March 18, 2015 Home Builder’s Essay Faith Weaver
Walking Softly in Her Moccasins
Learning to know another’s heart- Walking softly beside her.
This new for me but I trust God to help me speak His words. It’s a comfort to know I am talking to sisters with a heartbeat for God and I can feel your support and prayers. This subject is close to my heart and was good for me to study because it is a need I have in my own life. I have experienced questions and difficulties in relationships. I owe God and others so much for their input in my life. I want to thank others for their help in getting this essay together. We want to look at some of the handles to help us have good relationships that are fulfilling and God honoring. 2Sam.1:26 says very pleasant thou hast been unto me : thy love to me was wonderful.
We live in a needy world of desperate problems and heartbreaking situations. We look around and wonder why is there so much pain ? What does God have in mind ? There are distressed marriages, mental struggles, parents of special needs children, elderly, lost, lonely, leadership with heavy responsibilities, hurting, persecuted, sick, mistreated children, difficult church experiences, bereaved and more. Many things are not readily seen, easily understood or even appropriate to share with everyone. Pain is an inescapable reality in this fallen world. Pain draws us to Christ. When we walk through times of deep, overwhelming pain we need to share it with a Godly person who can help us know what to do with it or it can box us in and paralyze us. When going through things, an important question to ask is “what is my responsibility?” It is very helpful to know what our responsibility is and what we must let with God. Everyone faces difficult things and needs the encouragement of a compassionate heart
It’s been said that since you never went through a certain experience you really don’t understand so don’t even try. But the Bible is clear we are to weep with them that weep and be understanding. As we pray for God to help us understand, He is faithful and will give us understanding and wisdom.
Life is about relationships, our relationship with God and others. We all give and receive at different times and in different ways.. We are in it together and called to bear each others burdens We have nothing that was not given to us by God and we all represent needs!
“People change their values more often as a result of broken relationships than for any other reason. Homes and churches characterized by poor/no relationship are breeding grounds for apostasy.”
· Values in our own lives that affect how we relate to others:
Learn to know God! Who is HE ? He is Awesome, Almighty, Sovereign, Our Shepherd, Healer, Counselor and is much bigger than anything
we can think of with plans beyond our imagination! No wonder we can’t figure it out! Do we see problems in the shadow of God’s greatness or is God in the shadow of our problems? His awful suffering and death on Calvary proves His love to us! He gives us freedom from guilt, a glorious future, and fills our lives with many opportunities. He always understands and His grace is sufficient for whatever we face. Jesus wants to bind us close to Himself as we face life’s distress. “For I will be with thee thy trials to bless and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress“ He redeems trusting, surrendered hearts by His blood. Our value is found in Him We forgive others because He forgave us. When we are worshiping God in our hearts, we will bless others.
The best thing we can do for ourselves,our families and others in these last deceptive days before His return is to be in love with Jesus, love truth and live truth. Love getting into God’s Word. Early morning quiet time at the table with my study basket and a cup of coffee is a very special time to me. When we walk with God we will give forth His fragrance to others. He made us and tells us how find fulfillment and purpose in life. If we have fellowship with Him we will have fellowship one with another. The pages of God’s Word are full of blessings for those choosing His ways.
Be a women of character and right priorities. Redeem your time for the kingdom of heaven. Does God want me to lay down decorating, sewing, scrap booking, crafts, phone time, computer time, texting or details of homemaking that do not make a difference so that we have more time to reach out and care about others ? God gives us ideas in homemaking to make our job easier so we can do His will. (Cups can dry themselves if set upright in cupboards etc.)
Where would we be if we had had the same opportunities as that drug addict or struggling person? We do not all have the same opportunities. What have we done with our opportunities ? We are the accountable, responsible ones for the many opportunities, good examples and truth placed right in front of us and yet we fail!
Looking down on others for things they cannot help or just because we do not like them is so not God like! The very core of the gospel is about love and caring about others. How do we treat or talk about special needs people? Things that seem little in man’s eyes are often the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Those rewarded greatest in heaven may be the unseen, faithful, looked down on ones who quietly bear very difficult trials.
When we walk close to God, we see how nauseating and repulsive pride is and how vulnerable we are to the Enemy if we glory in our abilities rather than giving God the Glory.
