Keep it Simple.

We fight the perfect storm, a battle we need to fight for when personal responsibility may feel like isn’t enough. We are in a time when more people are going to look back at the “best of times, it was the worst of times” idea to quote Charles Dickens.

Pardon for shortening a beautiful piece of literature and pardon the spoiler alert, but it really is A Tale of Two Cities. While choosing the responses to our battles is powerful, choosing a route God has brought before us is beautiful and broken. Unfortunately, they exist simultaneously placed upon one another billions of different directions.

Choosing a middle path and not running to the the most black and white answer in our minds is key. Anger, pride and envy are found in these black and white emotions that turn people, and at one point like myself from legalism to sin and back and forth, vacillating on the emotional roller coaster that comes from black and white, concrete thinking. If God is truly in control, then why are white hot emotions going to change anything?

They won’t, emotions add to the pain, confusion and disarray, causing more of the emotions that truly are masking that God, in all of the amazing simplicity, loves you and wants more for you. You can’t want it more, you can’t earn it more, and when I realized that I can’t work for the love of God it showed me more about God and more about me.

Struggling for the love of a God who in the flesh, paid the ultimate price for us is futile. What more can Jesus or you do? He paid it, you accepted it. He is in our hearts, there really isn’t much more you can do. He will keep giving, you can hedge your bets on that though.

You could serve more at your church, you could give more than most, the fact remains that’s just working for love. Most dads love their kids unconditionally, despite whatever example your father may have been, great or otherwise. Jesus loved the Apostle John because John understood the comfort found in Jesus, and He lived his life of love for all to see. Simple stuff.

Emotions when we are moved by God are completely understandable. Acting upon emotions when there is competition in our hearts for the affection of others. Some emotions cause a spike in dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain, basically make the pain of things like rejection worse, causing further even more stumbling blocks. It’s a reciprocal relationship that the brain can really be your worst enemy if you give way to emotions and allow the naturally occurring chemicals in your brain to run rampant.

Don’t compete for recognition of a relationship from anyone. That is self betrayal and will cause further anger to drive you in into a spiral of fear and hurt. This usually ends up in a path to reliance usually on others and or substance. I don’t want to be weak. Galatians 1:10 is important to rely on in this case.

My strength is found in my faith in Jesus, who not just saves, and comforts; but also gives us the lessons that are found in times of pain. When we run to anything other than the comfort He provides, we will inevitably run into more pain eventually, but because we extract nothing from his lessons in truth… not one lie. It will be beautiful. We’ve been relying on Romans 8:28 a lot, but it bares repeating.

If you wonder what you are hearing or where God may be leading you, consider these: is it scripturally sound? Would Godly people approve of it? Does it make common sense? Have you, most importantly, prayed about it? Then it’s not a lie.

Placing our hope in a God who doesn’t care who we are, or our circumstances and comfort, he is going to give us the tools to fight through lessons that teach you to do it better next time, remember that God is in control, and circumstances will, show how even with the mess our world is in now, it will be beautiful again. One way or another.

People mess this up: Weakness is a strength. When we lay down our arms, and say: “you know what God? I am going to let you sort this out, because you are God, and I am not.” This may sound quaint, and I love that. It is child’s play, and it is meant to be. God loves the faith of a child. That is truth. The strength of a child running to dad for safety and support. We’ve seen the way kids looks up, do that. That is true strength, the strength to trust and the strength to be worthy of that trust. Place your trust in God, wash your hands, be kind, and vote your conscious.

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