Tag Archives: christian living

Thought Conditioners #25

I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13,14, NLT

Every person, if he is to have mental health and live successfully, must move away from past failures and mistakes and go forward without letting them be a weight upon him.

The art of forgetting is absolutely necessary. Every night when you lie down to sleep, practice dropping the day into the past. It is over, finished. Look confidently to the future with God.

~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale

 

Do you remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? When Lot and his family fled they were ordered by the angels not to look back. Lots wife did and she became a pillar of stone (or salt depending on the version). Looking to the past, either in shame or longing for the days before you came to Christ, hinders your progress with Jesus. It will turn us to stone. Harden our hearts. Even if it’s a good thing, if it has a hold on you it has power over you. Let go of what lies behind and you will gain power to move on to the new thing God is doing.

Reflect: What are you holding on to?

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Seek First

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Peace = Power

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STOP

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It came to pass

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Discipline

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Thought Conditioner #11

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7,  NLT

Your fears can be healed by this text. It tells us, first, that fear is overcome by power. What power? There is only one force more powerful than fear, and that is faith. When fear comes to your mind, counter it with an affirmation of faith.

Second, love overcomes fear. By love is meant trust, confidence, complete dependence upon God. Practice this attitude and fear will diminish.

The third element is to attain a sound mind in which there are no complexes, quirks, and obsessions. Live with the thought of God, and you will develop a sound mind where no shadowy fear can lurk.

Whenever you are afraid, verbalize against the thing that you fear, using the words of this text.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

Mr. Peale uses the term from the King James Version “a sound mind”. I have chosen the New Living Translation of “self-discipline. I like it because it implies action. That we should actively encounter fear – with God’s power and love. That we should actively control our own behaviors so that we don’t have need to fear.

Bottom line: God never meant for us to live in fear but faith in him, trusting him and ultimately taking responsibility for our own actions.

What is discipline? What does discipline do? We gain strength against the enemy with discipline – self-discipline that helps us to act with self-control.

Reflect: Do you conquer your fears with the power of faith, with trust in Gods’ love? How well do you self-discipline, or control you mind to not let fear overwhelm you?

Quotes for a Peaceful Attitude

CS Lewis God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
Francois Fenelon Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul; we may preserve it in the midst of the bitterest pain, if our will remains firm and submissive. Peace in this life springs from acquiescence to, not in an exemption from, suffering.
Robert J Sawyer “Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.”
Joel Osteen “God wants you to have a good life, a life filled with love, joy, peace, and fulfillment. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but it does mean that it will always be good.”
Joyce Meyer Many people feel so pressured by the expectations of others that it causes them to be frustrated, miserable and confused about what they should do. But there is a way to live a simple, joy-filled, peaceful life, and the key is learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit, not the traditions or expectations of man.
Norman Vincent Peale Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
Francois Fenelon Resign every forbidden joy; restrain every wish that is not referred to God’s will; banish all eager desires, all anxiety; desire only the will of God; seek him alone and supremely, and you will find peace.
Thomas Watson God sweetens outward pain with inward peace
Joel Osteen “It’s vital that you accept yourself and learn to be happy with who God made you to be. If you want to truly enjoy your life, you must be at peace with yourself.”
Joyce Meyer “ We don’t have to work at trying to get rid of every stressful situation. We need to learn how to embrace peace. ”
Norman Vincent Peale “I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.”

Christmas magic

seaworld_cmas_2013 298Often you hear people talking about Christmas it’s the magic of miracles. It’s a reminder of a time long ago when all was right in the world. The Christmas season is often portrayed as a magical time where anything can happen.  So if Christmas’ magic could change lives what would change? What miracle would we want? What are the deepest desires of our hearts?

