to do that because when we build walls to protect ourselves from the very people he has brought into our lives, we not only put up walls between ourselves and “THOSE” people but we also out up walls between us and God.   Our relationship with Him will suffer greatly   Just look at Jonah.   He got so mad that the Ninevites repented that he went and sat and waited for God to wipe them all out.  He became bitter and angry with God because it didn’t work out the way He wanted it to because those people were literally some of the worst people on the planet. How could God possibly save them?     Contrast that to the Isrealites accepting Rehab a foreign prostitute into the “family”.  And because of her faithfulness she ends up in the line of David and eventually Jesus!   Attitude is everything!

Choice #4- Complaining is not your right to make us miserable

Have you ever read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty McDonald?   Until last year I had never heard of the books or the author!   Well we punched 4 books in the series and I am currently read  the third book (though I am pretty sure  that I have them out of order oooops!)

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle loves children and she is able to cure them of the most horrible ailments.  Our current chapter in Hello Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is “THE CRABBY CURE”. The little girl in this chapter whines and complains about  EVERY. SINGLE. THING. Whether is is perceived or reality.   That child is horrible to live with.   In the first few pages of the chapter she has complained about 6 or 7 different things.  Her brothers and sister can barely stand her and her mother clearly has no idea how to fix it,  The girl even gets called names and picked on at school and according to her big brother “no one likes her”.  In our home we call this being a negative Nancy. And complaining is right up there at the top for being an influence killer.

Two things happen  when a known complainer walks into the room.  First they attract ALL of the other complainers, even if they are normally quiet.  Complainers have the innate ability to draw out the complainer in the most mild of people And secondly those who aren’t complainers- those Pollyannas in the room with leave.   Te room, the party, the house, even the state if possible.   The complaining sucks them dry of joy.  And when that happens, then they too become complainers.

I have seen this in my own life.  It really boils down to a dissatisfaction of life.  They either fail to or refuse to see all the things they have to be grateful for.  All they can see is the negative around them.  Little  do they realize the power they hold to change  the negative into positive just by changing their attitude.

Choice #5- The choice  NOT to forgive.

This is perhaps the biggest and most detrimental choice of all to our influence and really is connected to choice #4, #3, and #1.

Now let me just say this, you can forgive and still not give the same trust level as before and that is really how it should be.

But you cannot give what you do not have and this is where the gospel comes in.   You cannot truly forgive a person without receiving true forgiveness yourself.  I have watched people time and time and time again try so hard to forgive someone and they come back and say “I just can’t do it”.  Forgiveness in a deep heart issue but it begins in the mind.  There are people that I have to make an active choice multiple times a day to forgive.  I am thankful, oh so thankful that God’s forgiveness is perfect and that I don’t have to worry every day about needing new forgiveness.

But there are times in our lives here we consciously or unconsciously say- I’m not going to forgive that person, what they did was :unforgivable”.  Boy am I glad that Jesus didn’t say that about us!

I want to be able to point people to Jesus and that means in the way I forgive people.   Does that mean I won’t guard my heart when it has been hurt.  No, I will  guard it, but I’m not going to tell  God no that person isn’t worth my forgiveness.   That’s a very negative influence.

These five choices are just that….CHOICES.  They are choices that when really gotten down to the bare bones of the matter are about our attitudes.  We all have choices to make.  It might not be about our circumstances but it is certainly about how we look at those circumstances and chose to take positive attitudes or negative ones.

What are some negative attitudes you have seen that have been a negative influence….This is not meant to be a complaining session!

Interested in reading the rest of the Power of Your influence series ?Check it out HERE!

 

 

 

 

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Write 31 Days-Day 11- 5 Choices To be a Positive Influence

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Welcome to day 11- we are quickly approaching the half way mark.  I can’t even believe it1.  Today we are going to talk about 5 choices we can make to me a positive influence.  Some we have already touched on and some we have talked about in depth but they are SUPER important so we are going to explore them again.

If I could have you take one nugget away it would be this :

Choosing to not choose is  really a choice for the negative.   So I will definitely be talking about the positives but I will be briefly be talking about the flip side- the negative  anti choice.  Then in tomorrow’s post we will be talking about 5  choices we are all guilty of making that makes us a negative influence.

