Journal entry, 2-3-2015
To be honest I really don't have time to be journalling right now--my first mock exam is today and there's a stack of folders looking at me, waiting to be revised! I wish I could take my time to write my thoughts out, and pray about them, today.
As Search the Scriptures for Philippians 1:12-26 indicated, Paul's reaction to life and assessment of it was how it would enable or detract from loving, knowing, and serving Christ.
I need that.
Too easily I see life in terms of how it affects me physically and emotionally. When my peace is disturbed, when I'm stressed, dissatisfied, unhappy with someone, discouraged, helpless, the last thing I'm thinking about is how what I'm experiencing now will affect my relationship with Christ.
I just want it to stop hurting.
I wish I could see life in this way--its challenges, its uncertainties, its joys.
I wish I could see Christ in this way. Intimately connected to every detail and emotion and experience of my life.
This thought was echoed, though slightly modified, in a passage from Ken Sande's The Peacemaker (don't sigh. It's a pretty thick book, and I'm only about halfway through. It's probably boring for you seeing him tirelessly quoted here but really, it's far from boring reading for me. I believe that when you find yourself struggling with forgiveness and guilt it will be just as meaningful and significant to you. Thank God for book friends; who are always there, who transcend time and culture, who speak truth from the objective perspective of their pages, yet with a startlingly personal intimacy as direct as a wound.)
He says, '...I realized I could not consistently weave the gospel into my conversations with others until the gospel was woven deeply into my own heart. God showed me that I am a natural 'law speaker;' I bring judgment much more easily than I bring grace. When I saw this, I began praying for God to give me a major heart change, to make the gospel central to everything I think, say, and do...'
For Paul, someone who had indeed made the gospel 'central to everything I think, say, and do,' jail and rivalry didn't have any personal sting. He was even able to give thanks for them. This attitude kept him not only from discouragement and bitterness, but from self-pity, and even from pride; whether in himself or his hardship (yes, we're messed up that way.)
I want to be able to value Christ so much that He naturally comes first to my mind and heart whenever something happens, instead of being the after-thought--which sometimes only hits me years later in retrospect.
To see Him first in every shade and shaft of sun.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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