Mean Girls

Sometimes without meaning to, we adopt the attitude of the Pharisees, like in Luke 15:2 (NKJV), “And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” ”

THE HORROR!!

We judge people based on their actions, because they should NOT be doing that. We are shocked when imperfect people act imperfectly! How does God see them?

I remember when I was in the 5th grade there was this girl who was a bully. I still remember her entire name. It was…haha, just kidding! She was so mean and hateful to me and I really just couldn’t stand her. She was also scary. I remember she got suspended and her mom called and yelled at the principal and they rescinded her suspension. It was crazy! I remember complaining about her to my Mom and I honestly can’t remember what my Mom said, but I do remember that she began explaining why she might have acted the way she did. I remember feeling so frustrated with my Mother…how could she stick up for her? I mean, that girl was crazy! You know, in that moment I didn’t realize the invaluable lesson that my Mother was instilling in me: the ability to look through a filter of how God sees people, instead of taking them at face value and judging them by their actions.

Having that “God filter” feels impossible unless you have a true understanding of how much God loves you.  Seeing people God’s way is so important! It puts us in a place where we stop judging people for where they are, so we can bring the awesome gift of salvation to them and help them to mature and grow!

Of anyone that I’ve ever met, my mother is the greatest example of being able to see the good in someone. Do you know that it’s not a testament to who she is, but to who Jesus is inside of her? It used to drive me absolutely crazy!  I’d go to her to vent about something or someone (like my 5th grade nemesis) bothering me and she would respond with some explanation about how maybe they were just tired or didn’t realize how they came across.

Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” My Mother is GREAT about letting her light shine. Sometimes, we act like the “mean girls” of the Christian world by looking down on people because of where they are in their lives. It’s kind of hard to let your light shine if your ugly attitude snuffs it out!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

 

Do You See What He Sees?

So, how DOES God see people?!

Luke 15:3-7 (NKJV) says, “So He spoke this parable to them, saying: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.’”

Jesus dropped everything to find that one little lost sheep. He didn’t reprimand the sheep for being lost, He celebrated!

Luke 15:20-22, 24 says, “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”

He was so excited. He didn’t start listing everything he’d done wrong.  He rejoiced with him and saw him through the filter of where he had been and where he was now. THIS is how God sees people. No matter what state someone is in or what they’re going through, they are so very precious to Him!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

 

Different Filters for Different Seasons

We go through different seasons of our lives and our view of people sometimes filters through the current season that we’re in.

My husband was in the army and after he deployed his first time, I was in such a tough season that it was really hard not to filter everything through my current circumstances at that time. I remember a lady telling me that her husband was going out of town and she was just telling me how hard it was going to be on her.

The empathetic part of me TOTALLY shut down. I was so annoyed, because I was comparing her situation to mine and it just fell short. Her husband was stateside and wasn’t getting shot at. Honestly, I couldn’t even see what there was for her to complain about! I wasn’t seeing her situation through the eyes of someone who cared about her and loved her. I was seeing it through the filter of my circumstance.

We tend to do this so often. We all start off as baby Christians. None of us have learned EVERYTHING there is to learn! I have a one year old and I have to tell him at least 10 times, NOT to open a cabinet door, and that’s just the first minute! I’m pretty sure his first words were “no-no”! I’m not surprised by how he acts because he’s a baby. That is how he’s supposed to act.

Have you ever asked someone whose kids are grown-ups now, how their kids were as babies? Usually they remember some things, but they don’t quite remember details like someone who currently has a baby.

When we begin to mature as Christians, we can sometimes forget what is was like before we met Jesus or when we first started our relationship with Him. It’s really easy to fall into a critical place, where we’re seeing people through the filter of where we’re at in life and not where they are.

It’s good to always want people to mature and grow, but judgement and criticism aren’t going to bring that person to a higher place, love and kindness will. In our next blog, we will take a closer look at how God sees people.

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

Sweetie

My Aunt told me that when I was a little girl, I used to get mad and call people “dummies.” I know…quite the charmer! They tried to get me to be nicer and call people “sweeties,” instead. She said one day, I got really mad at someone and yelled, “SWEETIE” in a really ugly tone! I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere (wink, wink)!

Being a “Sweetie” is kind of important.  One of the most important jobs that we will ever have on this earth is telling people the Good News about Jesus! How do we do that? By being kind!