Positive Choice #1 To Speak Up

In previous posts we have talked about what we say.  But in today’s post we are gonna talk about two more avenues in which our speech is an influence

  1.  How we say it..
  2. Do we say anything at all.

Everyday as parents we deal with all sorts of tones.  Those that come our of our own mouths and those that come out of our children.  We see it at the grocery store and we deal with it on the phone.  Tone can even be a problem on the internet.  Whether text, email, or private message our imagination s left to wonder did this person REALLY mean it LIKE THAT?

We should definitely strive to be encouraging, and building up those who are around us.  Even the cashier at the store.  Who cares if she was rude to you!  You can still choose to be a positive influence with your response and  tone..

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room.  I have seen t-shirst and Memes that say “sarcasm is my Spiritual gift”.  Umm NO!    Sarcasm is far from spiritual and yet it seems within Christian circles it is rubber stamped as an appropriate means of dealing with stuff, no matter the reason.

Who remembers their mom or some other adult saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Or “it is better to be thought a fool, then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”

So obviously there is a time to be quite.  however there is also a time to speak up!And sometimes speaking up is harder than keeping our mouths shut!

So how does speaking up make us a positive influence?

It shows we do not have fear, and that we aren’t controlled by fear.  It shows that we care about more than just ourselves, and it opens up the opportunity for us to share about what gives us that kids boldness.  Does that mean we won’t chicken out sometimes?  No!

Peter had a real hard time speaking up (AND BEING HONEST) because he was afraid that he would be persecuted.  His fear got the better of him!

And yet after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Peter found himself face to face with his Savior across a campfire. And Jesus asks him three times d you Love me.  (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is the same number of times Peter denied  knowing Jesus.).  And then after each answer of Yes that Peter gives Jesus commands Peter to feed his sheep.  There is no doubt in my mind that this amazing grace and love Jesus shows Peter, is what changes his boldness in opening his mouth instead of living in fear of what might happen.

So how can this be a negative influence?

Everyday kids refuse to stand up for the kid being pummeled and treated by school bullies for fear that they would then become a target.

And everyday Christians keep silent as a world tells us what is right and wrong.

Now not ALL students choose to keep silent and same with Christians.   And Peter learned from his mistake and became a great testimony of Jesus’ grace and mercy.

What’s the underlying problem here though is FEAR.

Fear of what could happen.and so we choose to not say anything.  And by choosing to not say anything, we choose to forfeit our  positive influence and in turn become a negative one.

So to whom are we choosing to be a negative influence to?  Well if you are the student standing by letting a bully  harm someone else you are being a negative influence to 3 people- the person being bullied.  You are assuring them that they are alone and not worth the  time or energy.  The bully-  You by not saying anything are letting that bully know you support him in his endeavor to ruin someones life AND  You are most definitely saying to all the other frauds cats standing by that it’s ok to be silent.

Positive Choice  #2- Your actions

We all choose to do stuff every single day.  Sometimes that stuff  is positive or negative.

We choose to all sorts of things, from the hour and minute we roll out of bed in the morning right down to the moment we crawl into bed at night. (obviously there are extenuating circumstances that might change that) and in the very basic sense of choices, we choose our attitude, our words and whether we are going to use our hands and feet to be extensions of God’s grace mercy and love OR are we gonna choose to show anger, hatred  and abuse.

Your actions are really an extension of who you are.  that is why you do what you do.   We used a model in Mr. S’s education classes called know-be-do (Remember Mr. S, is one of my bible college professors).

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This model shows that what you know effects who you are and who you are effects what you do.

and for the most part this is how our lives pan out.  and amazingly thesis a principle that is talked about and exemplified throughout scripture.

Choosing to not do something though can either be a positive influence or a negative one.

Choosing to say no ad take a stand for anything that goes against morality a HUGE positive influence HOWEVER sometimes we choose that we aren’t going to do something like show up  for an important meeting.  That be a HUGE negative influence for any number of reasons.   Mostly because you aren’t taking seriously the  meeting which may speak volumes about your character.   There are many variables that may go into this.  Maybe you are presented with an emergency or the meeting.  Say your child has gotten injured.  Going to the meeting instead of taking your child to the ER could also have a negative influence on many people.   It al really goes mack to the ripple model  we used to explain the influence of my friend Marie.

Matter of fact let’s talk about Marie again.