 

A few of the most common themes of Christmas magic include:

  • Finding a soul mate
  • Healing rift between friends
  • To have an estranged spouse come home
  • Physical and mental healing
  • Financial peace
  • Peace of mind
  • Business success
  • A child in the military to come home for Christmas
  • For our dreams to come true

This list could go on and on as every person would have a different answer. But what is the thread that connects these themes?

cmas 2013 050Everyone has an idea of what life should be like and they believe that this is the one time of the year when prayers are answered, lives are restored, families reconciled and fairy tales comes true. There’s sadness in this season because the magic doesn’t hold up, the season passes and we’re left feeling more broken than before. I know this was true for me for many years. I have watched the Hallmark movies, gazed into the twinkle lights and found my nostalgic past in the beautiful reds and greens. I admit I was one of those who sought Christmases magic in this season. My wish was to find my estranged father of 45 years (read about my Hallmark Christmas).

But how many heartbroken souls are still out there, still waiting. Still watching the movies and hoping that happy ending will be theirs. That they too can have the miracle they’ve been secretly hoping for this Christmas season.

christmas 2013 044There is a magic in the idea of Christmas but it’s not found in the greenery, twinkle lights or holiday movies.  There is a white knight out there that is willing and ready to rescue you and make all your dreams come true. Many celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus. But the season isn’t about a little baby but a grown man who fell to earth so that we may be restored. He came to fill our hearts with the magic of a little child.

The real miracle of the season is the miracle that happens in our hearts, the miracle that only Jesus can do. Christmas is about second chances, Jesus died to give us a second chance. It’s about reconciliation to our true father. It’s about letting go wrongs and love each other as Christ did for us.

This Christmas remember the miracle maker and ask him to make a miracle in your heart and mind by restoring and renewing all of you.

If you could have a Hallmark Christmas what would it be?

 

Next week: Quotes on a peaceful attitude.

How to Have a Peaceful Attitude

We create situations that lead us into being nervous, high-strung and upset but we can also create situations that lead to a peaceful attitude. Peace results from a continuous flow from God through us and then back to God. This is the process for our renewal both mentally and physically. It’s impossible to have peace with an accelerated life because the faster we go the less flow there is from God. He’s not going to try to keep up with your pace.  Most people today wouldn’t be comfortable moving at God’s slower pace.

Here are some ideas to help you create a more peaceful attitude:

  • Fill your mind with a peaceful experience from your past then make a planned and deliberate excursion there in your mind. (I listen to music I heard on my journey, especially songs that remind me of when I was in the wilderness – deserts and mountains)
  • Reduce your life’s tempo or pace. Norman Vincent Peale says that “many people are destroying their physical bodies by this pace, but what is even more tragic, they are tearing their minds and souls to shreds as well.” He wrote this in 1952 and today it’s only gotten worse. (this is a big challenge for me)
  • Delegate authority, say no nicely and set up boundaries (another biggie for me, my family doesn’t understand the concept of a shut door)
  • Develop the disciplines of silence and solitude
  • Learn to live in the now because God only gives us enough grace for today
  • Make the decision everyday to rejoice and be glad in that day
  • Don’t strive to live without stress but aim to live in peace
  • Be selective with how you spend your time and resist the temptation to procrastinate
  • Modify your life, find ways to save time, avoid trouble and eliminate distractions
  • Listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit, He will guide you into peace
  • Take on unseen partner in all your life’s endeavors – God

When you need peace concerning a decision you need to make try these steps:

  1. Think of your decision the first way…how do you feel. Is there peace, a knot in your stomach or nothing at all?
  2. Think of your decision in the alternative way… how do you feel. Is there peace, a knot in your stomach or nothing at all?
  3. The way you should turn is the way you find peace. If there’s no peace don’t do it, if you’re anxious run the other way, if you feel nothing at all pray asking the Holy Spirit for guidance.
  4. If you still can’t decide ask God to decide for you. Ask Jesus to create the conditions that either aid in your decision-making or to allow the decision to be made for you.

Many years ago I wanted to move. I found a bigger, warmer house. I loved the house and the price was much cheaper. It seemed to be an easy decision but I had no peace. I didn’t know why but I didn’t feel God in it. I just couldn’t make the decision, I had already made a verbal commitment and as a Christian I felt strongly about keeping my word. I prayed and asked Jesus to cause me to not get the house or I would believe my lack of peace was because of another reason. The next day the owner called and the deal fell through. I was relieved. I wouldn’t use this as your main way of decision-making but the Spirit is there to help in all of your ways and walk.

