Categories
love recovery

Live in truth to find peace

One of the teachings from the gospels that impacted my actions the most was this one from Matthew 5:37: “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”

What Jesus is calling us to do is to live in truth. Because when we bypass the truth, for whatever reason, we embrace evil.

At first this passage from the gospel was eye opening for me when it came to significant events and relationships in my life. But only now am I being able to apply it to my everyday life.

A common outcome in my relationships was that I would bottle up what seemed to be small, unimportant issues. Only to experience them pile up overtime and become a big deal.

And what was the big deal? That right at the start I said “Yes, I will” when, deep inside, I meant “No, I won’t”.

For the sake of being flexible, I would often avoid saying “No, I won’t” unless it was something important to me. And let me tell you, I was very misguided about that.

We have to always live in truth, no exceptions. It does take being thoughtful, so we don’t crush others. But there are ways to say “No, I won’t” without hurting people’s feelings.

In any given situation, it is always possible to suggest something different that aligns with our conscience. This way, we can enjoy the peace that comes with living in truth. And, at the same time, embody Jesus’ teachings to people that we care about.

Categories
love recovery

Be yourself with love

A lot of people who meet me have an overrated impression of who I am. Some have even said I’m like an angel, I kid you not!

I don’t know how that feels for others, but for me, knowing that I follow Jesus because I genuinely need him, that feels heavy.

That’s yet another trick of the evil systems of this world. When people decide to put you up on a pedestal, it becomes really hard to just be ourselves around such high expectations.

A few weeks ago, I jumped off that pedestal. I decided to take a bit more liberty and actively show people my imperfections.

To give you tangible examples, I shared more about my disagreements and complained about things, situations and people that I would have normally kept to myself.

The interesting part of it was that nobody seemed to think anything of those imperfections. It was me who had a hard time saying or doing twice what I knew wasn’t me at my best.

It became clear to me that certain situations and relationships were only sustained by my passiveness and silence. The moment I decided to speak up, their falsehood was revealed.

I realized that, for some people, my being like an angel allowed them to be their worst selves without showing repentance. But the problem was, I was being eaten alive by their attitude.

So I appreciated my experience, because it allowed myself to fall deeper into the arms of love, God’s love. I learned to be more assertive about my values before people put me on a pedestal from where I passively watch them like a marble statue.

Our omission is not any better than mistreating others. We are called to love one another, but we need to be assertive.

God’s grace gives us discernment. We should take it and, armed with the loving conscience of Jesus, assert who we are to others.

Categories
love recovery

We are not expected to be who we are not

A few months ago, I was at a home meeting with other believers whose company I always enjoy, because they are so full of love. And this young woman who was in distress kept talking in a gloomy way about how we need to nail ourselves to the cross with Christ.

Everyone in the room remained silent, which was very unusual. Normally each person shares encouraging words with an uplifting and hopeful tone, which is the very Spirit of the Good News.

Finally my friend’s husband spoke. He is that one believer that overflows with God’s light all the time. With a peaceful and loving tone, he said that God doesn’t expect us to be anyone but ourselves.

Friends, God does not expect us to be who we are not!

Yes, we know that not all things are good for us, yet we are allowed to do anything and it is up to us to be and live in accordance with the level of conscience that God has given us, not above it. That’s self-righteousness and it takes us in the direction of evil.

We are not called to bury ourselves alive. On the contrary, we are raised from the death of evil to enjoy life, the true life that the Spirit gives us as we rest in his peace filled with joy and hope in him.

The loving power who made us is transforming us and, while he does his mysterious work, we believe and rely on his grace to guide the way. He is not interested in sacrifices, but in spiritual worship.

Come as you are and seek him. His Spirit will make his home in you, so you can make your own home in the world under his grace.