I planned to write this blog post yesterday.
I was too busy wallowing around in my feelings to write so I went to sleep. I woke up with a heavy heart still. Put it like this, my joy was erased and the enemy was delighted!
Sound familiar? If it does, why do we allow others to take our joy away???
I was in a great mood yesterday. It was one of those moods that almost makes me feel like I must be trying too hard because I'm trying to overcompensate for something (but I wasn't). Then, in a split second, I was quickly reminded of a past situation. One where I wasn't who I am today, and the downward spiral began.
Who am I fooling?
Yea, I'm doing great now, and my past is still in the past but it seems as if it is the present.
Does trying even really matter?
Why do they see me as I used to be, as opposed to who I am now, in Christ?
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO????
These are all questions that came to mind, and I'm sure in many situations, those who are new in Christ find themselves battling how others think of them. I mean, they knew you before you were a believer and became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), but why should they assume you haven't changed?
Honestly, they shouldn't. I think the most unfortunate thing about those people who aren't as mature in their faith is this: they feel like judgement is theirs.
Those who are a little more mature understand that judgement is for God only, and most importantly, that through true repentance of sin (actively working toward and turning away from our sin nature), God forgives us because of the blood of his son Jesus. Most importantly, since we are new creations, as the verse in 2 Corinthians states, "the old has passed away and the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT).
How do we live like the old has passed way?
Show others the kind of grace that God shows us. Ultimately, it is up to God to determine judgement, so if we know this, let's not allow others to condemn us, but instead forgive them for not showing grace. There is no need to fall into pity, self-despair or hatred toward anyone. Everyone has an opinion, and quite honestly, as long as you know that you are a work in progress, who cares what they think?
Know yourself. God is good all of the time. People aren't, it's a fact. Whether you are undergoing spiritual transformation as a new believer, or whether you are still deciding what to believe, trust that you know you in the process. Other than God, you are the only one who knows what is truly going on in your walk with Jesus. Continue to make it count, no matter who wants to give their opinion, or rain on your parade.
How do we live like the new has come?
Live in Relationship, not by the rules and expectactions of this world. Being a believer gives you two things from God that non-believers do not have: His Holy Spirit within you, and His son Jesus. Grow to know Jesus on a relational basis, as Elohim (our Creator God), or Jevohah (our personal God), amongst His many other sides. Because we are in relationship with God's son, and are continuously learning the different sides of Him during our personal growth in Christ, a huge part of living "like the new has come," is our day to day interactions with others. How would Jesus handle himself in your situation?
We have to know ourselves in Christ before we can truly understand our relationship with others; and,
We have to learn how to handle their judgement without grace by showing them grace.
Joy belongs to believers because we have hope in Jesus. If anyone has the ability to take that away, we need to dig even deeper into His word.
Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16).