4 Compassionate Ways to Be Kind to Yourself

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Life is hard enough on us without us being hard on ourselves. Continually criticizing your performance and worth will wear you down, and the kindness you withhold from yourself, you will eventually withhold from others. It’s time to put down your weapons and learn to practice being kind to yourself.

Christ has set us free to flourish in the fruits of the Spirit Paul listed in his letter to the Galatians. We cannot live out kindness in its true form apart from Christ. But within His love, we can learn to let kindness flow in and through our lives, fully, and expectantly. The wise King Solomon wrote, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor”(Proverbs 21:21). To pursue kindness, we must pursue Christ. Kindness develops in us as our hearts are sanctified in Him.

Here are four habits every follower of Christ must practice in themselves to allow this fruit of the Spirit to flow outward to those around them.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/coffeekai

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING AT IBELIEVE.COM

When to Tell a Friend How they Hurt You

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)

Oh, how careful we must be when reacting to hurt. Quick to listen, and slow to speak. The most important thing we can do is choose to wait on our words and prayerfully seek God’s guidance.“This section of the letter,” the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible explains of James 1:19-20 (above), “focuses on the power of God’s Word and the need for believers to respond to it in obedience.” The human anger James is speaking of is unchecked emotion. Righteous anger, taking a stand against injustice, has a place in God’s Kingdom.

When we scroll through social media or click through different newsreels, we rarely witness quick listening and slow speaking. Passive aggressiveness is posted for all to wonder if it applies to them, and the entitlement to speak our truth holds little regard for who it’s actually hurting. If someone disagrees with an agenda, they are ghosted. Before telling a friend they have hurt us, filter what happened through the following steps.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Prostock-Studio

CLICK TO CONTINUE READING AT IBELIEVE.COM

10 of the Best Ways to Love on Your Mom this Mother’s Day

(Originally posted in May 2020)

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

This Mother’s Day, many of us will still be reeling from the corona virus pandemic. Many moms have added “homeschooling,” and “coach,” to their resumes amidst the normal laundry lists of tasks, and for many of us, careers and jobs. Every mom I checked in on the first week of mandatory quarantine had shed tears of fear, worry, and feelings of overwhelm. Moms don’t default to the “put the oxygen mask on yourself first” even though we undoubtably should.

One blessing God offers us has the ability to carry us through the challenges with enough life to share with the people God has placed in our lives to serve, raise, employ, work for, and befriend: the very breath of God. When we breathe it in each morning, He is faithful to sustain us. One day at a time. One breath at a time, “a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” There are so many things we can do for our moms on Mother’s Day, and every day, from the comfort of our own homes and communities. Make time for mom to sit with He who loves her the most.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING ON IBELIEVE.COM

3 Things Worth Giving Away to Love People Well

God doesn’t require that we give up everything we have to love others well. But there are few things he has given us that he asks us to hold with open hands, ready to generously give a portion of in order for the people in our lives to get a taste of the sacrificial love of Jesus. Wondering what those three things are? Read on…

We Are Blessed to Bless Others

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.” 1 John 5:1-33a NIV

Love changes the way we live our lives. In Christ, we discover what it truly means to love others. We love, because God loved us first. From his steadfast love, we are filled up and overflowing, and from that storehouse of love we can love others as an act of obedience to God (Moody Bible Commentary).

Though God doesn’t ask us to give everything we have away, I do believe he blesses us so that we can bless others out of our abundance. “My cup overflows,” writes David in Psalm 23. Indeed, God blesses us until our cups overflow, so that we have no excuse not to give out of the abundance of love and goodness he blesses us with.

Are you looking for ways to love others in your daily life? Every act of love in His name brings glory to our great God. With Jesus as our model and guide, here are three gifts I believe God has given us in order to be a gift to others:

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING AT IBELIEVE.COM

Why Encouraging Each Other Now is More Important than Ever.

(Originally posted March, 2020)

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”(Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

Church is now closed on Sunday. We are undoubtedly living through tricky times, but humanity has endured tragic and hard circumstances before. Thankfully, church isn’tdefined by the building we meet in on Sundays. We love those buildings. We love fellowship with each other, live and in person.But, not being able to meet physically has not stopped the church from meeting together virtually, nor will it ever be able to stop us from loving people with the gospel hope of Jesus Christ.

God has gone before us, giving us the ability to connect digitally across the globe. His blessings abound, even in precarious times. Though the way we connect and serve each other currently looks different, it’s no less powerful or effective. Globally, as we make daily efforts to focus on the goodness of God rather than worry about what tomorrow will bring, it’s important to encourage each other. In fact, it’s more important than ever.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING AT IBELIEVE.COM