Marie has a client come in and as so often happens that client ONLY wants Marie.  But Marie is scheduled to leave in 10 minutes.  This client is in great distress over  a horrible event in her life.  Marie has a choice.   Marie is exhausted because she hasn’t gotten much sleep and this would be her 6th client since 10 am that morning.  All of them have been intense.  But Marie has been working with this girl for 4 years.   Marie can choose to go home and take a nap or Marie can take 30 minutes and listen to and share the hope she has with this young woman?   What is the right decision?

Our actions speak louder than our words and as Marie has told me before “they don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”   If you show them you don’t care by your actions you will never get the opportunity to share what you know about this amazing Love of Jesus!

Positive Choice #3-The things we Post/Tweet/ Email

I have this other friend Katie.  She has taken it upon herself to spread joy to the world of facebook.  Her statement to me not too long ago was, There is so much negative out there, all I really want to do is make people smile.”  That really shows Katie’s heart.  She wants to make others smile.  It’s not about her.

I was just scrolling through facebook a few minutes ago and I saw politics- the posts weren’t meant to be decisive but as soon as you share something a firestorm of negativity shoots through.  and in three little words, I could tell where their hearts were at.  Not judging them, they put it out there for all the world to see!  It was word’s of hate and maliciousness.

One of the biggest issues facing our youth today is that of cyber bullying.  It’s easy to hide  behind written words.  We somehow think we won’t be eld accountable.   It’s easy to just spout off.  People can be downright nasty in person but arm them with social media and a faceless target and BAM.

Like Katie we need t really think about building people up not tearing them down.  Maybe fix we had the goal of making people smile instead of pointing out mistakes  or shortcomings the word would start to catch our joy.  And really as Christian women don’t just sit back and think you are all good, because some of the most harsh and judgmental comments have come from those who call themselves Christ followers!

Positive Choice #4- To continue in Spiritual Growth and Learning

One of my favorites and this one is a choice we have to make every single day.  When we come to a place where we think we have it all figured out we render ourselves useless.

Have you ever read the a book of the Bible a bunch of times and realized that each time you have read it that you have learned something new?  So this JUST happened to me TONIGHT!  No joke.

As I have been preparing for this series and as I have been working though influence all year I have camped a huge part of the time in the book of Esther.   I can’t even tell you how many times I have read it but I know that I have written it out almost all the way now, plus all the readings and the in depth study.  And tonight after all the other times something stood out to me that never has before. Esther went into Xerxes a  second time.  The first time she had her maids and servants fast and pray along with Mordecai and the Jews.  She was clearly terrified since it meant she could die.  However the second time is after Haman is impaled on the pole he had erected for Mordecai to be killed on.  and guess what it doesn’t say?   That she was scared.  Matter of fact it says she went in and fell at the kings feet weeping.  The happened BEFORE he extended the scepter. HMMMMMMM.

See we are told that God’s word NEVER returns void (emphasis mine)  Isaiah 55:1

We can always learn something from it we just have to be willing to pay attention.   the same is true when we are working with people.  When all we do is focus on what we can do and how we can fix something or how we can….are you getting the picture?    Maybe there is something we need to learn instead of thinking we have all the answers.  When we have a learning spirit it is catchy AND that is a  positive influence.  However when  we choose to act as though we have all the answers we will quickly find that we have fewer people to give those answers to.

So many times what we need are friends to listen as we go through stuff.  We do not need people who are gonna say “I told you so” or act as though their circumstances are the same as yours or treat you like you have no clue.  We need to learn the fine art of empathy and sympathy.

Empathy is

  1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Sympathy is

  1. feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
    “they had great sympathy for the flood victims”
    2. understanding between people; common feeling.

Positive Choice #5- Embracing God’s truth verses other peoples opinions of us (this includes ourselves)

What does God say about us?

. He says we are made in His image.

That we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We are his children (Hello we are princesses and princes!!)

So why on earth do we take So much stock in what people tell sand not what God tells us?  I wish I had the answer to this But can I tell you I STRUGGLE with this one!  Not only do I struggle with the negative talk from other people about me BUT I also struggle with my own Negative self talk in my head.  And we have a choice.  Either I can totally buy into the negative talk about me that is both internal and external OR I can replace ALL of it with truth from Scripture!!  This takes work because you have to work at getting these promises out of scripture.

