By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘friendship

usandthem

This post is a personal situation I’m going through and would appreciate any input from my brothers, sisters in Christ and fellow friends in recovery. 

There is a man at work who wants to pursue a friendship.  He is a manager and has been awesome with helping me have a “voice” at work during times when I was having some issues with getting more shifts, more tables, etc.  Essentially, making more money.  Because of his input to the higher ups, on my account, I have made awesome money this week.  I am grateful.  Very grateful.

Now mind you, I am not naïve.  I know that this “friendship” he wants to pursue will develop into stronger feelings.  Feelings that I am not ready for.  He knows I am a Christian.  He is not a believer.   He does not make fun of my beliefs (to my face anyway), but I have heard him scoff at the very mention of Jesus Christ and God.  He made a comment yesterday about the church crowd coming in for lunch.  He mentioned that “these people go to church and act all ‘good’ yet it’s obvious one of them is a homosexual”.  I looked at him and said, “God loves everybody.”  Someone gave him a little card about salvation, and he laughed and said “can you believe they gave this to me?”  And threw it away.  He knows how I feel about God and Jesus, and I was offended.  It hurt my feelings.  But I didn’t let him see that. 

I was contemplating getting a second job, and was very torn about this decision.  Reason being, I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot and have my current job be upset and take me off the schedule all together.  I do appreciate this man’s input and advice.  So I went to him for advice.  He knows the restaurant owners better than I do and he told me they wouldn’t like it, especially with the busy season coming.  There is always another person wanting my job.  So I decided to not go for the interview at this other restaurant.  I was up in the air about what to do.  I prayed boldly about it. 

My first thoughts are to seek God with my decision making and what choices to make.  But I wasn’t positive of what to do and thought maybe God was opening a door for me to make more money.  But I had never got a clear cut answer from God if this was His will or not.  I had to make a decision within 3 days.  So I sought other advice.  And I believe I made the right decision now by cancelling the interview.

Now back to the whole “friendship” thing.  He kept pressing me into talking about how we feel about each other.  He says I’m running away from myself.  This was my response to that comment, “I am not running away from myself.  I am very confident in who I am, but at this point of my life, I am focusing on myself.  I don’t have the emotional or mental room for others right now.”  This is the truth.  I found myself thinking too much about this man, when I should be filling my thoughts with Jesus.  I was very uncomfortable allowing an unbeliever from the opposite sex filling my thoughts.  I could tell it was wrong.  The Holy Spirit was grieving about this and I felt it. 

So today I put an end to it.  I told him we can stay work friends and that’s it.  He was very polite about it and backed off (at least for now). 

Here are my questions:usthem

  • When do we seek human advice from man when we aren’t hearing from God, especially if we need an answer within a deadline?
  • We have to work in a world of unbelievers, how dangerous is it for us to follow their advice about our careers?
  • God works through people, do you believe God also works through unbelievers to bless us?  Why do you believe this?
  • How close are we to get to an unbeliever?  Should we develop close friendships with them?
  • Should we have an attitude of “us” and “them” ?

I just started taking a course on Systematic Theology.  This is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time and I am excited to say I have started it.  I just finished reading from a book titled, “Bible Doctrine”, by Wayne Grudem.  In the fourth chapter, he speaks about The Knowability of God.

It is so interesting that I wanted to share with you a few things I read about this topic.

  • We can never fully understand God.  God in infinite, we are limited.
  • We can never fully understand any single thing about God; His greatness, His wisdom, His understanding, His knowledge, etc.
  • We will never be able to know “too much” about God.
  • We will never run out of things to learn about God.

The source of our joy and sense of importance ought to come not from our abilities or possessions, but from the fact that we know God.  Jeremiah 9:23-24

God bless you all!

I’ve had two blogging friends contact me today to check in with me.  I know I have neglected my site and I think of all of you often!!  Thank you my friends.  Do you guys realize how much you impact me when you “check in” with me?  I need that soooo much.

I am so honored the Lord has brought all of you into my life.  It doesn’t matter that I haven’t physically met any of you.

The blessings and personal fulfillment I receive from all of you is a MAJOR part of my life.   God knows me better than I know myself.  I’ve screwed up so many friendships in my life.  I’ve also been rejected and hurt so many times even when I thought I was being a good friend.  God knows I get lonely and I won’t venture out to “make friends”.  I am so grateful the Lord has led me to start blogging.

I’ve been working A LOT.  I recently got a promotion, but I actually just got another promotion (two days ago) to asst manager!  LOL   God is amazingly blessing me.  My head is in a bit of a whirlwind and I am trying so hard not to feel overwhelmed.  Satan has been working overtime trying to kill my confidence and keep my mind off of Christ.  But I keep fighting and staying grounded.  At least I hope so.  I hear Satan telling me, “Everything is going to blow up in your face just like it always does.”

