Column: Three practices that solidify the Christian faith
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It’s a difficult journey being a Christian. It can be so up and down at times.
Things have the potential to change every day, leaving us experiencing these undulating periods in life. Its almost like we ride these giant waves of happiness, then find ourselves lying face down in a field full of sorrow.
Good thing our spiritual journey isn’t run off of emotions, right? It is fueled by this little thing called faith. While we all claim to have it, the world has quite a way of making our well filled with faith run dry.
These three quick perspective flips are easy to implement into your life, and they may just hold the key to standing even more firm upon your foundation of faith.
Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12 – ESV).
“Exalted” simply means to be elevated, or placed within high regard. Many seek public recognition for who they are or what they are doing, but in order to achieve true humility, we must realize how important our own insignificance actually is.
This means starving our ugly egos, and putting aside the need to be acknowledged for whatever reason(s). Putting others ahead of yourself sends a silent (yet visibly loud) message of self-worth, and gifts us with a new perspective of what it truly means to be “exalted.”
Submitting to God’s perfect will for your life allows you to transcend who you want to become, and walk fully in the potential that He created for you to live in.
Understand That Timing is Everything
BREAKING NEWS: All things happen in God’s timing. If you haven’t come to this realization yet, let me be the one to share it with you before it blindsides you like a ton of bricks.
We cannot force God’s hand. We believe that we know ourselves so much better than we actually do, and in our confusion, we often mislabel our wants with the name of need.
There are things that you are fighting for right now, that you might fumble if God threw your way.
The time we spend occupying and persevering through what we believe to be a storm is actually the time God is using to prepare us for the reception of everything we have been praying for.
Don’t get angry with God, embrace and appreciate your patience. After all, who knows your heart and what it is ready for aside from the One who created you?
Give What You Need
While this may be a personal practice, it is beneficial to everyone you will come into contact with.
We were born into a broken world. It doesn’t help that the society we dwell within today is oversaturated with hopelessness, harm and lack of self-love. But even while that fact remains, there is so much beauty held within our brokenness.
All of our sufferings are so important, and we shouldn’t be so selfish to believe that what we deal with is some form of punishment issued by our God. He deals in abundant grace and discipline, not torment and karma.
If you know that you need love, share it relentlessly and in abundance. If you wish to receive peace, embody it and issue it accordingly. You see where this is going.
This practice has no guarantee that you will receive anything in return for what you distribute, but that shouldn’t be how we choose to give anyway. We should always give with a heart that wishes to receive nothing in return — in doing so, we deal in the realm of the unconditional. That is the place that God wants us all to give from in this life that we live in His name.
Draw near to your pain — examine it, embrace it and create a set of ways you can help heal others with what hardships you have been handed.
The seeds we plant within the garden of the world have the potential to produce the change we wish to see within it.
Nigel Wallace can be contacted at wallace154@ marshall.edu.