No Self Preservation, Part 2
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men.
I was empty from trying so hard to find a way to make things the way I thought they should look, preserving my image, keeping the peace, avoiding embarrassment. Wasn’t that life-giving? Barbara’s words shook me. Fortunately, reading God’s Word was my default setting when convicted of sin. I expected to find judgment and shame, instead I found unexpected comfort. Words of compassion and love for me jumped off of the pages of my Bible. These are words of life. God gave me that soothing truth of His love so that I could share it, not hide under it. 1 Peter tells us:
Love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.
1 Peter 1:22-23
I heard the message loud and clear. Love those who hurt you the way that Jesus loves you. The endless supply of His patient, long-suffering, persevering love for me is my fuel source, because I can’t love like that on my own.
I has been years since that sad time in my life. The journey is not over, but this broken place continues to teach me about Jesus’ love for me and deepens my love for Him.
It’s probable that some of you are looking for the ten steps to responding to a person who has wronged you and blamed you unfairly. I would have done almost anything to make my broken place better, but no matter how hard I tried, in my own strength, things went from bad to worse. Learning how to be a life-giver in a place of pain requires digging into Scripture and lots of praying. Out of that will come specific ways you can offer the help and hope of Jesus. Each situation is unique. Spend time soaking in Philippians 2, repent of your own pride, purpose to live for God’s glory and DAILY ask the Lord to show you specific ways you can reflect His love.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the Loneliness and Depression audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Depression is a broad life crisis with many unique circumstances. In this interview, Danielle’s story demonstrates that depression in young adults is often rooted in childhood. It’s easy to hide depression and to slowly hide away rather than fight the dark feelings of sadness, loneliness and worthlessness. Danielle offers help and hope as she describes the steps she took to find her way back to a life of purpose.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.