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January 18, 2012

Believe the Best...

Glorious MorningHappy Wednesday, Everyone!  Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.

Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog.  So leave a post, share an insight or story, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and friend! 

Now, on to my topic...

We all go through seasons in life when we feel especially vulnerable and our insecurities feel close to the surface. During such times it's easy to misread people and situations. 

A trusted friend suddenly seems disloyal and distant. A co-worker pulls back and seems to be spending time with someone who doesn't like you. You walk into church and nobody seems interested in talking to you. Your pastor walks right by without noticing you. You no longer feel like you have your boss's favor.

When one or more of these scenarios happens in a short amount of time, it's easy to connect the dots, draw certain conclusions, and then react accordingly. Just recently I talked with someone who had a number of 'dots' out there. He had some legitimate reason for concern, but deep in his soul, he sensed that God was telling him to believe the best about others, not to jump to conclusions, and to continue on with doing the right thing.

His response was exactly right and at the end of the day, the little mishaps fizzled to nothing. Imagine if he would have taken the bait, gotten big and reactionary with his friends and co-workers, and stepped out of the authority and assurance that he had in Christ Jesus. 

We may have some real 'dots' out there, just begging to be connected, but that doesn't mean that the picture actually exists or is an accurate one. We need the mind of Christ not to draw wrong conclusions.

From now on, we regard no one from a worldly point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16).

I cringe when I think of how many times I assumed people had bad motives when they didn't, or I assumed they we're mad when they weren't. Thankfully, many of those times, I kept my feelings to myself and brought them before God and found my footing once again. Interestingly enough though, I learned that in many of those situations, those people we're enduring their own struggles and would have greatly benefited from an extra dose of grace and love (which comes out of fullness; reactions, on the other hand, come out of emptiness).

We all tend to misread people and situations when something in them resembles a past painful experience for us. We must take responsibility for our actions and reactions, and we must pursue deep inner healing so that our past no longer has the power to diminish our current perspective and relationships.

Remember too, the enemy overplays his hand when it comes to our unhealed areas. He prowls around, just looking for an opportunity to magnify a problem or skew a perspective. His goal is to get our eyes off of God and onto our fears and hang ups. He wants our past to keep speaking to us. He wants our wounds to perpetuate themselves. And he wants us stuck in the prison of an earthbound perspective.

You've probably heard me say this before, or read it in one of my books, but it bears repeating. If the devil can get us to live in reaction to our circumstances rather than in response to God, well, then, he has succeeded at stealing our joy and robbing us of the abundant life to which our souls are heir. 

Determine to believe the best in others this week. Even if their motives are off, you stay in the shelter of the Most High God and declare, My salvation and honor depend on God alone. HE is my mighty rock and refuge (Psalm 62:7). Determine too, to believe the best about God. He has your best interest at heart every single day. Even if your circumstances scream something different, refuse to draw a conclusion that disregards God's promises to you.

For the Believer, the only conclusion that matters is the one God has come to regarding us. We are worth everything to Him. We are loved, called, equipped, and chosen. We have everything we need and then some.

Have a blessed week~

 

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"You are loved, called, accepted, treasured, and equipped for great things."

I love these sentences you write. I was reminded of them when I saw the movie "The Help". In it the nanny says several times to the little girl something like this: "You is kind. You is smart. You is going to be somebody." I love that type of affirmation to that little girl. It sticks with me.

Likewise your words also stick with me about how God loves us, calls us, accepts us, treasures us and equips us for great things.

Amen Sister!

Wick,

Ha. Good point. Blessings on you and your family!

Dear Kristine,

You are so right about how our feelings can lead us if we let them, and you are not alone in how fast you can think depressive thoughts. I once heard a pastor say that he's always about 10 minutes away from depression. In other words, all he has to do is go there in his thoughts. It's like we live near the edge of a cliff and the enemy wants us to look down so he can threaten to shove us; but God has us in the palm of His hand; and nothing can snatch us out of His care. Bless you, my sister!

Dear Nancy,

I'm so sorry you've been feeling alone. Know this: you're NOT alone! This is where you trust that God's Word is true, even if it doesn't feel true. You are loved, called, accepted, treasured, and equipped for great things. Seasons of life definitely try us but they cannot define us. May God bless you this very hour with great peace and comfort. May He give you a vision for your next place of promise so you can hang on and keep walking. Bless you, sister.

So glad, Kathy,

May God bless you abundantly!

Great insight, Elisabeth!

Thanks for sharing. You are so right, it definitely goes both ways. We can judge ourselves based on what we think others may be thinking about ourselves. Thank the Lord that He is the ultimate authority on our identity and value. So grateful for His love and grace. Bless you!

Natalie,
Thanks for your post. It's a good thing you talked with your friend! Author Angie Smith says that the enemy uses our silence to hold up captive. You brought it out into the light and now he's powerless! It's amazing where our minds can go when we wonder about something that may impact us negatively. May God bless you abundantly and bless and protect your friendships! Peace in Christ!

Lol I was just talking to one of my good friends about this today. She and I where so close nearly seeing each other everyday to now seeing each other hardly at all. Told her Satan has been playing with my head saying she is mad at me and does not like me or I did something wrong. And told her that I know it is a lie. She told me that yes it was and we are both just busy and working on our own self well God is working on ourself and relationships with our husbands now. So defiantly a different season for both us.

Thanks for writing this. I just happened to stumble across your blog tonight as I was researching for a class I am teaching on freedom from self-hatred this coming week. I have a personal testimony in that area but was looking for other things to add to the teaching. What you wrote about goes both ways. We often assume things about other people without knowing the whole story. And at other times we form belief systems about ourselves that are based off of our interpretations of how others are acting or reacting toward us. What we all need to do is learn to let the Lord speak to us about who we are and who He created us to be. I think it's a lifelong learning process. The Lord gave me a picture of this once, and I wrote it in an old blog post. http://consecrated2-god.blogspot.com/2010/10/game.html Thanks again for your post. It was encouraging and challenging.

Sorry - my post should have said "Just what I needed." Ooops

Amen and amen. Just wanted I needed. I will share this.

It is so amazing when it seems like you are speaking directly to me. It seems like this is going on and on.Friends and family. I need some perspective and then I read this. I have been feeling so lost and alone.I just have to hang on and this to shall pass.


Thank you so much for taking the time and letting His spirit lead you to write on this- I too have been feeling disconnected and "off" when it comes to the dots in my life as of late. Many times we let our "feelings" lead us and God reminds us to let Jesus to the leading and use His word as the compass. There are times in my life that this can pull me down into a depressive state of mind if I let those "dots" run away with my thoughts and actions- but as you so wonderfully reminded us if we stay focused on Christ and his promises- this will keep us from going there and letting satan have his way with us in this area... instead we can have victory and even influence others to reflect on Gods amazing grace as we extend ourselves to others in the midst of the dark feelings we may be having- there are always two sides to a story or in this case peoples lives from day to day- Thank you once again for your words of wisdom- I so appreciate them today and always- In Christ- K.Anderson

A good reminder, especially in a political season that is training us to wonder if anyone is actually saying something we can believe. :)

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