When we  but into all the negative talk and we begin to believe it we loose confidence in what God has done for us and who He has made us to be in Him.  Those people are miserable to be around because they have no hope and they loose sight of all sorts of things.  However the person who decides to not buy into  the lies  and chooses to have confidence in who God has created them to be and what He has done for them, those people are a real joy to be around! They know they fall short BUT did fills the gaps!  And you can see it. It’s not about their strength.

When we begin to feel as though we are failing and being beaten up we need to go to those friends who build us up and not tear us down.   When we choose to bottle it up it begins to fester and grow.  Sometimes we just need friends who speak  truth into our lives at that moment.  Those who  we belong to and  what he has called us to do!

Let’s Chat:   These choices are hard!  which one have you struggled with the most.  I have struggled with them all but as of late is has definitely been #5.

Tomorrow we are gonna look at  5 choices we make that make us a Negative Influence!  Will you join me?

Are you interested in reading the other posts in this series?  You can check them out by clicking here  and scrolling through the post.

 

 

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Write 31 Days- Day 10- Positive or Negative: That Is the Question!

question

Welcome to Week 2!!

So we already established that we are ALL influences, whether we like it or not!  Now the big question is what’s it going to be? Positive or Negative?

So as I do,  I began to ask myself some questions.  Hard ones.  Ones that will make you curl up and want to crawl under your blankets and make you not want come out because you realize just how short you have fallen short AND how much of a negative influence you really are.

This led to much growth in me.  Today we are gonna explore some of those questions. There is no specific order !

 Question#1- Who is the most important in my life?

Ok so, here is the toughest question of all.  We are just gonna jump in!

Have  you ever heard of JOY clubs?  When I was a kid in our church , they tried out JOY Club.

JOY is an acronymn  for the order in which you should place your priorities of life.

Jesus

Others

Yourself

This very basic principle taught ALL those years aghast stuck with me, usually it shows up when I begin to wader from this principle as the Holy Spirit begins to nudge me to get back in line with this!

So  we need to ask myself:

Is it al about me or about other people and most importantly about Jesus?  In the world we live in today it’s all about what good for me (as an individual).  We have blurred the lines of right and wrong. And what you end up with is a bunch of people who are all thinking they are being a positive influence but in reality they are putting themselves first.  There is no scarce for God or for others.  BUT their is selfishness.

Once upon a time children were taught to respect humanity.  Life.  but instead today violence is glorified.  We spend our days focused on how we look. And if people don’t look in such a way or they pick something that they like and we automatically think it’s our job to save them…’You aren’t gonna wear that are you???”  I don’t know about you but when someone does that to me it immediately makes me think/ feel a couple of different things.

  1. This person doesn’t really like me for me.  They want me to look and behave just like them.
  2. It makes me self doubt.
  3. It makes me feel judged and unaccepted  for something superficial or silly.

Now some would say that I should not let people have such power over me   in reality, we all do this.  we all have opinions and we feel free to share them at any point, because we have the right to.

We are free to our opinion.  However we don’t need to just throw. them out at will.  Pushing our opinions on people, making them feel as though they don’t measure up to our standards is an extremely negative influence and over time you will find that people just plain and simple don’t want to be around you any more.

Now there are times (in love and gentleness) that we need to comfort sin.  but clothing, makeup, hairstyle, hair color, ad even personality or silly things we may like is not a reason  to make your opinions known- if you are dong that- if you are putting your preferences over someone else you are ACTIVELY choosing to be a negative influence(It’s commonly called being a snob)., whether you like it or not.  Choosing to be Friendly, kind,  putting others first is an active choice to be a positive influence.

Question #2 What do I spend my time doing AND thinking about?

Now this one is tough too because this is not just the things you do in front of people but those things we do in the secret.  the places we let our brains go, the feelings deep in our heart!

The principle of Garbage in, garbage out applies here.   Most people will say or I just like______________because it has a fun beat, or it’s a funny TV show, or…..the list goes on and on.  In reality what we are doing by choosing to put that  stuff in, is we are desensitizing ourselves to sin.   We have to be on guard.  We are told many time throughout Scripture to guard our hearts This means we must actively pursue the choice to think on these things:

  • true
  • noble
  • right
  • pure
  • pure
  • admirable
  • excellent
  • praiseworthy

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 NIV

Memorize this passage POST these words anywhere you will see them.  AND then when something pops up that is not what fits these descriptive words you have an ACTIVE CHOICE on what you allow to influence you.

