1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
There once was a game (maybe it’s still around) that was call “I’ve never…” and you would fill in the blank with something you’ve never done before. It’s a combo of musical chairs…without the music and running to a different chair because you’ve DONE (or haven’t done) what the person in the middle hasn’t. There is a chair taken away each round, so if you are the last one to find a chair you are now “it”. You sit in a big circle and the person that is “it” is the one saying, “I’ve never”.
Hopefully, you get the picture now. Not sure why I felt the need to fully explain this game to you all.
In middle school it might be, “I’ve never worn braces!”
In high school it might be, “I’ve never been to Hawaii!”
In college it might…well hopefully you weren’t playing this unless it was a camp and you were the counselor 🙂
So you get the picture right? All this to say, ever since becoming a mom and even before then I don’t find myself saying, “I’ve never..” but more so ASKING the question, “Have you ever….?” just HOPING to find that surely, SURELY I am not the only one who doesn’t do it this way but does it that way. Or the ONLY one who thinks a certain way about this certain topic.
It got me to thinking (after the millionth time of asking this question to family members, co-workers friends, and heck even random conversations that get started in the grocery store..not kidding) WHY do I need to know that other people are doing the same thing as me? Thinking the same way as me?
What happened to being comfortable in your own ideas, thoughts…your own skin? Why am I not all the time? Why am I so concerned that I will be the only one doing/thinking something?
Now one of two things end up happening after these questions are asked.
1. I am pleased and happy because that person happened to think the same way as me! (pat on the back)
2. I am discouraged, stressed out and coming down hard on myself because lo and behold not everyone thinks the same way as me and I MUST be in the wrong! (tear)
Now, I am obviously being a bit dramatic in the response but seriously to some degree-that’s what my response is.
And before I go any further is not a BAD thing to ask other people about their thoughts and ideas about things. It’s actually a good thing. You learn from other peoples thoughts and ideas. MY issue with is it my purpose in asking in (to feel valued etc.) and MY response internally at times to what they say…
It really all boils down to comparison. You may have seen this pic floating around on pinterest
This statement is truer than true.
I am learning through many different ways-and then doing my best to remember:)…that if I work hard and do my very best with the jobs the Lord as given me (being a wife, a mom, teacher)-that is all that is asked of me. It might not be done the way others would do it, but that’s ok because I am not like everyone else in this world. YOU are not like everyone else in this world. Because of that we inadvertently (is this even the right word? It sounds good haha!) will think and do things differently from others. Praise God we are not all the same and he made us all unique individuals with different gifts and talents.
Galations 6:4-5 (message version) says it this way
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life”
This may not make sense to any of you who read this and that’s ok. Just my thoughts swirling around and honestly sometimes I just need to type to get it out. SO on that note…happy friday!
Oh and I promise more Libby pics will be up soon. Poor thing has been sick about 3 different times in the past month-so that plus moving…7 month pictures have not been on the radar. Hopefully this weekend 🙂