Attitude Challenge
Practice the discipline of silence. Spend at least 15 minutes of absolute quiet everyday. Don’t talk, write, read, think or anything that engages your mind. Put your mind into neutral and let it coast.

Book on finding peace
The Book of Mayuri: Why We Can’t Have Peace and How We Can Have Peace by Osundara Mayuri
The Way of Serenity by Jonathan Morris
Finding Peace: God’s Promise of Life Free From Regret, Anxiety, and Fear by Charles F Stanley

Bible Verses on Peace

Philippians 4:6 (ESV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV) Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
1 Peter 5:7 (ESV) Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Romans 12:18 (ESV) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Matthew 5:9 (ESV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV) Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Romans 15:13 (ESV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV) For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints
Psalm 4:8 (ESV) In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Proverbs 16:7 (ESV) When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Galatians 5:22 (ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
Romans 14:19 (ESV) So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Colossians 3:15 (ESV) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Isaiah 32:17 (ESV) And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
James 3:18 (ESV) And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Philippians 4:7 (ESV) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 5:2 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Job 22:21 (ESV) Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Back to: A Peaceful Attitude
Next: Quotes for a Peaceful Attitude

A Peaceful Attitude

The Bible tells us in first Peter 3:11 to seek peace. We are to pursue peace within ourselves, with others and with God.

We lose peace when we…

  • react to our emotions wrongly
  • don’t use wisdom
  • act out of random thoughts
  • struggle with our own efforts
  • don’t use God’s wisdom

Not enough silence and solitude will rob you of peace. We all need time alone to relax, reflect and unwind. We need to take time alone to heal. Our culture continually talks to us, the drawback of living contemporary society. Without quiet it’s hard to hear God’s voice.

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves”
Thomas Carlyle

We can’t follow another’s voice. Jesus said my sheep know my voice and they follow me. We can’t follow the voice of friends, family or the world. Any voice other than God can be used as a voice of deception by the enemy.

People who lack inner peace are often victims of self punishment. They have either committed a sin or been sinned against. What remains is a sense of guilt, shame, self unforgiveness and resentment. This affect the mind as well as the body.

“Many people suffer poor health not because of what they eat but from what is eating them”
Norman Vincent Peale

If there is no peace when we’re doing something or there’s no peace in a decision you need to make have the courage to stop. Colossians 3:15 tells us to let peace be the umpire in our hearts. Once you’ve lost your peace  be determined to learn how you lost it and look for ways to get it back.

We lose our own peace by squandering power and energy through fuming and fretting. We must discipline ourselves to quietness. Be calm and let it go.

“Emotional ills turn in upon yourself, sapping your energy, reducing your efficiency, causing deterioration in your health. And of course they siphon off your happiness.”
Norman Vincent Peale

The more we allow God to rule in our lives the more peace we will have. We can never enjoy the kingdom without peace. An attitude of peace says I trust God. God sent his Son, the Prince of Peace, so that we could know his exceeding peace.

A Prayer for Peace

Thank you Jesus for coming down to us, our Prince of Peace, so that we can know the peace that surpasses understanding. Help me to live at peace with myself, with others and with you.

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More Posts on a trusting attitude:
How to Have a Peaceful Attitude
Quotes for a Peaceful Attitude

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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes

Attitudes of the mind:
A Positive Attitude (negativity)
A Confident Attitude (insecurity)
A Contented Attitude (anxious)
A Patient Attitude (impatient)

Attitudes of the heart:
A Joyful Attitude (discouraged)
A Kind and Caring Attitude (unforgiving, self-centered)
A Courageous Attitude (fearful)
A Determined Attitude (quitting, distracted)

Attitudes of the spirit:
A Hopeful Attitude (hopelessness)
A Humble Attitude (proud)
A Trusting Attitude (doubt, double minded)
A Peaceful Attitude (frustrated, anxious)

The Power of God

Tolliver Falls, Swallow Falls State Park, MarylandHe gives me faith within myself
When it seems all in vain.
He gives me hope to battle on
And help my goals attain.
He gives me faith and inner strength
When I feel great despair,
And since I place my trust in Him
My life’s no longer bare.