Question #3 Can I be defined as a person who acts one way when I am one Place and another way when I am somewhere else.

Now I am not talking about roles.  Because there are times when I have to be more strict because of my role that others.  What I’m talking about is when we are with our friends do we compromise and then act like good Christian girls come Sunday morning (Or anytime we are at church)?

The funny thing about this one is that we tend to think that we are being super savvy.  Like no one knows who we really are!   That is util  one of our friends or acquaintances who have seen our secret side says something to someone we know who has only seen the other side.   The thing is they may not even  realize you are different.  That’s just who they know you to be.  They aren’t being malicious, just honest.

God has a way of exposing those things because he knows what kind of damage we are capable of.

So are you known in one place as having a potty mouth, cussing up at storm? And then complaining when someone says something off color at church?

That’s Called Hypocrisy and is an active choice to being a negative influence.  You will become known as two faced, fake  and so on.

If you are choosing to be genuine in your morals and standards NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE WITH that is an active choice to be a positive influence.   and again this has nothing to do with role change.

Whatever our  roles are  there are some things that we should exemplify no matter what.

  1. unconditional love
  2. grace
  3. mercy
  4. stand for truth

Question #4 Are you building up or tearing down?

Remember that verse about the condition of your heart being revealed through your speech?

What is the purpose behind the words you speak?

Here’s a quick little verse study in what it means to build up

Ephesians 4:12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Ephesians 4:16

from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

2 Corinthians 10:8

For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame,

2 Corinthians 13:10

For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.

1 Corinthians 3:10According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

Romans 14:19So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

1 Corinthians 14:12So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

1 Thessalonians 5:11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Romans 15:2Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.

2 Corinthians 12:19All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.

Ephesians 4:29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

1 Corinthians 14:26What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation Let all things be done for edification.

Acts 20:32“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

1 Corinthians 8:1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.

1 Corinthians 14:4One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.

1 Corinthians 14:3But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

1 Corinthians 14:5Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.

Colossians 2:7having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

1 Corinthians 14:17For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified.

1 Corinthians 10:23All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

That is a ton of verses based on building each other up!!   We all to often want to Fix  people but in doing this we are really tearing them down.  It’s not our job to fix. It’s his/. We need to speak truth in love and even may need to address sin.

Question #5 Are you quick to take offense?

Offense AKA angry!  OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!

Yeah- and are willing to let people know it.

There’s the whole speech thing again.  and the whole “focused on me” thing.  Why do we get offended?  Usually because something has been done to us or said to us.  Then we let bitterness build.  we obsess over it until it comes spilling out.

The Bible tells us  to:

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19 NIV

This is SUPER hard.  Especially when we feel attacked.   Here are some tricks I have learned:

  1. Consider the other person.  Was it an honest mistake?   What were the circumstances?
  2. Ask questions.  This is how it came across, Did you mean it like this?   Try t be understanding in this .  Don’t seek to be  angry, seek to gain understanding.
  3. Do NOT take to the internet. Do  not post anything, do not  confront or ask questions in texts. Talk with the person face to face or on the phone so you can at least hear tones.  Because when typing it is normal to read into tones that may not be accurate and then we are doubly angry because we have misunderstood something that was really not the case.
  4. PRAY and ask God to show you what is true.
  5. Rehearse Philippians 4:8 over and over again.

 Question #6 Who are you spending your time with?

Because let’s be honest the people who we spend the most time with we start behaving like!!!  Look at any school, team, kid’s ministry, kids who hang out, adults who we spend the most time with.   it’s called peer pressure or PEER INFLUENCE!

A few years ago I hung out with a person who was super critical. And guess what…..without me even realizing I was slowly becoming that person.  I was becoming a critical person.   If things didn’t happen the way that person thought, they would let people know it or gossip about the person.

One day I looked around me and realized I felt pretty alone AND THEN I realized that person had been doing the same to me.   This person has gossiped about me.    As I began to separate myself I realized just who I had become, and it was not what I liked at all.   And I knew God wasn’t pleased either.  It’s not my job to be critical of people or circumstances.  I’m called to love and build up .

All Wrapped Up

Entitlement- we become so wrapped up in ourselves and our opinions and our desires, and our pain, and our hurt, and what we know, and that becomes all that matters.

