my next post was being written about communication. communication within relationships in our lives at home and how that communication can be related to our relationship with God. as i was preparing that post, i came to a passage in my Living Life (a devotional i try to read everyday) that taught me about compassion and patience when it came to “counseling” someone. and it made me think back on the times that i would have arguments with someone and how i reacted to certain words being said, or just how i reacted to times when i felt like i didn’t have a chance to speak. i lacked so much patience that i most likely made matters worse and prolonged the arguments for much longer than it probably could have been. this devotional convicted me very personally so i thought i would share it with you.
have you ever been in an argument? could have been pointless, could have been important to you. ever feel like you never got your turn to speak? ever interrupted someone mid sentence to get your words out.. which probably led to another argument? i think i found a way to fix it all!
Living Life QT (2012-11-27)
True Wisdom Job 32:1-9
(1) So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
(2) But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.
(3) He (Job) was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.
(4) Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he.
(5) But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.
(6) So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.
(7) I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’
(8) But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.
(9) It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
Elihu’s Anger (32:1-5)
Job’s three friends finally give up trying to prove him wrong. To them, Job is merely a self-righteous sinner who keeps justifying himself. Then Elihu son of Barakel appears on the scene. Job’s three friends are angry at Job for not admitting his sins; Job is angry at his friends, God, and his situation; and now Elihu is incensed! He becomes infuriated with Job for justifying himself rather than God. It was the custom in the ancient Near East for a younger person to wait for any older persons to speak first. Thus, Elihu remained patient until he finally realized that the three friends had failed to do their job.
God’s Wisdom (32:6-9)
Elihu admits his young age and declares that he was patient in waiting for his turn to speak. He says that he did not dare to speak and interrupt the conversation (v. 6). His reason for this is that he believed wisdom resides with the elderly (v. 7). It was a common belief in those days that wisdom comes with age. But as we will see in tomorrow’s reading, Elihu claims that the Holy Spirit has compelled him to speak (32:18). He is right in that God’s wisdom in a person gives understanding (v. 8) and wisdom. It is true that as we age, we gain more experience, knowledge, and wisdom. However, the elderly are not always wiser than younger people, and Elihu knows this.
- When you counsel someone, are you like the three friends or like Elihu? Although Elihu was not right about everything, he had patience to wait. Ask God to give you compassion and patience.
-Pray for God to give you true wisdom that comes not from the world but from Him alone.
A LETTER TO GOD
Dear heavenly Father, I confess that when I try to counsel others, I often get prideful and impatient. Help me to have compassion and to be patient like You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
have you ever been called by God? do you know what you are meant to do with your life? do you struggle with what you are “called” to do in the future? i do a lot of thinking and i struggle with this same problem myself. so here are my thoughts about this whole “called to be” issue.
this may be a very naive perspective, it may help you with your path, it may not be of any importance to you at all. but give it a try and tell me what you think.
i believe that if you have these two points as your priorities, your calling can be chosen by you but ultimately will realize that it has been His plan the entire time.
1. for the Glory of God.
i did not want to start with this point. the reason for this is not because it is a bad point, or not true, but i just did not want to push readers away that try to stay far from cliches such as this. i had to start with this though because it must be known before point #2 can be given. please bare with me!
God would love to see you live for Him. this task is not simple whatsoever, i think we can both agree. but how often do we give it all we have to truly show that we have Christ living in us? as long as we are not sinning, we do things intentionally for the Lord, i can confidently say that He will bless us right back. no matter how successful you may be, if you are not giving Him the praise, all that success can be taken away in seconds. all that success is already taken away before you even know it, because it is not your calling and the wealth means nothing without God. BUT as long as God is the one that is praised for your success, then God will you to follow that path and make that your calling. the feeling of content, satisfaction, love, completion, will only come when you succeed with God’s calling for you, for His glory.
I strongly believe that God does not want us to live our lives miserably. this is where this next point is related to the first. If you are not following your calling, you will not find yourself to be satisfied with anything in your life for as long as you live. however this does not mean that you have to find your calling before deciding what you want to do with your life. I believe that if you decide to do what you love and what brings you real joy, that God will allow you to live up to that goal BUT you must also do it for the Glory of God. Doing some things may bring you happiness, but if it not for His glory, then he will not allow you to be completely satisfied. Your heart will not allow you to be completely satisfied.
simply put… you do not need to find your purpose in life before you start living. so i advise you not to stress and put your future on hold until finding out with you are supposed to do with your life. but instead find something that brings you much joy and happiness and follow that path with God being the center of attention from the beginning to the end of your life’s journey.
hopes this helps.