 

By  Harold F Mohn

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Let God Worry

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Quotes for Trusting on God

Lynn Austin Decide to trust Him for one little thing today, and before you know it, you find out He’s so trustworthy you be putting your whole life in His hands.”
Charles R Swindoll “We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.”
Thaddeus of Vitovnica “We have very little faith in the Lord, very little trust. If we trusted the Lord as much as we trust a friend when we ask him to do something for us, neither we as individuals nor our whole country would suffer so much.”
Jerry Bridges “If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe God will allow nothing to subvert His glory so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us.”
Coraline Buchanan “…You say to God, “I have never seen you provide for me.”   God says to you, “You have never trusted Me.”
Martin Luther “Pray, and let God worry.”
Rachel Hamilton “God loves you so much that he is willing to hold something from you for the perfect time!”
Emily Freeman “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.”
Gary Rudz “You can free your soul to fly each day, if you let God do the steering.”
Tammy L Kubasko “Let go of what you think you know. Something amazing happens when you let God and trust.”
Mandy Hale “The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life.”
Jerry Bridges “Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelms us.”
Tom King “It is when we are at our darkest hour, when we can see no evidence that God loves us or that he is even there to listen to our prayers, much less answer them…and yet, we still obey. It is then that the devil is reminded that his cause is lost.”
Wendy Blight “I learned that within the confines of God’s story, nothing had been stolen from me, but rather everything was given to me. My life, which felt so out of control, was in reality in complete control – God’s control.”
Teresa of Avila “. . . it is presumptuous in me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done.”
Ann Voskamp “The fear is suffocating, terrorizing, and I want the remedy, and it is trust. Trust is everything.”
Carter Conlon “The end of ourselves is the beginning of God”
Paula Hendricks “Trust God with your love life, and buckle up for the ride!”
Tricia Goyer “Thank you for reminding me that the future is in God’s hands.'” “‘You’re welcome. And remember, wherever you go, in body and mind, you simply need to call out to God and He is there”

 

How to Trust in God

When you put your trust in God he guides your mind so you don’t want what’s inharmonious with his will. What’s been impossible now becomes possible. Jesus said “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23) Throw your heart into trusting God and the rest will follow.

How to develop trust in God:

  1. Have a childlike faith. Let go of grown up barriers that keep us from seeing God through our life-tainted eyes.
  2. Faith must grow. Must be watered and nurtured through reading the word and having a grateful heart.
  3. Defeat doubt by learning to expect God to answer. Memorize James 1:6-8. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” Don’t let those negative thoughts creep into your head.
  4. Know God loves you. Meditate on his love. Recall the times God came through for you, times he showed his love. The more you know him the more you will trust him.
  5. Be willing to relinquish trusting yourself. Let God take the reins; let Him guide your steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
  6. Make it a habit. The more you practice faith and putting your trust in God the easier it will be.
  7. Acknowledge where attacks come from. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.(1 Peter 5:8)

Attitude Challenge:
Remember times you have trusted God and He came through for you. Write these down and carry with you to remind yourself of how trustworthy God is in times of doubt.

Books on Trusting God:
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
Unshakable: Trusting God When All Else Fails by Carter Conlon
Trusting God When Times are Tough by Ed Hindson

Bible verse on Trusting God:

Luke 24:38 (ESV) And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Psalm 56:3-4 (ESV) When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Proverbs 3:5 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Psalm 13:5 (ESV) But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Psalm 31:14-18 (ESV) But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
James 1:6 (ESV) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Psalm 37:5 (ESV) Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 91:2 (NIV) I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Psalm 9:10 (ESV) And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Matthew 21:21 (ESV) And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.
John 14:1 (NLT) Do not let your heart be troubled. You have put your trust in God, put your trust in Me also.
Psalm 9:9 (NLT) The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Nahum 1:7 (NLV) The Lord is good, a safe place in times of trouble. And He knows those who come to Him to be safe.
Romans 15:13 (NIV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 46:1 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Back to: A Trusting Attitude
Next: Quotes for Trusting in God