God understands our human limitations. There are different seasons in life. A mother’s first calling is to invest in innocent, open-minded children’s lives by affectionately caring for them and showing them God’s lasting values. When we are honest before God, He shows us right priorities.. It is not God’s will for us to live in cloudy confusion and guilt. God speaks clearly - There is enough time in each day to do His will.
Accept the differences in gifts and circumstances in each others lives. Abe Lincoln struggled to keep his things in order but was outstanding in other areas. It is wrong to idolize outgoing personalities. The Bible gives more warning on talking too much than not enough. God made all personalities good and we all need God. We learn a lot from each other, but must seek to grow in Christ’s likeness rather than in our friends likeness. We are unique, and made in God’s image and able to think, reason and process things. God’s variety is beautiful when each one lives for God and fills His God given place. Seeing other people and churches advance in Christ’s kingdom will always bless the one whose heart is pure before God.
“Believing things that are not true leads to bondage in our relationship with God and others.” “Lies Women Believe and The Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a very helpful book and is especially meaningful when you take time to look up Scripture references.
Meanness never builds God’s kingdom! Truth needs to be surrounded by love if it is to be attractive. John 13:34,35 says.. love one another as I have loved you.. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples.
Praise God for the gift of people with Godly values that He places in our lives. Their actions and words ring clear and speak of Jesus. These pillars in our lives are invaluable. There is so much we learn from others. Often we receive different kinds of help from different people. A life lived for God naturally influences many others. Hearts connect and strong needs are met in our lives when we are encouraged to follow truth along with words of affirmation by our “mothers, big sisters, and sisters “ in the church. The fellowship and love of God’s people is beautiful.
It is wrong to have a certain few close friends where others feel rejection. God honoring friendships will not feel exclusive to others. Church life is about caring for souls and being needed in Christ’s kingdom and not just having fun with our friends and family. Our contacts are planned by a Sovereign God and we are to show God’s love to whoever He places in our lives.
· Practical ways to bless others
Imagine yourself in their situation. What are they handling ? Don’t be quick to make conclusions. There are many things that we do not know and only time or eternity will tell.
Many times we feel helpless and sad to see others suffer.We do not understand why they must face such pain. We can help by being an understanding friend. It will make it much easier for them to bear.
We need more encouragers among God’s people! Words can encourage! The spirit of criticism tears down. Compliment others for things you see in their lives that are assets to God’s kingdom. Appreciate the people around you and the kindnesses shown. Instead of telling those involved in intense kingdom work that “we could never do that”, assure them of your support and prayers for God’s strength and direction. “Hold the arms up”of your ministry by your encouragement, support and prayers. (Ex. 17:11,12 )They face intense spiritual warfare. Words of encouragement can do wonders for that quiet,struggling person or someone that lacks confidence and is scared to do things.
Kindness and smiles mean so much! God’s ways are often so simple we almost miss them. Ben Carson says “Be nice.” I learned from other sisters examples how much appreciation and an enthusiastic, heartfelt thank you means. Give what you have, if we wait till it’s more perfect, it often will not get done. Make use of good opportunities that God puts in your way to bless others that cause very little inconvenience on your part. When God’s Spirit reminds you of cards to send or other things, jot it down in your schedule book so you don’t forget. “A lonely person may ponder a five minute phone call for hours.” “Most people care a lot more about being welcome than about the condition of your home”. Thoughtless remarks hurt. Little things are important and minister to emotional and spiritual needs. “If our hearts are soft and tender our touches will be too. Calloused hearts tend to touch like sandpaper.” I Pet. 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another,love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous..
Respect others convictions and parents right and responsibility to give direction to their children and youth.
We often feel like we do not know how to be a blessing to struggling ones but we must trust God to show us. He led the children of Israel by a cloud, fire and through the Red Sea. He gives us His Holy Spirit to direct us. Isaiah 50:4..God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.. We must do our best, then let it in the Hands of our Sovereign God who redeems human imperfections. Many times we do not have words or feel inadequate but a handshake that says you are in my heart or a hug in crisis times can say it for us. Tell them you are thinking of them and praying for them. “Words of comfort seek to understand, strengthen and encourage.”
