Monthly Archives: May 2012

I Have This Treasure!

Recently, I went through (or rather was forced through) a change in perspective in the midst of a study on insecurity a girlfriend and I are currently weeding our way through. I say “weeding” because of all the insecurities that have imbedded themselves in my own life; even those I wasn’t even aware of before this whole process began.

We had made it through the hardest stuff and were finally getting to the application part when a verse from Scripture spoke out to me:

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:6-12; 16-18

One woman, whose life has touched many through Beth Moore’s book, spoke of how insecure she felt while attending (or planning to attend) a gala held by some very important people in the publication business…always worrying about how she needed to look, fussing over the dress, etc., when she realized how feeble it seemed in comparison to the treasure she had within.

That hit me right between the eyes.

I had been spending quite a bit of my alone time pondering what I needed to do to overcome my own wretchedness (thinking I would never be enough; that I don’t matter; etc.) and I suddenly realized that I don’t need to focus so much on fixing me before I start living. That’s not my job. My job is to show people the treasure I have within while allowing God to do the fixing…ah, the beauty of free will.

Let God’s truth refocus your eyes today on the treasure that dwells within you. This treasure can fill the emptiest of vessels; after all, a jar is designed to hold something! That treasure is God himself, living within us, bringing his abundant life. In our own humanity we have no sense of wealth or worth, no value in this jar of clay. We are simply an empty jar. But when this humanity is filled with deity, we receive what we were created to hold, the very life of God. He is our treasure!

When we look only at the frail clay pot, despair is the natural result, but when we look at the glorious treasure we hold, we are inwardly renewed day by day. And those frailties and cracks in our clay pot? They are not to be despised, for they now serve a purpose! They allow the life of God, our cherished treasure, to seep out for all those around us to see.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a fragile clay jar. I’m reminded every day of my frailness when I say something unkind, when I think a hurtful thought, when my heart wanders from God, when I’m jealous of someone else’s success, when I’m incredibly insecure.

And then I wonder, why would God choose to put His greatest treasure in me??

Do you see what it says in 2 Corinthians, “We have this light shining in our hearts but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure!” Why does God use fragile earthen jars to carry His greatest treasure? Could it be that that is when His light shines the brightest?

God sent His Son into this world to shine light into the darkness, to expose people’s sin and to point them to the only answer, Jesus Christ. And now God has left that light shining in our hearts. It seems inconceivable that God would choose to use us to carry His treasure.

I’m reminded of my frailty. I know of God’s desire for Him to use me in spite of my brokenness. God uses broken and messed up people like you and me, isn’t that amazing?! When we are cracked clay vessels there is no doubt that it is God’s light within us and not our own!

God’s light shines the brightest in fragile clay jars like us! Ever think that what you do and say could be so significant to your Creator?  I am a cracked jar of clay, filled with the Treasure of God.  So are you. May we pour out the Treasure and bless the world with His fragrance and love.

 

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

I came across this article while browsing Pinterest this morning and thought it was too good not to share. Anything listed in bold are my additions…

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right

Galatians 6.3:If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

In other words: Pride…

2. Give up your need for control

Colossians 1.16-17:
for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together.

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. Proverbs 19:3

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29

Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 ESV

about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! James 5:9

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 ESV

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12

Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up your fears

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-62

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

“I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy!” Ephesians 4:4

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Article can be found here: http://www.purposefairy.com/3308/15-things-you-should-give-up-in-order-to-be-happy/