Are Your Simplifying Or Accumulating In Your Life? A Spiritual Response

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14).

I have a question for you. During your life journey, are you simplifying or accumulating? One thing I’ve discovered about the Holy Spirit working within me is that I strive to drop all that I’ve collected of the world so that I leave with nothing. If I came into the world naked, and I will leave naked, my accumulation of things – titles, gain, favour, approval, wealth – is a chasing after wind.

For were these items important, they’d be provision within my living and parting for me to carry them along with me. God would have allocated a means for me to carry forward and into the next life, my accumulations. However, there isn’t such an opportunity. Walk in naked, walk out naked.

How does the Spirit work this thought in me?

The above verse has a part that stands out for me: “…accept the things that come from the Spirit of God…”. The Holy Spirit comes with gifts, and these being free offerings, are for the renewing of our spirits to conform us into the image of Christ. I’m especially struck with the idea of accepting the things that come from the Spirit of God – there is an offering, a first part of the transaction, and an acceptance, completing the exchange.

I accept the offerings of the Spirit, and I exchange what I have for it. What I have are the things I’ve collected in this world. Galatians 5:16 explains well that the Spirit and the flesh are at war with each other, and I am the grounds on which this war takes place. The fruits of the flesh, and the fruits of the Spirit are explained in verses 19 – 26. Here is what I am, and what I exchange with the Holy Spirit.

The fruits of the Holy Spirit lead to giving, so that where we take nothing out of this world, there is much we can give.

Are Your Simplifying Or Accumulating In Your Life? A Spiritual Response

What Are You Attracting Into Your Life?

Survival dictates that we find paths of least resistance. I want us to consider this aspect in terms of who we attract, who we are attracted to, and what we attract into our lives. It’ll always be the person who closely aligns with our personal goals, and, the one who will enable us to thrive.

Sometimes, this isn’t a good thing.

People who aren’t interested in being challenged to grow in particular areas of their lives will attract those who don’t question their character. Is this you? Are you enabling a person’s negative character trait by excusing bad behaviour because you’d rather see the potential? Or could you be the one with repetitive poor behavioural traits that jumps from one prey to another, dumping people who point out areas in your life that deserve immediate attention?

The best way to figure this out is to see your interactions with those closest to you. Listen to the words they speak, and then also, listen to yourself.

Have an introspective week, won’t you?

What Are You Attracting Into Your Life?

Generational Consequences: Did You Take The Good And Leave The Bad?

How do you resolve problems with your partner, family members, friends and/or colleagues? Did either one of your parents teach you your conflict resolution ways? Is it working to build stronger relationships?

These are difficult questions, but from a quick perusal of the news: nine-year old boys slapping their intoxicated mothers, NFL stars punching their fiancees and bribing silence with wedding bells, women who undress and take pictures for attention, men locked in pornography–the list goes on, begs a look at our behaviours, and the idea of generational consequences.

The way we deal with situations is taught behaviour from mimicking those who took care of us as children. Few of us think about why we do what we do, or what our triggers for various responses and patterns are. It’s easier to be a zombie than to wake up and look with wide eyes the path we’re walking. But do we consider the effect on those who watch or come after us? If we picked our habits and behavioural traits from our parents or guardians, what makes us so sure we’re going to teach the children around us better? We won’t, unless we do the hard work within to clean up house.

Thank God He helps us with this task. God changes minds. It may be that fear holds us enslaved so that defeat is all we see, and negative consequences what is expected, but God changes minds. St Paul of Tarsus, sought out and killed Christians. God changed his mind. Jonah ran away from his mission to deliver judgment to Nineveh – God changed his mind. Before I was saved, I loved the world and all it had to offer – there was no limit to my appetites – God changed my mind. And He continues to do so to countless other people every second of the day.

The importance of a changed mind is a changed will, a redirection, and a new pursuit (take the good). It becomes easier to drop habits (leave the bad) we’ve picked up that don’t promote relationships, and we pursue the virtues that help us heal and keep relationships. It also becomes a necessity to weed out what isn’t working. When our minds are changed, we forget ourselves and think of those who come after us, including the ones around – watching. We realize that we are either one of two examples:

– someone to emulate

or

– someone to avoid.

Generational Consequences: Did You Take The Good And Leave The Bad?

Growing Up and Having Fun: Do These Two Even Know Each Other?

When did you last make a grown up decision that let you have fun?

