Friday, July 25, 2008

Who's Controlling Your Anger?

On the heels of anger, I want to go a little bit deeper into what God really wants us to do and how He wants us to release. I have seen that this anger issue can cause a great deal of pain, whether noticed or unnoticed. As I revert back to the bible I find an angry woman, Athaliah, in 2 Chronicles 21-23. She is filled with anger and will stop at nothing to obtain power and destroy God's people. She even killed her own grandchildren to make sure she was in control. It was a happy day in the city when she was slain and her reign of terror came to an end. This type of violence and vengeance is seen throughout the world today as there are many "Athaliah's" that have lashed out at everyone from the realities of their life. Some "Athaliah's" deny that anything is wrong with them. It is often someone else's fault for their anger problem. It is someone else who caused them to lash out. They are always the victim. They reacted instead of acting in a way that God suggests. Are these excuses really viable or are we trapping ourselves in our own anger?

I know it can be difficult to let go of the worldly anger, but letting go is the only way for Jesus to truly help you and for you to show your love for Him. Sometimes it's our past that releases unhealthy anger issues into our present, and sometimes future, which can be detrimental to our lives. Living in the past with anger, can only leave you in the past with the same anger. Nothing good will come about just unhealthy patterns. As believers in Christ, we have to stand firm and trust God to overtake our enemies by having them become our footstools. No amount of anger or vengeance that the enemy has against us will throw a monkey wrench in Gods plans. His plan is more definite that the enemy's plans. So what can we do now that will show God our true and undying commitment to Him? Matthew 5:43-44 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." I know this is easier said than done, but be honest and ask God to help you in this area and watch the reaction you get from your enemies based on your loving action. They will not know what has happened, but you will.

Well, what if we decide to try and handle the situation ourselves? It's called rebellion. Then, if we become rebellious, what are we telling God? That we are in control. That we have authority over our lives. That we are the ones who know the plan. NO! We are defying and disobeying God and planting a seed of discontentment. We are seeking our own satisfaction and falling short of God's purpose. We then become blind to the fact that God has a plan for our life and we give up any resolution that God has in store. When we trust in the face of challenging circumstances and desire His outcome, our thoughts of rebellion will soon fade away.

So what is the answer to our anger? Trust in Him at ALL times and have self-control. Choose to control your anger with love; loving thoughts, loving actions, and loving feelings. Don't allow anyone but God to have that much control over you by submitting to His will. Saying yes to God and no to outside enticements is a strength that activates our healthy gifts from God. Our self control is a personal discipline that shows God that yes we are obedient to you and yes we will take a stand for you. We have to be "self-controlled" in order to stay focused on the kingdom of God. Relinquish your own control and anger and acknowledge that God has the final control. Study the word of God, meditate on it daily, pray for peace in the midst, and exercise God's will in your life. Now that is what I call self-control!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Danger of Anger

Ephesians 4: 26-27 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

In this world today, there seems to be a lot of anger, including some in my world. I really had to buckle down and see what is the root cause of this anger and what is it doing to me. Anger is the result of some inequity that is happening in your life that seems to have taken over with little to no control. It is an energy that is draining us of a lasting relationship with the Lord. As I asked God to lead me to scriptures regarding anger, he led me to the one stated above. Now I had to ask myself, how would anger lead me to sin? Well easily! I easily wanted to get revenge and these evil thoughts came upon me as soon as the devil entered the situation in my mind. How can I get back at this person? How can I ruin them just like they have tried to ruin me? I really seen how anger definitely can lead to sin. All of these evil thoughts can easily persuade me to sin and then I am held accountable for my actions. For every action, there will be a consequence that I will have to face, either with man or with God.

So what good does it do to get angry and sin? None! Is my anger controllable? Well, yes it is! I had to really pray about the situation. You see, the devil had a really strong foothold on me. I had all kinds of evil thoughts and actions that I can do to that person. I was planning it all out. The how, when, and where was taking over me like a possession of the devil. But God didn't see fit to let that happen. I had to calm down, see the real picture, and really pray long and hard for God to enter. Lord, what is happening to me? Why do I feel the need for revenge? Will this help solve anything or is this just an instant satisfaction to my flesh? All I am going to do is get myself into really bad trouble that I just don't need. So does this leave the situation in limbo? No, God tells us to trust in Him all the time. He will not fail you. He will not leave you or forsake you. He says vengeance is His, so why do I have to take it in my own hands? That is another aspect that evolves around control. Controlling the situation when all I need to do is cast my cares upon Him. He doesn't need my help, so why do I feel the need to sit on the throne with Him?

We all go through situations that can lead to anger but I want you to think about acting rather than reacting to the situation. Don't react to the situation hastily and get all caught up in revenge and seeking out your own vengeance. The danger will explode right in your face with a result that is not pleasing. Instead, act in a way that you know God will be pleased with. Go to God in prayer, honestly, and let Him handle all of your worries, resentment, anger, and any other issues that may be causing harm to your inner being. Whether you know it or not, anger can lead to health problems as well as spiritual and mental problems. You have to remember that you are His child and He is your Father, and just as any father protects his child, He will do that plus more. He will do everything in His power to shield you from danger and all you have to do is trust. So when you feel the anger erupting inside, take a long breather, pray wherever you are, and let God handle the rest. He hears and knows how you feel, so don't take it into your own control. Let God be God and watch how the situation will be resolved in your favor. Anger is a robber of your faith, so don't let the devil get any more strongholds on you. Choose today to release the anger and activate your faith!

