Category Archives: Christianity

I <3 EX

Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)
Teaching about Revenge
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’[a] 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile,[b] carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

As a Christian, I am not exempt from the desire to retaliate upon those who I feel have somehow wronged me or someone I love. In fact, in the verse above, Jesus talks about that exact thing. In the Old Testament, the law of “eye for an eye” is talked about several times. Those who know that verse can be awfully confused when they come to the book of Matthew and see that Jesus says, “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” Does this actually mean that I am to not defend myself? Really? I was told once that I was a waste of a human being. So what do I do? Do I continue to allow that person to berate me?

Now I believe that God wants the best for all of us, he doesn’t want us to hurt and what I hear from that verse is not a renouncement of self-defense but a heart of “don’t hold a grudge”. For many years, Hubby and I walked through this world of constant frustration and anger at our ex-spouses. Now, obviously I can’t speak for his journey, but I know that mine was filled with days of calculating the “right” thing to say to “get them” for what they said to me. I held so tightly to the principal of the matter that I couldn’t even see that I was poisoning myself with the constant bitterness and distancing myself from God when I chose to focus on that anger.

So then what does He go on to say?

Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[c] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Love your enemies?! Are you freakin’ kidding me? Doesn’t he know what so-and-so has done to ME?!

Well of course He does. He knows everything. His son was nailed to a cross. His son was beaten, mocked and persecuted. He knows. Beyond this verse, where Jesus instructs us to pray for those who persecute us – nailed to the cross, Jesus forgave. (Luke 23:34)

So how do we apply it? How do we take this teaching and example and use it in our time and our lives?

I think really, at the core of it, is to just start by realizing that just like he forgave us… we need to forgive them. We don’t forget, we still set boundaries. We forgive our children if they steal from us, but we don’t leave our money out in the open.

Next, we need to realize that we don’t deserve forgiveness – but we were given it and given it unconditionally.

Lastly, we need to see them how God sees them. He made nothing ugly – everything is beautiful in his sight.

I’m not a biblical scholar… and I might have this all wrong, quoted the wrong scripture.. applied it funny. But really, at the end of the day, what is easier for you? To continue to live in a state of frustration, anger and rage at those who really aren’t really affected by those feelings or to just release them and forgive?

I don’t know who said it… but they said, “Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping someone else will die.”

Restoration EX

I think A LOT about the restoration of relationships. I took a little walk through the beginning of 1Cor and was thinking about what Paul says about marriage. Now, the restoration I am looking at isn’t for my marriage but it sent me on a rabbit hole of thought on restoring all kinds of relationships.

I have all kinds of relationships that I’d like to restore… The list begins with my parents and goes on to friends and other family. However, I don’t think I have ever included my EX. Now, I heard Beth Moore say once that perhaps some relationships aren’t meant to restore because they aren’t ordained by God. (I’m paraphrasing) Well, I believe that. I also believe that I wasn’t meant to have an adversarial relationship with my EX. There has to be a point where it’s not confrontational but fruitful. Not argumentative but friendly. I have no idea where to start!

If your relationship with your EX is not amicable, do you plan to take steps to repair it? How do you plan on making that happen?

D.U.C.K. the E.X.

I used to have d.u.c.k. up on my desk at work. I’d get lots of inquiries on what it was and why it was up on my desk. Well, first let me say that I’ve had a conversation this week and now have read a blog about that saying people like to use “Well, that’s the way it’s always been done.”

I hate change. I really do and God finds every opportunity he can to make me change… man! But I think no matter where I am I can get stuck in these ruts of not-changing, not-growing and not taking a risk. People have lots of great ideas on how to make things better, faster and more efficient… including my EX. However, am I letting him speak? Am I so comfortable in “the way” (my way) that I shoot him down? That’s where the d.u.c.k. – We have to be careful on what we say when someone is giving us a good idea (or a bad idea). D.u.c.k. is Don’t Use Conversation Killers.

How many times, in a conversation with your EX, you come up with an idea and they immediately says, “That’s crap” or “That’ll never work.” or “We can’t do that”. You’ve been shot down, dismissed and sometimes really disrespected.

Then flip that around – how many times are you the killer?

In your conversation, if your EX comes up with an idea – good, bad or ugly;

D.U.C.K.!

Being a Christian Ex

I wonder sometimes what people think of me from the outside of my own head. Not in some narcissistic line of thinking but do I portray what I think I am portraying in my head? I may think that I’m being nice when I’m actually being condescending. I may think I am fighting the good fight but all I may be doing is losing focus on the big picture.

I’ve read on different blogs, tweets, whatnots about people and their interactions with “Christians”. Why use the quotes? Because that’s how their tone is. Like if they weren’t a Christian, it would be ok to be a jerk or whatever they were complaining about. I think it’s this skewed perspective on what we really are as Christians.

We’re not perfect we’re Imperfect.

I am 100% flawed. Really, ask anyone (even my EX!). Now, that imperfection doesn’t ever give me the right to fall back on stupidity. God gave me discernment for a reason. I don’t need to act like a jerk – my attitude is my choice whether I am “Christian” or not.

Should I know better? I think that’s really what people are trying to get to when they point out “Oh, and supposedly they are a Christian”. Yes, I should know better. I am given a instruction book for life in the Bible. Do I give in to my human emotions and act rashly or harshly? Yep, I do.

My point here is this: Yeah, I’m a Christ follower. I strive to be more like Him daily. Daily I falter and daily I learn more and more about who I am with Him in me. My conviction increases for those things that I am shown need to change. It just doesn’t happen overnight.

I’m a work in progress. What are you?