Monday, November 1, 2010

You're greeeaaaaaat!

Hello again! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and if  you didn't, today is only going to get better from here on. Let's pray and begin A Good Bible Study: StressLess, where you learn how to be the best thing to happen to everyone you meet today! Hey, didn't you know? You're greeeeaaaat!

Lord, here we are again, meeting up to get immersed in Your Word and in Your love! Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit, so we can always receive Wisdom and discern the Truth. Help each of us to be changed by today's message. Let us come to you quicker when we need love, truth, understanding, insight, or comfort. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.

Yesterday we focused on thinking of ourselves less. I don't know about you, but I tend to ruminate on my past. I don't worry all that much about the future, I know God's got that, but my past - well, there's my challenge.

My best defense is to immediately tell myself, "Stop it." Or "So what?" Meaning so what if that's what I did, that was then and if I had it to do over again I would - so move on. The fact is we can't change what anyone did to us, and we can't change what we've done to anyone else. If you are repentant (which means to go in a new direction), forgive yourself and move on.

Satan loves to trip us up with our pasts, doesn't he?

And he loves to use other people to beat us over the head with it. The truth is no one knows our history, or why we've made the choices we made at the time. All we can do at this point is make amends and move forward. If we are sincere, and someone isn't ready to receive our apology or accept the changes we've made, then we've got to move and let God change their hearts.

Read 1 John 1:9

Staying stuck is like continuing to live in the past instead of accepting "life happens, then you grow." I'm not talking about making excuses, I'm talking about accepting who we are and what we've come out of, and allowing ourselves the freedom to be forgiven and enjoy what we've got today.

Read Isaiah 43:25-26 then flip back to 1:18.

God says He forgives and then forgets in a way that is not re-memorable in heaven. So, forgive, make amends if needed, and live new choices. It's easy to say you've changed and people may not believe it until they see it. That's fine because if you are sincere, they will see it and it won't matter so much to you if they do or not.

Sometimes we are the ones who won't let someone else have a new beginning. Sometimes we only see the effects of someone else's past in the way they treat us today. People are in pain all over the world. We see how they are, but we don't see what made them that way.

It's like that t.v show where the people come out after the audience has been given a run-down of what terrible thing they supposedly did, and the audience just boos them as they walk on-stage. So, what's the first thing out of that guest's mouth everytime?

"You don't know me. You don't know me!"

And you know what? We don't. We don't know why someone makes the choices they do, or what pain is underneath that hard exterior. It's difficult to be kind to someone like that . . . but it doesn't have to be.

I'm going to share something with you that made a big difference to me when I managed a shoe store in Sacramento California, and I had to deal with all sorts of people. Some of them had lifestyles that honestly made me feel uncomfortable.

However, some of these same individuals came back to my store over and over to buy shoes. One particular man told me why. He said I didn't make him feel weird or uncomfortable in my store. He felt accepted and important.

From my standpoint, I wasn't there to judge. I was there to sell shoes. But, looking back I can see that one reason I was able to put aside my own judgements and have compassion on some people that would normally lead me to feel awkward myself, was because of something I learned reading about the life of Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics.)

In her biography Ms. Ash said something I have tried to remember ever since. "Treat every person you meet like they have a sign around their neck that says, 'Make me feel important."

Can we do that? Can we set aside what we think about someone's clothing, piercings, tattoos, parenting, way of talking, where they grew up or where they live, religion, politics, etc., and just spend a minute making them feel important?

Because they may not be important to you, but they are important to the Maker of Heaven and Earth. God put you in their path just to make them feel His love on earth.

Do you want to feel important? Just go make someone else feel like a million bucks. Your whole day will get better, trust me. Some of you know me personally, and you know I love to compliment people and I love to tell them why I think they are great.

And Mary Kay Ash is a big reason why, and my Father's opinion is the other reason why.

Do I get something out of it? You bet. I feel great knowing I lifted up a friend, or a stranger for that matter. I feel wonderful, blessed, loved by my Father, and important to that person's life.

Read Matthew 5:14-16. You are a light to someone else, and to God.

Read Matthew 23:11-12. Every time you humble yourself to help someone, lift someone, you become greater in the eyes of God.

Read Mark 9: 35 and 10:44-45

and finally

Read John 13:12-17.

Jesus always goes first. He never asks us for more than He already gave.

Father, we thank you so much for giving us Your Son. Thank You for knowing what we need before we know it ourselves. Thank You for going first in everything. Give us servant's hearts, Lord. Help us be great in Your eyes, instead of in our own. In Jesus' name, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Andrey Kiselev, courtesy of

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