I feel like I’ve lost my peace lately though.  Even though all these good things are happening, I wake up irritable and emotional.  It’s not enough that Satan attacks my thoughts during the day…

I think he’s at his strongest in my dreams.  I have no defense in that situation.

I can read the Bible before bed and keep Christian music playing while I sleep and yet I will literally fight a demon in my dream that night.  It’s so scary.  I can tell you specifics because I remember my dreams, but I honestly don’t want to keep thinking about it.  I will purposely stay awake because I’m scared to go back to sleep.  I’d rather deal with the fatigue of no-sleep the next day then have to deal with the stress of bad dreams.  I pray all the time for God to put a legion of angels in my dreams to protect me.  But it doesn’t always work.

Anyway, not sure why I went there.  LOL  I’m just typing away here.  Things are good though! Smile  Blessings to you all and I love all you!

How did Jesus do it?  Jesus was criticized and insulted but never returned insult for insult.  The witness of Jesus tells us to return evil with good.  Be slow to anger.  Turn the other cheek.

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16)

Where do we draw the line of being insulted by another person and turning the other cheek?  When do we stand up for ourselves?  How many times can we really just turn the other cheek before saying something in our defense?

There is a person in my life that always seems to “get a jab at me” every time we have a conversation.  This is a person that I have hurt from my past actions.  This person has also hurt me.  I have truly forgiven them.  I really have.  I have asked forgiveness for my sharpness and overreaction.  I’m ready to let it go.  I AM capable of forgiveness.  I believe God has blessed me with incredible patience and the ability to forgive.  In my past, I had an ex-boyfriend who grabbed me by my hair, put a gun to my head & shoved me down into an execution type stature.  I even forgave him (and got a permanent restraining order). 

So even though I have hurt this person in my life and it may be justifiable reactions to my past behavior, they still throw an insult at me in a passive aggressive way even though I have changed my life and don’t behave in that manner anymore.  It doesn’t matter how well I am doing.  It doesn’t matter how far I’ve come, I still get that “dig” at least once every time we are around each other.  I get so upset!  I get very defensive.  I get tired of having to stick up for myself.  Yes, I insulted this person last night.  My past was being thrown in my face and in a vulgar manner.  I kept my cool at first, and then I started yelling and verbally did not behave as a Christian nor as a lady.  I asked God to forgive me.  Even though what I said back to them was all true, I did say it in a manner unbecoming.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)

I’m not going to blame my behavior as “just being human”.  I REALLY want to be able to control my tongue, no matter how terrible I’m being treated.  Will I ever perfect this area in my life?  I sure hope so.  I will just have to keep trying or maybe I just need to choose better friends & end this particular one.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

My thoughts are all over the place today.  I’m very frustrated by it and it gets me concerned when I’m like this.  Concerned for what?  I don’t know.  To make a bad choice, or maybe I know anxiety or a panic attack could be right around the corner.  Is it the devil messing with me?  How do I know?  I pray for discernment. 

Discernment means understanding or an insight.  Before I can decipher my thoughts, I have to be aware of what I’m thinking about.   I try to do what Joyce Meyer tells us in her book, “Battlefield of the Mind” to,

“think about what we are thinking about.”

I’m exhausted just thinking about what I’m thinking about.  Has someone ever said to you, “you think too much.”  Don’t you just want to smack’em?  I’m kidding of course…kinda.Smile 

I believe God blessed me with a thinking brain.  I also just need to turn my mind off sometimes.  I will watch something on tv that’s silly and doesn’t serve a purpose except to make you laugh.  I like the sitcoms from Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens.   Those usually do the trick and give my mind a much needed rest.  Watching TV is all well and fine but I still need to keep my thoughts straightened out and not go to bed with a mind of confusion. 

Even if I read some Scripture before falling asleep, I swear the devil attacks me in my dreams!   I have very vivid dreams and I can remember them.  I wake up feeling heavy, like something terrible just happened.  I feel like have sinned!  I talk to God right away and get the connection between Him and I started before my feet his the ground.  I even ask for forgiveness for what I was doing in the dream, just in case.  It’s important for me to have no seperation from God and if my mind believes a stupid dream can do that well then……I’m asking God for forgiveness in Jesus’ name……don’t know it’s something I should do but……what can it hurt?  I’m doing what we say C.Y.A., in other words I’m covering all the bases.

I read an article by Father Dan Burke about discernment.  He says,

The unmanaged musings of an injured soul can easily lead us away from the peace that Christ has for us and into further sin or destructive behavior.

Father Burke is telling us we have to maintain our heart and keep it in right standing with Christ.  If left unmanaged or neglected, it is much easier to sin.  Although the devil can’t read our thoughts, he has been watching us for our whole lives so he can learn what makes us “tick”.  The enemy knows our strengths and weaknesses just as our Lord and Savior does.  That is why it is so important we study God’s Word and know it for ourselves.   We’ve all heard the saying, “knowledge is power”,but knowledge is strength too.

