So last week was my birthday, and in a very cliche fashion, I wanted to dedicate this Wednesday in the Word to the top 3 things that God has taught me over the years, because I'm one year wrinklier than my last post of similar content.
1. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 This is a lesson that is constantly in the process of being learned and re-learned. I am a very anxious and ungrateful person, and sometimes it takes a vast amount of anxiety to knock me down before I remember to give it up to God, rather than take it upon myself: these feelings of uneasiness and constant worry is a manifestation of sin - sin that has already been cleansed away.
2. " Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger" Ephesians 4:26
It might surprise some of you who know me personally that I am actually a really angry person. When I first came upon this verse, I started thinking that maybe, in order to "not let the sun go down on [my] anger", I had to just talk everything out before going to sleep. Sometimes, that was great, because any misunderstanding could easily be mitigated. However, there were also times where my emotions ran high and it was really hard for me to fully even understand my own feelings, much less properly communicate with another individual about them. As I meditated more on this verse through the years and practiced different ways to understand my anger, I realized it's important to give myself time to marinate on issues and calm down; after getting a few hours of sleep and sunshine, I can see much more clearly the root of problems, and address them accordingly. It has helped me avoid a lot of unnecessary conflict. In my case, holding my tongue and waiting a bit is the best way for me to handle my anger. Everyone handles it differently, and if it is necessary for you to talk it out right away, then do so. However, it is also necessary to give time and space to those who need a bit more processing time to understand their anger.
3. "But by the grace of God, I am what I am." 1 Corinthians 15:10
The context to this verse is that while writing to the Corinthians, Paul says he is not worthy of being an apostle, yet God made him to be one. There are so many times where I am 1000% not confident - I'm too fat, too ugly, too dumb, too stupid, too unqualified, too everything to do something. Sometimes they're excuses so I have the room for error to fail. Sometimes, it's really my inner demons telling me I was made for failure. This is a never-ending battle that I am fighting to remember and learn - if I fail, it's because God intended for me to learn. If I succeed, it's because God made me to succeed. It is not me, but God, who is perfect, sovereign, loving, and completely in control.
Here's to another year of being kept alive :)