Psalm 4:1-8

1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.

4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.

8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

High Maintenance vs. Vanity

I recently posed this question to some of my friends & family regarding high maintenance vs. vanity; what is the difference? I just wanted to know their opinions. I have been called high maintenance several times and there is no doubt about it; I am. First, let me give you the Webster's dictionary definition of both. High maintenance is not defined in Webster's but when I looked up high maintenance as a whole word it brought me to high mindedness which is elevated principles and feelings. Then I decided to break down high maintenance. High can mean a lot of things depending on how you use it but relating to what I am talking about; rich in quality, exalted in character, of greater degree, amount, cost, value, or content than average, usual, or expected, etc. Maintenance is defined as the upkeep of property or equipment. Vanity is inflated pride in oneself or one's appearance.

Here are some of the comments I received from my friends regarding the difference between the two:

  • High maintenance is an accomplished standard or level that is reached and maintained with the expectation of excellence in all things.

  • High Maintenance is just the fact that you like nice things, very very expensive things; and expects them from others. You don’t appreciate what someone buys you if it is not up to par with what you would buy for yourself. But at the same time you will help others if need be. In other words it’s not all about you but you like and won’t except anything but the best

  • Vanity, in my opinion, is where you are stuck on yourself for no apparent reason. Thinking you are superior to others without any credentials.

  • Vanity - Excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of
    being vain; conceit:

So when someone calls me high maintenance I am definitely owning up to the definition of one who enjoys rich quality and I am especially interested in my daily upkeep and I do have elevated principles and feelings. So is there anything wrong with that? I don't think so. Just because I like the finer things in life and expect the finer things in life doesn't mean that I am better than anyone else. As women of God, we all should expect God's favor on our life and expect to be treated with a matter of respect. High maintenance is just a greater hope of things to come, almost like faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So if we don't anticipate anything good to come into our lives then where does that leave us? Just hopelessly caught up in a rut not believing for anything superior to happen to us. No, that is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to look forward to the goodness that He is giving us and be grateful for what He has already done and what He is going to do. He wants us to be elevated in our thinking and doing for His greater purpose. So, is high maintenance really that bad or has it been given a bad name?

Vanity is just the opposite of high maintenance in my opinion. As stated above, it is being stuck on yourself or having inflated pride. Vanity is the result of your own desire. Vanity is choosing to focus on yourself rather than focus on many of God's great gifts. Yes it is true that the beauty that each one of us has is one of God's gifts but it is all in how you use it. God's gifts to us are more than just a pretty face and body. He has adorned us with His image, love, and to be enveloped in all His glory is a gift in itself. Being vain will only cause women to miss out on the presence of God by concentrating on things that will come to an end one day. Vanity robs you of portraying the spirit of God while helping others get to the kingdom. The bible mentions many beautiful women who we can admire because of their appearance but their beauty is complimenting their inner spirit that shows God's love. Remember that it is not about the outer beauty but how the inner beauty reflects God's love, grace, and mercy. It is God's spirit that we want to personify and teach others to dwell in. So, do you know a person who is vain or are they just hiding their insecurities?
1 Peter 3:3-4 "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama!!!

I just want to wish my wonderful mother a Happy 52nd Birthday today. I LOVE YOU!!!

Mother's Love

Her love is like an island
In life's ocean, vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
'Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender Counsel on the South
And on the East by Rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro' the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.
- Author Unknown

The Image Is In The Heart

As I continue to talk about women and image, I came upon what the word says about our creation in His image means and what the world's definition of image as it relates to beauty. Of course we know that in Genesis 1:27 that we are created in His image but not in the way many believe. It is not about the clothes with labels that we admire or the jewels that adorn our body but God's image of us; love.

Yes, we are beautiful in our own right because He made us unique, but there are so many standards that have been set up to make us think that we are never good enough until we break down and give into the world's lies. This type of image has been seen in damaging results such as anorexia, bulimia, and unnecessary plastic surgery. Some women have tortured their God given bodies in order to "fit in". I have seen many proclaim that if I don't have a figure 8 body or the perfect nose then I am not pretty according to society's image. God has never put an affirmation in His word saying that if you don't have those six pack abs or those killer legs that I will not bless you. Ladies, please be aware that God is not concerned with those things. In 1 Peter 3:3-4; He tells us that beauty should not come from outward adornment but it should come from your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth. See, this is His definition of beauty which is discussed in the spiritual realm of things. We as women need to be assured of God's image for us, love, and how we can reciprocate that image into the world to bring about salvation.

So ladies if you really want to have a sense of great self image, reclaim the fact that beauty is not on the outside, even though you should know without the shadow of a doubt that you are lovely, but on the inside in your hearts where your actions relay the message of self love. Don't ever allow anyone to define what your beauty is. Tune out those negative voices of what humanity says is wrong with you in their eyes and tune in to those positive images of yourself clothed in God's love. You are created in His image with all the love, compassion, kindness, and humility as Christ has so don't let the demonic state of beauty tear you apart. Look in the mirror every morning and say "I am divinely and uniquely beautiful and no devil in hell or person of the world can justify my identity." Women you are just that loved by God and your heart should overflow with the love of God to everyone who is around you or has any contact with you. Love yourself just the way you are and truly own up to having a relationship with God and be renewed in His image.