The Day My Soul Cried

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“For every person who closed the door in my face, thank you. For every person who told me I wasn’t good enough, thank you. For every person who laughed and told me that I was wasting my time going to college, because I was going to fail, thank you. For every person who tried to break me, thank you. For every person who took my kindness for weakness, thank you. For every person who told me I was wasting time chasing my dreams because I would fail, thank you. It could of broke me. From the core of my heart, I thank you. I truly mean it, because if it weren’t for each of you I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t of spend hours and loss sleep studying. I wouldn’t developed tough skin. You pushed me to think about what I “really” want out of life. You pushed me to master my craft. You helped me develop the drive, passion and determination. You pushed me to not wait for someone to believe in my vision, but to find a way to make things happen. I know you didn’t “intend” to, but I thank you for teaching me to believe in myself! and you taught me to trust in God and lean on my faith, not man. Thank You!”

Yvonne Pierre, The Day My Soul Cried: A Memoir

 

A Trusting Attitude

He that trusts in his own heart is a fool:
but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered.
(Proverbs 28:26)

We’re called to trust God. True servants have a trusting heart. By trusting Him we show that we believe he loves us; that he wants only what is good for us. But so often we put our trust in everything else and wonder why our lives are a mess. We need to lean on Him for everything. Things not going right for you? Ask yourself “am I really trusting God”.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

To develop a trusting attitude you must know God and to do that you need to know what the bible says about him. You need to experience his power in your life. And you need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13 ESV)

If you struggle to trust him for your daily needs as well as difficult trials remember he wants your trust. He wants to know you believe in His love for you.

“…trusting God has become easy…for today anyway.” (Jubilee Journey, Day 94)

A Prayer for Trust

Father, show me that I can trust you, that you do have my good at heart. Show me where you have come through for me in the past.

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More Posts on a trusting attitude:
How to Trust in God
Quotes for Trusting on God

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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes

Attitudes of the mind:
A Positive Attitude (negativity)
A Confident Attitude (insecurity)
A Contented Attitude (anxious)
A Patient Attitude (impatient)

Attitudes of the heart:
A Joyful Attitude (discouraged)
A Kind and Caring Attitude (unforgiving, self-centered)
A Courageous Attitude (fearful)
A Determined Attitude (quitting, distracted)

Attitudes of the spirit:
A Hopeful Attitude (hopelessness)
A Humble Attitude (proud)
A Trusting Attitude (doubt, double-minded)
A Peaceful Attitude (frustrated, anxious)

The Original Sin

Picture1 371Long, long ago in a realm far, far away there was a beautiful kingdom with beautiful creatures ruled by a loving and gracious king until one day one of the creatures decided he could rule better than the gracious king. He wanted to be in charge of  kingdom and have all the other creatures worship him. He secretly led many of the creatures to rebel against the gracious king. After the war was over the good king was victorious. He exiled the rebellious leader and his defiant followers to a far off land. This land was lush and beautiful but it didn’t take long before their evil ravaged their new home turning it into a wasteland.

DV_badwater2The gracious king restored the wasteland and populated it with new creatures. Jealous of the king’s love of these new creatures the evil leader, full of pride, set out to destroy the very thing the king loved. Now this evil leader possessed great cunning and through deceit he caused the king’s new creatures to turn away believing the gracious king really didn’t love them. The king’s new creation also rebelled and eventually became like the evil creatures filled with pride.

Picture 527But the gracious king knew the nature of his creation and the evil of his fallen creatures so he already had a plan to cure the land of the evil once and for all. He sent his son, the prince of the far off realm, to remove the evil from the land. Some embraced the son while most chose to remain in their prideful, rebellious state. After many, many years the good prince defeated the evil creatures and those who followed him were restored to their original beauty.

 “enemy occupied territory – that is what this world is” ~ ~ C S Lewis

Of course this is only a simplification of the story of the original. I’ve often heard the original sin was sexual in nature but if you look closely at the history of sin you will find the truth behind the original sin.

So what was the original sin? It was the sin of pride.

Who was the original sinner? Eve? Adam? No, it was Lucifer, one of God’s most precious angels who through pride rebelled against his Lord. Adam and Eve’s sin was a sin of doubt and of lack of trust. For a moment they believed the enemy that God was holding out on them.

