James 1:19 The Message (MSG)
Act on What You Hear
19-21 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
You need to do what you are supposed to do and then you will be able to do what you want to do.
I’ve said that to my son and daughter countless times over the last few months, but this morning I finally decided to listen to my own advice.
I’ve been struggling with a relationship concern so I asked God to help me with it. I reminded Him that I prayed for my Joseph and that I was thankful that He delivered, but I couldn’t understand what was up with me all of a sudden.
It’s like I was in super passive mode. I wanted to keep it real with him, but the that was where I was running into trouble.
God reminded me that before He brought him into my life and several times since then that He’d told me pretty much the same thing I’d told my children.
Now because I knew my response to my children was the result of them not completing a chore assigned them, I knew what I needed to do that I hadn’t.
I’m relieved God is my Father! I know He has my best interest in mind and that my opportunity for a loving relationship wasn’t removed, but delayed in a sense by my own hand. I had a mess to clean up first.
I was told to take things slow. God knew I needed to get my heart ready. The pain from my past bred some issues and attitudes that needed to die. Low self-worth and ungodly soul-ties had to go!
I thought I had it together…
In theory I believed I was okay with God’s timing, taking things slow, but lately certain tests have proven that I’m not nearly as ready as I need to be.
You know those pesky little issues I mentioned earlier that I needed to kill? Well, perhaps I didn’t exactly put an end to ‘em after all.
Sure, I let most of the lies that led me to settle for less get sick, but fear of releasing the familiar later had me hooking ‘em up to life support apparently. Well, today I had a wake- up call…okay, I actually got a few days ago and I’m playing catch up, but you get my point I’m sure.
The issue that cropped up between my beau and I really should not have been an issue at all. But it became one because of my response to his honesty. He ultimately had honored what I requested from the very beginning…that he be up front and completely honest. Yet, I responded to him from an insecure place.
Well, after some time alone with the Lord and His word, I realized I was the only one in my way. In effect, by not killing those issues of my past, I prevented myself from being able to slow down in my heart. I created the delay.
In retrospect, had I done so, I would have been able to consider the proper response. I would have realized how rash my comments otherwise would have been. But I didn’t stop myself, look at the situation has a whole, or listen to what God had already placed on my heart.
In reality I responded the way I did because I hadn’t fully killed the issues of my past. Sure I am divorced, but I involuntarily reacted in a way as if I had been dealing with my ex…you know someone I couldn’t trust….someone who had lied everyday of our marriage…someone who disrespected me just because I allowed it. None of which had been the case with My Joseph…not when we were just friends…not when we decided to step further…
Apparently, I grew accustomed to my affliction. I was so used to hiding my real feelings that I almost short-circuited my ability to be loved unconditionally. That’s a sacrifice I’m not willing to make again.
So now I’m determined to pull the plug on the pain of my past and embrace my future with confidence. That said, I’m quite okay with pumping my brakes until God gives me the green light to accelerate from now on.
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