We go through life hearing and seeing things that help us form our own opinions. The influences that surround us help us form these opinions. Sometimes we are surrounded by good influences, and sometimes we are surrounded by influences that may not have the best intentions. We can be swayed by society and we often form opinions that aren’t really our own, simply because we fall into the influential trap. It’s hard to filter through the influences that surround us. But it is so important to recognize this reality and begin actively doing something different.
How do we actively and purposefully live in a balance of this world? We cannot do it alone. We must seek God to be our guide and our source of wisdom. We must be willing to pray and seek wisdom through scripture in order to know how to filter through the influences of this world. This means we must see and hear with the spirit guiding us. This means we must allow Christ to penetrate our hearts and allow Him to live within our very core. We must surrender and we must be willing to be lead by the Holy Spirit. As we draw nearer to God we begin to understand discernment and how to listen and see. In order to listen and see, we must look at things in all perspectives.
Perspective means we take the focus off our selves and our immediate surroundings. We seek to understand things at a deeper level, listening and analyzing all variables. The more we allow God to lead our hearts, the more we begin to have compassion and understanding for others. We begin to understand perspectives from what we would have once considered “the other side”. What does it mean to understand “the other side”? For me, I begin hearing the heart of people and situations in a much more complete and detailed way.
Most of you know that I have a nonprofit ministry Light of Hope that assists individuals and families who are struggling with addiction and many life difficulties. I hear the heart of so many different levels of tragedy and pain. I walk beside people struggling. This includes individuals, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children, grandparents, friends, and any other person affected by the life struggles. I hear and see the effects of what these situations cause. I pray with people, love on people, and guide people through the most terrible of situations. I experience trauma right alongside people. I know the other side, the side society may not see.
The experiences I have faced have given me such an overwhelming perspective of how judgemental society can instantly be. People have a tendency to place blame, speak out of line, or put people in a category…before they ever know the truth behind the situation. There is always a story, a ‘why’ behind the situation. My heart breaks when I walk alongside families who have to face the judgment of society, just because they are the family associated. No one understands how much a family goes through when they have a loved one who has made a mistake. The family suffers just because they are family. They feel alone, targeted and saddened by the reality of how people can treat them.
Is this how Jesus taught us to react? Jesus taught us to love one another. Jesus taught us to help others, speak kindly to others, and to never pass judgment. We must be a society who is purposefully striving to be who Jesus called us to be. We have been given a gift each day. This gift is the ability to make a difference. Let us all strive to make a difference today. Love others. Think about the “other side”, and recognize what that “other side” may be going through. Help as many people as you can each day, and allow God to use you. God loves us so much, and He desires us to exemplify His love. Pray that God will open up your heart, and give you the wisdom and the desire to be all He has called you to be.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” JAMES 4:11
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” 1 PETER 3:8
God is with us.
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light
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P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018
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Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following:
HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE – $9.95
AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle