I’ve learned a lot over this weekend. I had been holding onto some emotional baggage not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I didn’t know how to completely give it up. I was talking to my husband, Chris, about this. I said that even though I had grown up in the church & been a Christian for several years, I still didn’t know how to truly “give something to God”. If I gave it to God, I’d just pick it back up. I had heard pastors preach that if you’ve given it to God, you won’t pick it up again. And if you do pick it up again, then you haven’t given it to God. Huh!? Well, what am I supposed to do then? How do I truly give something to God? Chris shared with me how he understood it, and I’m so glad he did. He (in his godly wisdom) told me that when you give something to God you tell him you don’t want to have it in your life anymore, you want it gone, etc. But then it doesn’t mean you won’t struggle with it or the thoughts or emotions won’t come back. It just means that when you do begin to feel that lie or whatever creeping back in, you react differently. For example, if you hear the lie that you are ugly & fat, and you give that mindset to God, when you feel fat & ugly again, instead of saying to yourself, “yeah… I am…” you react with the TRUTH – That you are a child of God, created in HIS image, wonderfully & fearfully made. You are beautiful & God is at work in you – a new creation in him. Whether it be Scripture or just godly truth that was spoken to you by other people in your life, pull it out & quote it when you are faced with the temptation to believe a lie. It is a process of continually giving it to God & reacting in a godly way.
The second thing I learned this week along the same lines is something my friend Shelby told me at our Saturday night church service, NightLight. I had shared that I was trying to forgive someone in my past & I had said over & over that I forgave her but how could I really feel like I had forgiven her? I had so much hurt I was still dealing with as a result of that offense. I had heard other Christians say that you just say you forgive them and the feelings would follow… eventually. But this particular offense happened over 10 years ago. And I was still struggling with it. I wanted to be free of this & really truly forgive & move on. Here’s the gist of what Shelby said: When you forgive someone, you have to remember that they are worth it. They are worth trying to mend the relationship (even if it is a different relationship for the purpose of protecting yourself from more harm, or whatever the reason). They are worth being loved. They are worth everything in God’s eyes that you are worth. They are no less than you. This simple statement really helped me see this person in a different light, and for the first time in YEARS, I feel free. Before Shelby shared this with me, whenever I would think of this person I would cringe & feel the hurt that I felt when she hurt me years ago. But now – praise God! – I can think of her and NOT feel that pain! I feel free – SO FREE!! It is an awesome feeling. I really do praise God for it. I thought it couldn’t happen. It is so amazing!
So, what do you need to give to God that you’ve been continually trying to give to him? How can you react differently next time you are tempted to do or think whatever you shouldn’t? What scripture(s) or other people’s positive godly comments can you quote when faced with that temptation? Who do you need to forgive & see in a different light? Can you see them as worth it to God? Do you have someone in your life that will speak truth to you & help you see things in a new light?
A big THANK YOU to Chris & Shelby for allowing themselves to be used by God in my life this weekend. God is great & I am so thankful that he is changing me & hasn’t left me alone. He loves ME & and he loves YOU just as much! Let him change you too this week!