We tend to think discouragement is a feeling, not a sin.
But because of discouragement, Daniel’s contemporaries let themselves go. Exiled to Babylon, ripped out of their beloved homeland, deprived of hope, there was nothing to live for. With only depression, without a future, without hope, they might as well live it up. They would eat all the king’s delicious food in his service. Who cares that it contaminated them? that it was dedicated to idols? After all, what would be the point of consecrating themselves to God? All was lost in the exile.
But Daniel decided to avoid the unholy food and wine. He continued to consecrate himself to God.
At the end of the day, he never returned to Israel. He spent the rest of his life in exile, as a counselor (slave) to foreign kings. But he made impact for God in foreign lands. The book of Daniel is the account of how God ceased to be for the Jews only. He started being the God of all nations. Jonah, Daniel and Esther are necessary stepping stones to Jesus, who ultimately was and is the Savior of all nations.
While Daniel’s contemporaries lost hope, God was initiating a completely different plan. They couldn’t imagine what God had up His sleeve, so they “let themselves go.”
Daniel is a great example to me.
Heart, you’ve led me astray, following your desires, chasing love where it cannot be found. So I’m giving up on you. I’m going to follow One who is faithful and who forgives. I’m tired of the disillusions you lead me to. It’s time to settle down for an illusion, a hope, that won’t disappoint.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged depression, disillusioned, Faith, hate, hurting heart, Jesus, loneliness, love, needy heart, self esteem, suicide
Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you. — 1 Pet. 5:7.
Even though I face rejection on all sides.
Cutting myself off from people would save me the hurt. But it would deprive me of human warmth, affirmation.
Too bad so many people see others through competitive eyes. They can’t just be friends. They have to put others down, downplay others’ giftings. Life must be miserable when you can’t enjoy friendship.
I’m going to keep reaching out to find friends. To find people who can accept me for what I am. My strengths and weaknesses. My quirks. People who don’t try to re-make me according to what they think I should be. God made me sensitive. If you don’t like that, too bad for you!
I’m going to keep reaching out because that’s what Jesus did. Spurned, he still gave love. I’m going to keep reaching out because the alternative to rejection is loneliness — which is worse.
He makes even the ugliness of life turn beautiful. Don’t hide from the Light. His name is Jesus.
Unperceived by parents, teachers, friends, aptitude tests, my giftings were perfect for what God designed me for. I’m posing with kids in the Guatemala Christian school, Liceo Bilingue La Puerta.
My gifting was not appreciated by anyone in high school. I wasn’t that smart, wasn’t athletic, wasn’t socially adept. What was I? I was overly sensitive. In high school being overly sensitive is not a good thing because you’re no good at the interchange of crass teasing that especially goes on among boys.
I actually thought I lacked a special trait.
Then I discovered my call: to pastor, to be a missionary. And being very sensitive (to God and to others) was a premium. But when I was a kid and took aptitude tests designed to surface giftings, nothing registered.
Comparisons are the worst because God made you absolutely unique. This uniqueness is reflected in your fingerprints, in your DNA, in your emotional makeup, in your interests and passions. It flouts comparison. To compare yourself to others is to ignore your God-given talents.
There is only one you on te planet. God made you special to do something nobody else will do. Only you can get the job done. It’s pointless to desire somebody else’s job. ?God didn’t design you for that.
It’s an insult to God to wish to be someone different, to have their beauty, their intellect or their wit. If you are young, take it easy on yourself. Don’t criticize yourself harshly. Wait and see what comes of your life. Strive to do well in everything but don’t panic if others do better in you in many areas. Because in one area, you’re going to blow them away. That’s where you’re a winner.
Posted in Financial Talk
Tagged Christianity, church, comparisons, cutting, depression, Faith, giftings, Guatemala, inspiration, Jesus, missionary, pastors, pulling, self-harm
We are well aware of the damage that can be done by taking a wrong turn.
But we take no heed to the danger of negative or sinful thoughts. The Bible says, “Take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.” If the direction of your thought life is toward depression, low self esteem, drugs or some other negative, take the steering wheel away from the devil and direct your thoughts towards positive things.
As a lonely high schooler, Valentine’s Day was depressing. Friendless and girlfriendless, I looked on others wistfully.
I encourage every lonely heart to NOT give up the search for love. You will find love if you don’t give up. Here are the lessons of love I have learned at my modest age of 46:
- Erotic/romantic love is NOT the only kind of love.
- The love of a true friend can outshine marital love. (By age 22, I had resigned myself to never finding a friend. But I eventually fell into kindred spirits (at church) — and they raised my spirits!)
- If you are young and your family comes up short, you can establish your own family with richness of love.
- The love of God, though the least tangible of the varieties of love, is by far the best. I encourage everyone to find God’s love. I believe that humans have a hole in their hearts that only God can fill — and we desperately try to fill that void with every wrong and ultimately unsatisfying thing.
So, here’s a Valentine’s Day for you in which you discover love!