Spelling It Out

A Christian spelling out life… God's way

Short Hiatus

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Sorry I know I haven’t been posting in a while it seems that I have had and will have quite a few events going on over the summer and I think it would be best to go on a short hiatus. Everything should be back to normal late august/early september so I should be back then.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy the articles that are already here.

See you and God bless.

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What Do You Think Of Yourself

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I know that lots of people have problems with insecurity (me included) but I always thought it was normal, something that everyone had a problem with, now I see that that isn’t true. It is possible to be complete and comfortable with whom you are.

But there are also those on the other end of the spectrum who think of themselves too highly but this is also rooted in insecurity. The Bible says ‘Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:5) so knowing that we aspire to have the mind of Christ, how should we think about ourselves? Well I guess in the same way Christ thinks about us.

Well on the lower end of the spectrum, we need to remember 1 Peter 2:9 ‘But ye are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called out of darkness into his marvellous light’ It always picks me up knowing that God chose me and called me, knowing that I am peculiar and set apart. I know that the last thing people want is being different and standing out because they want to fit in but I think difference is what people around you desperately need to see, so they can see that there is a different way to live.

On the other end I think what we need is humility, we are ready to point out the faults of others and judge but when it comes to our own faults we like to hide them or beg for forgiveness. We have to remember that Christ was humble, even to the death of the cross. He was God in flesh but didn’t use all of his power or use it rashly. Yes we do have a lot of worth and we should celebrate it but if we find our worth in taking the worth of others away we should keep in mind that we will be judged by the same standards we judge others by.(Matthew 7:1)

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Showing God’s Love

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“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35)

We all know that selfless love is a fundamental part of Christianity, it’s how we identify a Christian from a crowd of people but when we meet people who seem merciless and intolerant we think that those people cannot possibly Christians. So how should we show God’s love for all people while not agreeing with everything people do? Even within our Christian circles we won’t agree with each other but we still have to love.

As stated before this kind of love is selfless so it’s going to take work. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 shows this well ‘Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.’

Now when I look at that list, I get a little concerned because I know I do some of the things that love does not do and I don’t have some of the characteristics that love does but I know that the more we practice being loving as the Bible describes it and the more time we spend asking God to give us strength (because to love certain people it takes a lot of strength) it becomes more natural to us, not necessarily easy, especially if we are pointing out a point of disagreement or a wrong but it will be our natural response.

It still isn’t my natural response but I have the honour of knowing people who do love like this, so I know it is possible for all of us.

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Understanding God’s Love

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I think this time of year is when we think more than usual about the love of God. The love, that loved us even when we didn’t love him. He loved us so much that he died for us.

I find it hard to understand the love that God has for me because I see how difficult it can be to love me (my family makes this quite clear) or to love anyone. We have our quirks that annoy people, we let people down, don’t meet expectations and standards especially God’s standard, we are always falling short. But God still forgives us; because of his death and resurrection we can be forgiven and given another chance.

I find that because God is so great, I will never fully understand God’s love, because he is love everything he does is out of love, even the things that hurt, there is a greater purpose to it all even if I never see that purpose.

What I do know about God’s love is that it is overwhelming and I don’t need to fully understand it to fully experience it. I understand that he loves everyone unconditionally hence why he died and he expects me to do the same.

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Season Your Conversation

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Sorry I didn’t post last week, so this week I am posting two posts to make up for that.

Now before I start let’s admit the things that come out of our mouth aren’t always helpful or uplifting or smart, but the bible tells us that life and death are in the tongue (proverbs 18:21). What we say can have a profound effect on people, it can make them feel like they are walking on a cloud or it can feel like a punch in the face.

So when we speak we know what we should be saying but it is a lot more fun and unfortunately natural to gossip, or be inappropriate or just talk about any odd thing when we should be encouraging people, praying for people or just be silent and listen to what others are saying.

Colossians 4:6 tells us our conversations should be seasoned with salt so we know how we should speak to people. Especially when we speak to people who aren’t Christians, what and how we say things tells others what you are really like, (it’s difficult to be on your best behaviour 24/7 at some point what you are really like will come out) if we are talking to people who don’t understand or just want to make fun of what we believe we need to know how to speak to them so they can understand (and not be patronising), so how do we learn to season our conversations so we don’t say things we will regret later;

• Being polite really goes a long way, I know some people we talk to make it very difficult for us to be nice but I have found then when I am polite others tend to be cooperative (I know there are exceptions) and are more willing to listen. I know that if I saw someone getting angry or being impolite or interrupting me whilst I am speaking I wouldn’t want to hold another conversation with them.

• Please think before you speak, Yes I am guilty of it too only to regret it half a second later. Sometimes when we think certain sentences through we find that, that item would not be helpful or appropriate or there is a better way to say it.

• Listen, make sure you do this before you think of your response and don’t spend listening time thinking about what you are going to say next (we all do it) this usually leads us to interrupt the person speaking. Also if we listen we can gain an understanding of what is going on and what this person needs and make sure you understand the situation before you respond repeat what the person said if you have to, to help you understand.

• What would Jesus say; the only way to know this is to spend time with him. When we spend time with God and let him guide us we become more like him in every way even how we conduct conversations. Our conversations should be more meaningful and wholesome that we people will see that we are different.

So any more suggestions for ways we can season our conversations I could do with some more as could everyone else.

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