Not sure what that is? Neither do I. But if I’m to think of something real quick, I’d say my walking routine – it’s good for the heart, the head, and boy is walking fun. Maybe cutting down on eating out and boiling all the beans that have sat in the pantry for quite a while, is a good example. Or watching the savings grow in a jar from dropped vices. Good feelings = fun. But all these examples still require a strong measure of consistency, discipline and planning to work. What happens the days, weeks and months when we stop having fun, when the hard work kicks in and we dread the adult decision we made that’ll help us achieve a future goal?

I once read an interview of a successful entrepreneur and of the many articles I’ve read (in a day, let alone a lifetime), she stuck out to me. It was her honesty. The woman being interviewed said that had she known all she’d have to go through to achieve the level of success she’s acquired, she’d never have started the journey. And while she has no regrets and values her experiences, she wouldn’t go through them again for the whole world. This struck a chord with me because some days ( a lot actually) that is how I feel. Like, “what a great climb up the mountain top, but my sweet Lord, this is such a rough walk.” Mostly, I believe it has to do with the fact that most adult decisions involve carving out our plans, clearing stones from the path, and placing one foot ahead of the other of the future we decide with every thought. And that grown up decision, sometimes, isn’t fun. But it does make for a much smoother ride, so I’m not sure what I prefer – fun, or purpose. And if I wasn’t having fun, would I still do what I’m doing? I think not.

What are your confused thoughts? And do share the post.

Growing Up and Having Fun: Do These Two Even Know Each Other?

Poetry: A Heart to Give (Mandela)

Poetry: A Heart to Give (Mandela)

Short Story: I Became A Robot When One Bit Me

Short Story: I Became A Robot When One Bit Me

How To Let Go Of Fear: A Spiritual Response

There’s only one effective way of letting go of fear and that is to go through it.

Here are a few things to remember about facing what frightens us:

1) You don’t have to pretend to be brave. That is society’s preference in dealing with what frightens us — that you hide your fear, lest you show us ours, and mainly the voices in your head demand you be strong. This idea, of standing up tall and barreling down toward fear, has no spiritual basis and is also not good for your heart. A part of being human is accepting that some people and situations scare us. It’s for this reason that many turn to vices and other modes of busyness to silence the fear within.

By accepting that we are afraid, we release expectations over how we should be or should act. There are no rules to facing scary situations, and considering we’re all built differently, there isn’t a set formulae. I take great comfort in reading about some of the greatest people to walk this earth – the men and women of the Bible. There is a constant Word from God to these people that warms my heart – “Do not be afraid.” God said these words so many times in Scripture that I’m glad He knows how afraid we are. Me, I’m afraid all the time.

Sometimes I wonder how I’ve done the things I’ve been able to do when I consider just how afraid I am. Everything and everyone scares me – but it doesn’t stop me. Fear is not, and should never be a reason not to try, to care, to give, to live, to die. Fear should be acknowledged for what it is – a human condition. When you pretend to be brave, you deny yourself a great learning tool in accepting fear, and then watching how you walk through it. You also deny God a role in fighting for you when you tell Him that you can handle the situation by yourself.

2) Conquer one fear, release yourself from many others. Each time I’ve faced one fear, I’ve let go of many others. It’s almost as though the first fear is a door to a room full of inferior fears. This is a liberating thought when you consider how quickly you’re able to clean up house. Face each fear as it comes, accept all the others that disappear because you were bold enough to go through the first major huddle. This is one of the chain reactions I love about facing fear because it pushes me each time in what I’m able to carry out for myself.

3) God conquers fear. You know what I do with my fears? I straight up dump them at my Savior’s feet. I look at the situation, cringe, and say, “Lord, this one belongs to you.” I don’t even dare touch it because I know that I’ll fail. It’s a fear right? And my job is to walk through it. That’s the only effective way to shake off fear. And I hang on to God’s promises. Never will I forsake you, never will I leave you – Deut 31:6 is one of my favorite. Some moments I’m fine, others I’m not, but peace is given to me because I lean on the rock.

Fear teaches you to be compassionate, bold, and mindful. If not conquered, it enslaves, crucifies and kills. Every moment you live in fear, you miss out on freedom. And that is a waste of life.

This week, go through your fears. And come out stronger by what you learn. Victory may not be immediate, but one day your experience will come in handy.

What do you think? Please share the post.

How To Let Go Of Fear: A Spiritual Response