We continue to feel the effects of their sin but do not be deceived. It was Lucifer’s sin of pride and his need to be above God that led to his rebellion which keeps us in our sinful nature to this day. It was Lucifer’s hatred of God that caused him to taint God’s creation, and he is still at it today, tempting us, taunting us, accusing us, and making us feel that God is holding out on us. Then through our lack of trust, our doubt leads to an attitude of independence and belief we too know better than God. This pride doesn’t end with God but carries over into all our relationships and our attitude toward all of God’s creation. Like the enemy, we too seek to destroy all the Good King’s creation, including our own hearts.

We can fight this. First we must realize we are in a war for our very souls. Our enemy continues to whisper lies, deceiving us into thinking God’s love isn’t true, that he is holding out his best from us. We must break our pride and bow our hearts before our King, the one who can free us from this curse.

Forgiven

Pride may keep us from being humble but realizing how much Jesus has done for us, realizing we’re forgiven, will melt that pride as we realize who we are in Jesus. Check out these lyrics to the song Forgiven by Sanctus Real and remind yourself all God has done for you. Humble your heart before him. Bridge at Bubble Pond area, Acadia National Park ME

Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I’m reminded of the wrong
That I have said and done
And that devil just won’t let me forget

In this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am

I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
Cause I’m forgiven

My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days, in the middle of the night
When I struggle with my pain, wrestle with my pride
Sometimes I feel alone, and I cry

And in this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am

Well, I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
‘Cause I’m forgiven

When I don’t fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ

‘Cause I’m forgiven
Well, I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
‘Cause I’m forgiven.

Check out the video Forgiven by Sanctus Real

 

It’s about who?

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This little phrase can be heard every so often around my home and while humorous when thrown around by family members to that occasional whiner, we must always remember the feelings of others. Humble yourself before God and others.

Quotes on Humility

Augustine If you plan to build a tall house of virtues, you must first lay deep foundations of humility.
C S Lewis “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Francois Fenelon Whoever will labor to get rid of self, to deny himself according to the instructions of Christ, strikes at once at the root of every evil, and finds the germ of every good.
Joyce Meyer The only way to uproot pride is humility—freedom from pride and arrogance, a modest estimation of your own worth. It doesn’t mean you think lowly of yourself, but it means you are very careful not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to.
Zig Ziglar When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.
Madeleine L’Engle “In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.”
Charles Wesley Keep us little and unknown, prized and loved by God alone.
Augustine Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
Ernest Hemingway “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Mahatma Gandhi “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson “A great man is always willing to be little.”
Blaise Pascal Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself.
C S Lewis “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
H Jackson Brown Jr “Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.”
J M Barrie “Life is a long lesson in humility.”
Joyce Meyer I think it’s safe to say that most sin stems from pride. It’s an independent spirit that wants to do its own thing without any authority or direction from anyone else.
Watchman Nee Towards himself a Christian should have a broken spirit, but towards God it should be one of rejoicing always in Him. He rejoices not for its own sake nor because of any joyful experience, work, blessing or circumstance, but exclusively because God is his center.
Rick Warren Pride builds walls between people, humility builds bridges.
Abraham Lincoln “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Charles Spurgeon Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self.
Criss Jami “To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
Martin Luther “True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.”
Albert Einstein “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.”
C S Lewis We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.
Augustine It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
Joni Eareckson Tada Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God’s strength in you.
Andrew Murray The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us in our daily conduct.

Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess

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Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen

Margot Benary-Isbert

 

How to Humble Yourself

C S Lewis said, “Pride leads to every other vice…. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man…If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud”.

So very few are truly humble, a little dab of pride lingers in all of us. That doesn’t mean we should let pride run amuck in our lives. And we must not only humble ourselves before God but also those God loves. And who are they? Everyone on the planet.

Change is a process and becoming more humble will need much time and work. Pride is a nasty virus and the cure is rough, but it can be done. Once the initial infection is put in check continue treatment just as you would with any antibiotic. Like any aggressive disease it will strike again unless we daily die to it and to ourselves. If you don’t humble yourself you can be sure that God will do it for you (Luke 14:11).