We bulldoze people, Butt in where we don’t belong- though we have convinced ourselves that we do have a right to be there.

We don’t have those rights.  THOSE RIGHTS  we gave over to Jesus when we gave our lives to him.

When we choose to give our rights over to him we are actively making the choice to be a positive influence.

Let’s Chat: So what’s is going to be, Positive or Negative?  and which one of these questions was the most convicting?

For me there are two:

The first is the Slow to take offense.  We so often get hurt and it’s easy to let it build up and let the pain begin to affect me.  Taking this steps above have really helped me to grow in my walk with God because bitterness and anger are one of the biggest  dividers of relationships.

And the second is  who am I focused on?  It becomes an almost mindless thing to slip into worry about myself. Protecting me.  Taking care of me. Me Time, My space, My kids, My home….MY MY MY.   When I start hearing myself say I, me or my a lot I know that my focus is way off!

Want to read the rest of the posts in the series?  Check them out HERE

 

 

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Write 31 Days- Day 9- Esther’s Influential Attribute: Action

Action

LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION

We have idea just how long it took for all of this to go down.  BUT clearly Esther had to put the plan into Action if  Haman’s evil plan was going to stop!

 A person of influence moves  forward, even if it’s baby steps.  

They speak up 

Esther 4:12-14 NIV

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther had purpose, a very specific purpose.  BUT HAVING PURPOSE is nothing if you don’t ACT on that purpose!

They embrace their circumstances and move forward.

They act on their words.  It’s not enough to just say something we can say all day that we want to be positive influences but if we keep making choices including NOT to move forward  we are really a negative influence.

Being  a Active Influence is NOT comfortable!

The opposite of this powerful action of influence  is being comfortable. ,This person is satisfied with where they are.  They don’t want to get outside their comfort zone.  They don’t want to be  “PUT OUT”. They are completely at home in the pew doing what they have always done.  “New” is not in their vocabulary. 

Just like a boat in still water cannot be turned we cannot be turned in the direction God wants to send us if we are  just standing there waiting for something amazing to happen.  We have to pursue a relationship with Jesus.  we have to be willing to step out in faith.  Even if it seems completely Crazy.

Now I will say that sometimes God will pick us up and move us.  THIS IS A VERY PAINFUL PROCESS!

An that’s where We come full circle.  If we are WILLING to have FAITH,  live in a TRANSPARENT fashion, with  PERSISTENCE, and a CRAZY love to live life for Jesus, the Action part comes Naturally!

And that wraps up the first week (and two Days) of the writing Challenge!

Let’s Chat: Which of these Attributes is the hardest for you?  For me it’s persistence.  I must confess that I tend to give up WAY to easily!

What’s Coming Up

Starting Tomorrow we will kick off the second week of The Power of Your Influence.  This next week we will be discussing  more in depth the choices we have to be either a positive or negative influence.

You can check out all the writers HERE

And if you missed any of  of my other posts in this series you can click HERE

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Write 31 DaysDay 8- Esther’s Influential Attribute -CRAZY

Crazy

Have you heard Steve Curtis  Chapman’s Song Something Crazy?  Here’s the link to check it out on Youtube  and you can find the Lyrics copied below- THIS is the kind of CRAZY I’m talking about !

“Something Crazy”

He’s got a Bible and a megaphone standing on the corner
And everybody’s saying he’s crazy
Well does he really think anybody wants to hear what he has to say
He’s not screaming anybody in fact it’s as if
It’s a love story that he’s trying to tell them

And he knows it may look a little strange
But he just smiles and says “that’s okay”
Cause you know sometimes love makes you act that way

And it’s crazy when love gets a hold of you
And it’s crazy things that love will make you do
And it’s crazy but it’s true
You really don’t know love at all
Until it’s making you do
Something crazy

I know a lady in Uganda and forty kids call her Momma
And everybody thought it was crazy
She used to drive a beemer, but I’ve never seen her
Any happier than she is now
I’ve met them all around the world, they’re the boys and girls
Filled up with the love of the Father

And they know it may seem a little strange
But they just smile and says “that’s alright”
Cause love puts everything in a different light

And it’s crazy when love gets a hold of you
And it’s crazy things that love will make you do
And it’s crazy but it’s true
You really don’t know love at all
Until it’s making you do
Something crazy

