For most of my life I have struggled with persons whom believe they are better than others; especially those in my family. I find no rationale or excuse for not being appreciative of others and respectful toward them. Hanan Parvez notes in his article, “Understanding the psychology of an arrogant person, “an arrogant person is the one who acts as if he is superior, more worthy and more important than the others. Therefore, he puts others down and even disrespects them. At the same time, he wants to be admired and respected. He wants to be ‘appreciated’ for all the great things that he has done and all the special qualities that he has. Know that just because you did something great doesn’t mean that you’re a super-human.You have some weak points too and you know it. Know that others are not less worthy than you just because they never did what you were able to do. I could go on and on giving reasons but the point is- you have no reason to be arrogant and think that others are less worthy than you even if you did something remarkable.” When I’m treated with such disrespect and haughtiness, I recall, NIV Proverbs 16:18 “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
I had just concluded watching a short “thanks” commentary on television before I turned it off to have my quiet time with God. The man sharing the commentary noted he is an atheist. Therefore, he cited he never thanks God before his meals, but he has begun thanking those whom provided the food. His list was lengthy; the farmers, truckers, producers, stores, etc. When we thank God for circumstances or perhaps even tangible items in our lives, do we think about the persons God used to grant those to us? Yes, God was the ultimate provider of these gifts, but what about the others? NKJ, I Thess. 5:18,” In everything give thanks…” I might add, thanks to God and those whom He chose to use.
Have you ever been in the midst of trials and it seems that people desire only to judge and criticize you? You know you have leaned on God and are trusting Him. As you are doing your best to stay afoot despite the floods and rough terrain of life, you are reminded that God is right there alongside you. As I read two separate devotions today, I knew it was not merely coincidence that each of these men of God spoke almost identical words from separate perspectives. It was a gift to be reminded we are not alone. Chuck Swindoll cited, “Sometimes when you exhibit real, unvarnished integrity, you get dumped into the lions’ den. Remember, God’s there, too!”, as Charles Stanley noted, “And for those of us enduring difficult, painful, or trying situations, we long to see the burden lifted.” NKJ Psa 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength…”
Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers. For many of us this is one of the most difficult days of the year. We are alone, either through the death of a mate or marital betrayal and infidelity as was the case with me. Nonetheless, the world has said this is a day for “lovers”. Why not a day to love others, no matter whom they are? Why not a day to show love by giving back to those less fortunate? I received a heartfelt reminder today from one of my bible study leaders reminding me that God loves us in all circumstances and His love is enduring. This is hard to cling to when our humanness has been shattered, but what a joy to know. God will not say “you are no longer what I desire.” He loves us for eternity. We all know one of the most recognized verses in the bible, but it is truly applicable on this day of hearts and love, NIV I Cor. 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Please show someone today you care about them, even if your “love” is no longer at your side.
You have prayed. You have trusted. You have waited with patience and courage, but you still wonder what God desires of you. I imagine each of us have experienced this many times in our lives. We have said “God we will do whatever you desire of us. We just want to follow your path.” How do we know if we are on that path? When we sincerely seek God’s desire, sometimes the door closes and His answer is no. Other times we have a complete peace about our choice and we know it is yes. There are times we have sought God’s direction, we have researched the options and we are still left wondering. Sometimes we will never know for certain, unless our path is blocked. God’s gift may be allowing us to weigh the options and go with the best choice. That is what He intended all along. NIV Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
When you are ill or facing surgery, do you appreciate the times you had your health and felt vibrant? When you are dealing with grief or heartache do you reflect on the momentous times of your life? When you lose a loved one, do you contemplate the cherished memories of their lives and yours? Each day is a gift. What do we do with gifts received? Do we use them, store them or discard them? Do we share our gifts with others or grasp them tightly only for ourselves? Sometimes sharing, whether good or bad, can add unexpected blessings to our lives. In order to face the challenges of life, why not always give God thanks for the good times you have. Even in the unfavorable times, we know there will be positive days ahead. Yes, those days may not be as they once were, but if we open our hearts and minds, there will be new joys ahead. Romans 12:12 NIV, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
It was 7:15 a.m. when my door bell rang. Startled, I wondered who would be there so early. The only person I could think of was perhaps my daughter since it was my birthday and I would be gone for the day. As I opened the door, the surprise was overwhelming; my new, dear friend. She drove approximately 25 miles each way just to wish me a happy birthday. She said she knew I had no one with me to wish me a happy day and to let me know I was loved and cared for. I have been in this new town barely 4 months, but God truly brought me a gift when he brought me this friend. Her actions spoke volumes to me; words of love and kindness. Sometimes God uses “earthly” persons to remind us of Hebrews 13:5 NKJ, “…I will never leave you nor forsake you.”