i have been given a second chance at life. thanks to God. thanks to my family. thanks to my healthy body. thanks to my young age. no matter who the thanks goes to, i have pretty much died and was born again. laying in a hospital bed not knowing which way your life would go really puts your thoughts on the spot. my first thoughts were regret. this regret was towards all the ones that i loved, for treating them with actions of the mind and not the heart. have you ever felt like you needed to be someone else in front of people so they wouldnt look down on you, or take advantage of you, or just simply you wanted to fit in. well thats what i did. in my head i gave myself the impression that i needed to stop being so passive and giving, and show people that i am someone that no one takes advantage of. i needed to be the strongest one that no one crossed the line with. then i found myself alone. all of my friends started to drift further and further, and even the closest people to me starting moving away. literally. when my family moved across the country, my best friend moved south to a knew school, and the girl of my dreams slipped away from my fingers, i was lonely. alone with sadness and fear which turned into anger. this anger was dangerous to me and others around me. i was always angry. not at myself, not with others, just angry. i now realize that this anger pushed people away and also had me treating them poorly even when my heart hurt more and more everytime i did so. everytime i would get upset and hurt someone i would immediately blame myself and be disgusted with my actions. so much disappointment flooding into my head i would just get so frustrated and lose control i didnt know what to do. till october 21st i attempted to take my life. so selfish. so heartless. so ignorant. immature. and weak. i was given another chance at life with doctors telling me i had a slim chance and that i was extremely fortunate. why me? why was i saved? so many people die everyday. healthier, weaker, older, younger, kinder. why me though? as i think about this question everyday it becomes more and more clear that it doesnt matter why it was me. it was me and now what am i going to do about it.
i have made a few decisions. a few goals. i still have many questions as well but there always will be unanswered questions that drive us everyday to live another day and try to find the answer.
i have made a promise to all my friends, family, colleagues, God, and everyone else in the world to never again attempt to commit suicide. yes that is what i did. i still wonder why i think differently but i have realized that i am promising to stay alive for others and not myself. please do not judge me, please do not ask me why, or try to tell me that i should be wanting to be alive for myself. i know everything that i SHOULD be doing but its just not that way and it must be accepted in order for everyone to be happy. i am grateful to be living so do not take this the wrong way, but for me life still seems so temporary and casual. not many people know this but would die for many many people. not even the people closest to me but if i have met you and we have made good impressions on each other, it is probably a likely thing that i would lay my life down for you. but anyways, back to my number 1 promise, i will never purposefully end my life. i value my life and value the lives, emotions, and love from everyone that i could not put another soul in pain to see me in the condition that i was in.
anger. i promise to cure this bad mind-driven disease called anger. anger is just an easy way out of fear and/or sadness. i have realized that being quick to anger is just another way that showed people i was weak. i thought for so long that it was showing others my strength, but all it did was make me look so stupid and of someone with no self-control.
loving. i have found the girl of my dreams. still the one from above. as i was laying in the hospital bed thinking about my regrets she came into mind so many times. she has been through so much of my pain, so much of my anger, so much of my immature stubbornness. she has yet shown so much care, love and most of all patience. i came to the realization that i dont have time to simply make mistakes and try to resolve them over and over again. i dont have the time to show her my love at time and at other times not. i dont even have enough time to show and tell her how much i love her even if i do it all day everyday for the rest of my life. i know that at least i can do my best to keep her happy. her happiness means the world to me. i have found that her happiness fulfills my happiness as well. i mentioned earlier that i would die for many people, but i cannot confidently say that i would live for many people. ask yourself, how many people could you live your entire life for? tough isnt it? i do promise to love and LIVE for this dear woman. i will live my life to keep her healthy, happy, and loved. i have made this mistake many times before, but from now on not a moment will go by without me thinking about her as i proceed to do anything in my life. not a moment will go by without me asking myself, will this show her that i love her? dear love, i believe it was fate to have met you at vbs. it was my choice to be friends when we went to homecoming our freshman year. but from the day i first had that thought wanting to take care of you forever was beyond my control. this is how i know that i am in love with you. :)
last but not least. i promise to create, hold, and eternally continue to magnify my relationship with the Lord. i was given a very great thought today. serving God should NOT be something that i choose to do because i feel the need to. not because i feel it will prevent me from making mistakes. not because it will teach me to love Him. but to serve my God it should be because my heart yearns to serve Him and feel the love that i already know the He pours onto me all throughout my days. then will my service be of good to Him and others that decide to meet Him through the testimony He shares though me.
at this point in time, someone to simply listen is all i need.
so thanks for listening.