Something crazy
Crazy
Crazy when love gets a hold of you
Crazy, crazy
Crazy thing that love will make you do

Well, some might say it’s a crazy thing
To believe in a man who would say he came
From heaven down to earth because of love

But I just smile and say “that’s okay”
Cause you know sometimes love makes you act that way

And it’s crazy when love gets a hold of you
And it’s crazy things that love will make you do
And it’s crazy but it’s true
You really don’t know love at all
Until it’s making you do

Crazy when love gets a hold of you
And it’s crazy things that love will make you do
And it’s crazy but it’s true
You really don’t know love at all
Until it’s making you do
Something crazy

(Lyrics found at AZ Lyrics

My Crazy Story

When I was 19 I wason a plane headed for a country that persecutes Christians.

Everyone thought I was crazy. Maybe I was.(Ok I am-it’s an undeniable fact but that’s ok I’m completely comfortable with that)!

Then when I returned home 10 days later I headed off to Bible college.  Through my time there. I got a lot f “you gotta be  crazy”.  comments.    a couple were before each of 3 or  4 trips to NYC for street witnessing.  One of which was  7 months after 9/11.  We went to ground zero which was still a mess.  The images, noises and smells will be forever etched in my brain.  It was one of the single most hopeless experiences of my life.  Watching as people waited in hopes that their family member was still alive.   The wailing in mourning of loved ones.   The unnatural  nose burning smell that came from the smoke (not steam) from the manhole covers and sewer drains.   The digging of the vehicles as they creeped along the rubble trying to clean out the massive destruction.  and what felt like the miles and miles of memorial wall leading to Ground Zero..  This single moment – more than any other – helped me to understand the dire need our world is in – for their desperate need for HOPE- the HOPE I have In me – Hope that is a person!  THAT IS CRAZY!  And that is why we do what we do!

Getting married the same day we graduated.  Yep that qualifies us as CRAZY BUT we didn’t do it for ourselves, we did it for other people.   mostly our dad’s who both work weekends, and we were trying to eliminate the time they would need to take off.

When we had more than 2 kids we were told  we were crazy.  When we had 3 kids in 3 years we were told we were crazy BUT ya know what?  Those four kids are some of the most amazing people I know. Hubby and I were talking just yesterday about how special they are   I have never met four kids who love so deeply, EVERY SINGLE PERSON THEY MEET!  We have watched as our oldest who is 13  now but mourned the loss of people from  the time he was 4.  Always thinking about the people they left behind.   He also seeks justice for those who have been hurt deeply.  He has such moral standards that he seeks to have a marriage that is morally sound AT THIRTEEN! Yeah he has his flaws  BUT his heart !   Most people would say WOW that’s Crazy! And it is.

Our daughter is 12 and she is one of the most patient and sweet spirited kids I know.  She can help out with almost any child she comes in contact with and cares deeply.  She too is also flawed.  but she is 12  and very reliable and trust worthy.  She cares for children and animals.  she has a hunger for learning.

And the two younger boys.:

One has such radical unconditional love!  He might struggle with social cues and norms due to his autism BUT he will always be willing to give you a hug and tell you  You’re beautiful.

and the other is the most hardworking and determined 8 year old I have ever  Met.  He laments from time to time not knowing what he is good at BUT I can tell you this kid is gonna kill it when he gets older.  He has some challenges now with a learning problem BUT he is a fighter- literally ! Yep He’s got a temper BUT our greatest struggle oftentimes become our greatest  gift.

So Yeah I guess I’m 100% crazy AND I wouldn’t change a minute of it.  Outside of my salvation and Hubby these four crazies are the greatest blessing this mama could have ever asked for.  Parenting is hard.  Stuff kids deal with today is awful.   But those who have truly gotten to know our kids REALLY know what kind of blessing they are.  But those who think they know our kids but have never taken the time to get to know them and their hearts, they tend to be super critical.  The funny thing is OUR kids know it.  They know who really love them.  And we didn’t;t say a word.

I’m glad that we didn’t;t listen to the negative voices around us telling us how to live our lives.  I’m so grateful we followed God’s leading whether it looked crazy or not!

Being involved in many ministries.   Im not gonna list it all but a couple of times a year I get asked Are you Crazy?  MOSTLY BY MYSELF- and the answer is ABSOLUTELY!!!

I’m In GREAT Crazy Company!