The Bible says in Romans 2:4 (AMP 2nd half of the verse), “Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?”

John 3:17 (NKJV) “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

If we’re truly going to impact the world, then we have to see people the way God sees people! He loved them so much that He gave them His most precious gift. That’s Love!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

Do You Cooperate with God?

Collaborate means —  work together, work side by side, pull together, band together, join forces, team up, unite, combine, pool resources, make common cause.  The will of God is not automatically being done.  We have a choice in the matter.  It’s the will of God for all to be saved.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) says “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Are all coming to repentance (being saved)? No.

But that is His will…

Was it the will of God for Adam & Eve to sin?  No

But they did – why?  They had a free will.  They had a choice.

Believe God that you have the fruit of the Spirit in you (Galatians 5.22-23).  Believe God’s Word and no matter how people treat you, you can respond like Jesus.  Ask yourself, WWJD?  If people would just be kind to others, it would go a long way toward winning them to the Lord. It is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance.

-Pastor

Priceless!   

An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the traffic light turned yellow just in front of him.

The man did the right thing stopping at the crosswalk even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof – and the horn – screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection.  As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.  The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands in the air. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door.  She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.  He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.  I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.  Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.”

Priceless!

-Pastor

Kindness Can Save Your Life

We can find in the Bible the story of Rahab’s kindness to the two spies sent to Jericho by the children of Israel. Her life and the lives of her entire family were spared due to her one act of simple and spontaneous kindness.

Jonathan’s kindness to David led to his children’s preservation after Jonathan had died. David showed kindness to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth who got to eat at the king’s table & was provided for by King David.

Elizabeth kindly received Mary, the mother of Jesus, into her home during Mary’s pregnancy.

There are so many examples of kindness that we can learn from in the Bible. Kindness should be one of our highest aims along with walking in love.

2 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) says, “…to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

-Pastor

How Can I Show Kindness to Jesus?

We have all read the story of the Good Samaritan who showed kindness to someone who, because of his race, was supposed to be the Samaritan’s enemy. Jesus’ whole point in telling the story was to say, “Go and do the same.”

Being a Good Samaritan simply means being willing to get involved in helping others – in going the second mile to minister to someone in need. That’s why Jesus said:

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me… Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it NOT to one of the least of these, YE DID IT NOT to me.”

Matthew 25:35-40, 45

Acts of kindness are evidence of a genuine relationship with the Lord.  When we are kind to those in need, we are actually showing kindness to Christ!

-Pastor

Kindness Can Raise the Dead!!!

There is a story about the little widow lady who was kind to one of God’s prophets, Elijah. Elijah had been sitting by a brook at God’s command, depending on the ravens to feed him. God had also said that Elijah was to drink from the brook (1 Kings 17:4). But then the brook dried up! So God instructed Elijah to go to a widow in Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8,9).

Now when Elijah got there, he approached the widow and asked for some water to drink and some bread. This widow was not exactly thrilled to see Elijah, and she certainly wasn’t overjoyed by his request. In fact, she answered him back, saying, “I don’t have any bread. I have only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And I’m gathering up these few sticks to build a fire and make a last meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and then die” (1 Kings 17:12).

This widow was not in the best of spirits. Actually, she had already resigned herself to dying when this pushy stranger showed up wanting food and water! It was obviously not the best of times for her. And yet she did what Elijah requested. Not only did she and her son live, but sometime later when her son became sick and died, Elijah raised him from the dead!

Her kindness paid off!

-Pastor

Showing Kindness Pays Rich Dividends 

The Bible is full of stories about those who showed forth brotherly kindness.  One of the best examples is found in the life of Ruth.  Ruth was a young Moabite widow when her mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem.  Ruth chose to go with her mother-in-law.  That was a great act of kindness on Ruth’s part, because Ruth wasn’t from the area of Bethlehem at all.  If she went to Bethlehem, it meant she’d probably never be married because she didn’t belong to the Jewish race.

Ruth was a Moabite, but she chose to go and help her mother-in-law rather than go back to her own home and family and find a husband there.  She was being kind and compassionate, and it meant going out of her way to do so.  But kindness always pays.  In a very short time, Ruth’s kindness was noticed by Boaz, a very wealthy man. Soon she became his wife!

Ruth’s kindness was rewarded in a big way.

-Pastor