Tips on humbling yourself:

  • Get on your knees physically or in your heart. The act of kneeling in prayer has a humbling effect. (Psalm 95:6)
  • Show gratitude by giving God the glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  • Choose humility. We can choose to be full of ourselves or full of God, it’s our choice. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
  • Humility is a fruit of the Spirit, ask Him for it: longsuffering, meekness, temperance. (Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:12)
  • Shut up. Some things really don’t need said. (Proverbs 21:23)
  • Appreciate others and give credit where due. (Luke 6:31)
  • Be a peacemaker. If you have a disagreement with someone be the first to say “I’m sorry”. (Ephesians 4:26)
  • Make an effort to serve others. (1 Peter 4:10)
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. (Galatians 1:10)
  • Accept your limitations, you can’t do it all. Even our greatest talents require dependence on God. Without Him we wouldn’t be talented. Let your weaknesses humble you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • Become as a little child. (Matthew 18:4)
  • Count your blessings. Keep a journal of all you have to be grateful for. (James 1:2)
  • Admit mistakes and be quick to repent. (Proverbs 28:13)

Attitude Challenge:
Choose one of the tips above that you believe is a problem in your life. Pray about it, make a plan of action to conquer this area, thank God for his help and praise Him for your deliverance. Choose a verse or verses (below) to memorize for when you are tempted to let pride rear up again. Do it daily: die to this part of yourself every day.

Books on Humility
Humility by Andre Murray
From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective by Stuart Scott
Humility: True Greatness by C J Mahaney
Gospel-Powered Humility by William Farley

Bible Verses on Humility & Pride

Proverbs 11:2 (NIV) When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Romans 12:10 (ESV) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Bottom of Form
1 Corinthians 1:28-29 (NIV) God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. Bottom of Form
1 Peter 3:8 (NIV) Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Bottom of Form
2 Corinthians 11:30 (ESV) If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. Bottom of Form
James 3:13 (NIV) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. Bottom of Form
Proverbs 18:12 (NIV) Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
Jeremiah 9:23 (ESV) Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his richesBottom of Form
Luke 9:48 (NIV) “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Bottom of Form
Matthew 6:2 (NIV) So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Bottom of Form
Philippians 4:12 (ESV) I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Bottom of Form
Psalm 147:6 (ESV) The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. Bottom of Form
Romans 12:16 (NIV) Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Bottom of Form
Proverbs 22:4 (ESV) The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Bottom of Form
1 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. Bottom of Form
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Bottom of Form
2 Corinthians 3:5 (ESV) Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God Bottom of Form
Jeremiah 45:5 (ESV) And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.” Bottom of Form
Mark 10:43 (ESV) But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servantBottom of Form
Philippians 2:3 (NIV) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Bottom of Form
Proverbs 29:23 (NIV) Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Bottom of Form
Romans 12:3 (ESV) For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Bottom of Form
1 Peter 5:6 (NIV) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Bottom of Form
Colossians 3:12 (NIV) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
James 4:6 (ESV) But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Bottom of Form
Luke 14:11 (ESV) Top of FormFor everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Bottom of Form
Matthew 23:12 (ESV) Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Bottom of Form
Psalm 25:9 (ESV) He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. Bottom of Form

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A Prayer for Humility

Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

The less I pray, the harder things get,
Trials and troubles, always beset.
The more I pray, the better things are,
I need wisdom that comes from afar.

His best answers come at His own pace,
We must be patient, and wait for His grace.
He alone knows what for us is best,
Sometimes He’ll say “No” to our request.

Delayed answers are trials of faith,
Honor Him, with your every breath.
Confidence in Him should be steadfast,
Our faith should be strong, one that will last.

To be humble means we can’t go alone,
We need His help, lest we stumble and groan.
Your faith is renewed when you pray,
So go to Him oft’ thru’ ev’ry day.

Much words without heart; this God does hate,
Few words from the heart; will ne’er frustrate.
When you pray, you grasp God’s willingness,
Prayer from the heart; He’ll always bless!

God makes many promises; all so great,
All null and void, ‘less we grab them in faith.
They can come to life for me and you,
By trust, faith and prayer; always true.

~ ~   Connie Kramer   ~ ~