If you look at history we look at people like Edison, Einstein, The Wright brothers,  Corrie Ten Boom’s family, JESUS, the disciples Peter, Paul, Ruth, Rehab (I could seriously keep going) just to name a few. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that almost every single person in Scripture were Crazy by their culture’s Standards- and they lived out their faith ANYWAY!

Even Esther was CRAZY

Esther told Mordecai in Esther 4:8-11; 15-17 that it would be crazy for her to go before the king because EVERYONE in EVERY province knows that if you go before the king you will die.  In a sense she saying are you nuts? Why are you asking me to do this? Everyone knows what happens when you do that!

Then after Mordecai gives his response of “well if you don’t, somebody else will and your gonna die anyway,”

She responds back If i die, I die.-That’s  CRAZY!

Safe and Sound

The opposite of Crazy is Safe.  We want to do everything that will keep us safe.  Safe socially, physically, financially and even emotionally.  We build walls and we protect ourselves from being hurt or ruin.

Peter when he denied Christ three times was out of a fear for his safety..  He didn’t want to be put on trial, publicly humiliated and possibly die.

Im gonna be honest here.  I have struggled with a few books as of late.  They are books that either I have read on my own or our Ladies Bible Study have done. 

Now while I think that both books have some great points and areas of  sound advice I saw something in myself that goes against one  my core beliefs.   That Core belief is that when I became a Christian and I gave my life to Jesus that it no longer was my own.   It is His to do with as He pleases- My home is His- Our Home is His.  My craft Stuff IS HIS!.   It is the principle of dying to self!  My life is not my own.   This has radically changed the way we do life in our home.

When I became a believer I gave my entire life over to God It is not my own.   I have handed it over to him.  And it is His to do with as HE sees fit not me.   And I’m not saying that you should not read either one of these books but they do have potential to create a negative influence factor in your life.  So I’m gonna share my struggles with both of these books.

 The Best Yes- There are many Positives to this book!  And the first time I worked through this book I asked some REALLY hard questions about the things I was doing and God posted out something that was not my best yes- Gardening.  I was doing because that is what all “good and frugal wife and mom’s do”. BUT I hate to garden and I don’t have the time to do it justice!!  I was driving myself and my poor hubby insane. We often times put these ideals on ourselves (an sometimes on others).  And if you take the 5 areas Lysa talks about in the Best Yes  and question your ideals looking at deep at the choices you are making FANTASTIC that is what she means by it BUT I found myself busing these principles to build walls- putting myself (AND GOD) in a box-  It became an area of control.  I found myself beginning to seek to control my circumstances and protect myself from those around me who have hurt me.  THAT IS NOT WHAT LYSA IS SAYING!

The second book is Boundaries by Dr Henry Cloud. Now it’s the same basic thing.  I was using the principles in this book to build walls Protecting myself.

And then I heard a song:  I mean I already knew it!! BUT I really HEARD IT.

LIVE WITH ABANDON by the Newsboys

Here’s the YouTube Link

Here a couple of stand out lines from the song

  1. Chasing after this world makes me tired
    Praisin’ my own name leaves me dry
  2. I wanna live with abandon
    Give You all that I am
    Every part of my heart, Jesus
    I place in Your hands
    I wanna live with abandon
  3. I’ll drop everything to follow You
    It’s only Your hands I hold onto
  4. I’m not looking back
    I’m done with that
    Wanna give You all I have

EVERY PART- OUCH

My time

My enery

My Money

my sanity

EVERY SINGLE PART

We think it’s our job to protect ourselves BUT IT”S NOT.  Sometimes it’s when we get hurt that the most beautiful parts of us show through.   Like a refiner’s fire  (yeah now I’m dating myself!). Gold or any precious metals has to go through painful things in order to become the most pure form of itself Because that fire burns off the impurities.  If we protect ourselves from the hard stuff and we build walls- God’s gonna break free and use somebody else- Just like Mordecai told Esther!  By building protective walls you have rendered yourself useless.

By The Way our Ladies Bible Study is currently working through LET. IT. GO. and it’s all about releasing the control we have (or so desperately want). Im breaking down those walls of control!

How about You?

let’s Chat?  What is something that You have done that peole have looked at you and thought you were crazy and you chose to follow God anyway?

OR

What is God asking you to do and you are thinking NO WAY LORD THAT”S CRAZY!!!!!

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