Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wisdom and understanding

 Hello again and welcome to Stress Less, a bible study about God's love for us and His desire that we live in joy and enthusiasm (God within, remember?)! Did you know wisdom and understanding lead to stressing less?

Let's begin as always, with prayer:

Father, we praise You today and every day. We can't wait to see all the ways You are going to reveal Yourself to us in this study. Thank You for always rewarding our time with You with a new revelation of Your love for us, in us, and through us. Help us to come together each time with a pure intention to seek You, and find You. Prepare us even now, for Your Word. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.

We are nearing completion of the 1st key of living stress less: to authenticate. How are you feeling today, in your royal, authentic self? It might take a while to get used to yourself, as you are meant to be, but I encourage you to keep opening your heart to God, and allowing Him to peel away all the layers that are not you.

Learning to be yourself takes practice. If you have developed a habit of always deferring to the needs and wants of everyone else, it might even be fun to start discovering what you like, and how you feel, before you censor yourself automatically.

I'd like you to start pausing before you answer any questions, so you have the time to allow your feelings and desires to come to the surface. We don't need to selfishly demand our way at all times, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of how you feel about your options, before you make a conscious choice.

Turn to Proverbs 4:6-7

"He also taught me, and said to me:
Let your _______ retain my words; keep my commands, and ________.
Get __________! Get ___________!
Do not forget or turn away from the ____________ of my mouth.
Do not forsake her (wisdom) and she will preserve you; love her, and she will keep you." New King James Version

What are the key words of this passage? Why did God tell us to let our hearts retain the words?

Read Luke 6:45

Our actions reflect the intentions of our hearts. If we keep wisdom in our hearts, it will predict how we will behave, and the consequences of our actions. God says we need to seek wisdom and understanding, and if we do, it will bring us life. It might be just as accurate to say it will bring us to life, when we have been living as a hollow shell of our true selves.

Living authentically, with integrity or wholeness, allows us to act consciously, with thought and reason, instead of reacting unconsciously to our situation, and to the way others behave. Do you ever just react as if someone pushed a button and you just jumped, may be in anger, may be in fear, may be in some big, dramatic manner, and you are not even sure afterwards why?

Learning to know, love, accept and then choose will enable you to no longer automatically react when your buttons get pushed. In fact, over time, your buttons won't even exist. Can you imagine how much more stress free your life can be, when you are choosing to act, instead of robotically re-acting the same old scene over and over?

So, we are going to learn to live with integrity: scrupulous, or strict, honesty. Ouch. Can we handle this? Can the people in our lives handle this?? Is this a license to be mean, like, "Hey, I'm just keeping it real?"

Integrity and honesty don't include mean-spirited, tactless, or brutal remarks and comments. It means being upfront about your intentions and expectations. It means doing things right, and doing the right things.

Try it on by making this your new motto:

I am upfront about my intentions and expectations with others.
I do things right, and I do the right things.

Let's meet up tomorrow and talk about how it feels to give yourself permission to be honest with yourself first, then with others, about what you want, think, and feel. Remember, you are responsible to make your intentions known, but you can't control anyone else's response, approval, automatic re-action, or agreement.

Let's pray:

Father, I know You have made me wonderfully and fearfully good. You say it's so. I haven't always known that about myself, and often I have chosen to be around people who don't know it either. I'm thankful you are helping me become authentic and develop integrity. My life is getting better and better. Help me to be aware when I am being dishonest with myself, and with others. Help me to be wise. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

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I love to hear your comments and know that God is touching your heart through our time together. Please keep sharing.

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