I think there is a certain level of faith involved in discerning our thoughts.  I believe sometimes we just don’t know!  And that’s okay.  It’s not always easy for me to discern my thoughts.  My way of thinking can be very messed up because of my past, but God is a healing God.  He has healed my mind as well as my soul.   Just reading the Bible has brought me so much healing in my mind and thoughts.  I shouldn’t say “just”.  It is very apparent in my life that reading the Bible has had a major impact on me and my thought life.  In fact, my thinking is more clearer now than it ever has been my entire life!  That may sound good, but I get confused and think too many things at once.  I want to know the “why” of things.  In being like this it makes me open up God’s Word and search it out.   Search it out and find out what’s going on in my mind and how I can get rid of this inner turmoil.  I want peace, not racing thoughts that give me unrest and anxiety. 

God is a peaceful God so any thoughts that are giving me anxiety or unrest are most likely not from Him.  So I pray and believe my loving Lord and Savior will help me discern my thoughts and keep me strong and intact.  Satan will use my thoughts of reasoning and wanting to know the “why” of everything against me and keep me away from the will of God.  For me, all I can say is I will have to stay very close to my Lord when my thoughts are like this and keep my nose in the Scriptures.  The thoughts will then start to slow down and I’ll find rest in my thinking.

In closing, this article has been difficult for me to write because my thoughts were all over the place and it has taken me a week to finish it.  I am asking my friends and fellow readers, to enlighten me if the post sounded rambling and I would love some wisdom about discernment of thoughts from  you!  I cherish all of you as I know God works through people!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:9 AMP)

The Bible promises Christians a sound mind.  Mental illness, personality disorders and any form of psychological damage may result from childhood trauma, domestic abuse, demonic activity or disobedience to God (Deut. 28:15,28).  Thoughts are jumbled, chaotic and there is an inner turmoil that feels like torture.  A chemical imbalance in the brain can cause mood swings, aggression and depression.  Sometimes medication is needed.  Sometimes therapy, one-on-one counseling or a support group is needed.  But one thing for sure, CHRIST IS NEEDED!

I believe for some people that going to professional secular help is necessary.  It was for me.  Equally important is help from our pastor and keeping a biblical perspective about our emotions and thoughts.  God desires us to be whole.  This would involve every aspect of our life—spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

So how do you get to that point of healing?  Healing is certainly a process.  It can be an ongoing thing, but I also experienced an “instant” healing that changed my life!  I have a earlier post titled The Freedom Of Forgiving Myself .  I will tell you…..I am a hard case.   I don’t know why that is and I wish I wasn’t like this because I could have saved myself from years and years of hardship and suffering if I would have just listened and obeyed!! 

I’m one of those who has to experience everything for myself all the way down to rock bottom before I say “okay, maybe you’re right”.  And in the meantime, I become a self-hater, self-loathing, never understanding why I do the things I do or why I WANT to do the things I do.  Blaming others doesn’t work.  Feeling sorry for myself doesn’t work.  But God’s grace does work!!!

And you know, bottom line is this…..it doesn’t matter what others think you should do or how you do it, or what you do to get well, or how you do it to get well.  What matters is the connection between myself and God.  God is the only One who knows my heart.   He is the only One who knows what I need and how I need it.  So in a sense, for me, being healed and restored involved me being selfish and not letting anything or anyone influence me in the process.  It’s between me and God.  And if my heart is aligned with His heart and my thoughts are aligned with His thoughts, then I am living on purpose and according to His will.

So the healing begins by allowing myself to forgive myself.  To allow myself to put my foot down and say, “this is what I have to do to help me.”  It may seem very self-centered and selfish to those looking from the outside.  But let me reassure you, that once I was able to forgive myself and allow Christ to heal my inner being, I came out a better person and a more likable person.  This opened the doorway for me to get well and stay well for longer periods of time.

I certainly haven’t perfected this whole sobriety thing, but I’m much healthier mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I understand now what God means when He says He wants us to be made “whole”.  And in this wholeness I found inner joy and peace.  I know that God has healed me from the guilt and shame I carried because I am able to open my eyes to things I couldn’t see before.   He has opened my heart to things I haven’t felt before.  He has opened my ears to things I haven’t heard before.  Because of what Christ did for me on the cross, I can be healed and restored.

Kutless – That’s What Faith Can Do

I like to thank http://poeticjourney251.com/ for nominating me for this lovely award! What a blessing!

Instruction for the award:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award

2. Paste the award on your blog

3. Link the person who nominated you for the award

4. Nominate 7 bloggers or less

5. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominated

I like to nominate the folowing bloggers for this award (in no particular order):

1. http://tellgodthankyou.wordpress.com

2.http://virtuous_gracious.wordpress.com

3.http://dschondog.wordpress.com

4.  http://godspeaksilisten.wordpress.com

5.  http://dailyaspects.wordpress.com

6.  http://tomraines.wordpress.com/

7.  http://poeticinvocation.wordpress.com

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

Have a super blessed day!


A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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