Always stand for truth Making little choices to uphold God’s values comes very close to us in our own churches, peers and day to day living. The test of standing for truth is the hardest when our children, family and close friends make wrong choices. Do we follow them or do we love God more ? Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother or son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 5:11-12 Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven. As we walk in others shoes and walk beside them there may be times we need to share a need or area they could do better in. We must humbly and clearly speak the truth in love with words that are seasoned with salt. Col 4:6, Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Prov. 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend.. There is a big difference in how something is said. Harsh words cut deeply like the piercings of a sword.. Prov 12:8 When we fail, instead of covering it up,we must go back and say we are sorry. Some relationships are very fragile and it may not be the time to share a concern. Take opportunities in conversation to speak God’s words of light and truth. Opportunities are born on the wings of moments..
Remember it is God’s work Let the Spirit do the work. Zech. 4:6..Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts. When we give a seemingly hopeless situation to God, God can bring things, or allow things in the person’s life, that are totally beyond man’s control, that help them see their need and want help.
Take a friendly, genuine interest in another’s life Ask how it is going? Find common ground. “Interest is a gift of the heart that expresses the value you place on the person.” Walk beside them, give support. Jesus gave us many examples of serving others and we as His children are called to do the same.
Share what blessed you on your journey with God. See 2 Cor. 1:4 Jonathan encouraged David in the Lord. I Sam. 23:16 God’s Word is alive and powerful It’s medicine for troubled hearts and peace for plagued minds.
Be honest about and share our own struggles Confess your faults one to another. and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. James5:16 Talking about things and hearing others input helps us find our way. Satan has many dark strongholds that he wants everyone to be quiet about because He does not want it exposed in the light of God’s truth so that freedom and healing can be brought to the situation.
“Listening goes farther in communication than we may ever imagine. As Christians we must develop the art of listening. Good communicators observe body language. When a person is becoming emotional it is a sign to shift into the listening mode. When a person shares whether you agree or disagree, the key is to tell him what you heard him say …In other words what I heard you say is….He will relax when he believes you heard him.”-God’s Word on Marriage Relationships. Listen for heart cries. Talking it out can help one to put things in perspective and find answers. Sometimes it is best to say nothing. Do not act shocked or react to raw facts or feelings. Keep confidences. Prov. 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Ask gentle questions. Digging to satisfy our curiosity is carnal.. James 1:19.let every man be swift to hear slow to speak.
Pray! “There is an unseen tremendous battle in the Spirit World. Prayer has tremendous impact against the spirit of darkness.” Jesus cares more than we do or can! Pour out your heart to Him, your concerns, heart cries and feelings.. Don’t let problems consume you but give them to God. Pray anytime, when you drive, or at night when you are awake. Pray about people and concerns the moment they come to your mind. Pray aloud together while on the phone or visiting with a friend. Fasting is important in these last days when the devil is trying to wreck everything that is close to God’s heart.
“ Divine love loves whether others love us or not. Divine love is extended in spite of others actions or reactions. It is universal, impartial and unconditional “ God’s love in our hearts does not follow feelings but gives forth the sweet fragrance of Jesus when crushed by rejection. Keep being a friend even if you see deep needs. In time, little by little, doors may open.. God loves those hard to love people with desperate needs inside whose hearts are hurting and craving love. Remember the forbearance God and others have with us. When we let the situation in God’s hands and find security in who God says we are without trying to guess what the other person is thinking or taking responsibility for another’s action, we are more likely to impact the situation in a redemptive way. (Keepers at Home 2014 Winter Blessing one another in relationships. Edith Witmer)
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Prov. 25:11
“ Ministry is giving when you feel like keeping, Praying for others when you need to be prayed for, Feeding others when your own soul is hungry,Living truth before people even when you can’t see results, Hurting with others when your own hurt can’t be spoken, Keeping your word when it’s not convenient, It is being faithful when your flesh wants to run away.”
A true friend radiates God’s love to everyone they meet. Serving God and others brings true joy and fulfillment. Walk hand in hand with the Master and He will show us His treasures and fill us with His love so we can share with others. “Our seeds of compassion will sprout in others and produce fruit.” Pass it on! Some quotes are from Compassion -Making a Difference by Timna Hooley
Help me to see in those I meet, On country road or city street, Not just strange people passing by, But those for whom You came to die. The young, the fair, the sick, the old, The miser with his hoard of gold, On, on they go un-minding by, And yet for these you came to die. Then with Your eyes of love and grace, Let me find beauty in each face, Those weary people passing by, Are those for whom you came to die.