Why I Never Made a Future Spouse Checklist (And Things to Consider Before Making Yours)

Why I Never Made a Future Spouse Checklist (And Things to Consider Before Making Yours)

Happy Saturday, everyone. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been on somewhat of a relationship-topic kick lately. When We Feel Unworthy of Being Loved, Crushes + True Love: Twenty-Seven Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Twelve, and random posts I’ve been stumbling across online have gotten me thinking about what love truly is.

Continue reading “Why I Never Made a Future Spouse Checklist (And Things to Consider Before Making Yours)”

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Think Before “Being Yourself.”

Think Before “Being Yourself.”

 

The empowering cultural message of today is “Be Yourself.”

 

And to be honest, that’s a pretty positive idea. Don’t try to fit yourself into the mold that everyone else is already in; be authentic and not fake; be uniquely you, in only the way you can be.

 

And in a world of unrealistically photoshopped models on magazines, pressure to be at the top, and an obsession with all the glitz and glamour of fame and riches, there’s a stark comparison of ideas we’re hearing: “Be the best,” and “Be yourself.”

 

“Be yourself” is generally much healthier of a message.

 

But it’s not where we can stop.

 

See, there are two sides to this issue.

 

The first? Don’t let anyone tell you who to be, or put pressure on you to be a pseudo-version of yourself.

But the second is toxic – don’t change who you are because only you know who you want to be.

 

Perhaps the word “toxic” is too harsh, but the point remains. If we think we’re all set with no room for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we mislead ourselves.

 

I know this verse is somewhat out of the context of the passage, but the truth remains:

 

1 John 1:8

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

 

By nature, we’re flawed, sinful humans. By simply embracing our selfish selves, we let sinful thoughts and actions reign over our existence. I’m not saying that we’re not saved, we’re just not going to mature and become more Christlike.

 

If being yourself means being snarky and self-centered, rude and “liberated” (aka do-whatever-you-want-without-limits), then no, you shouldn’t be yourself.

 

By gratifying the natural desires of the flesh, we decide that we know better. We make the decision to reject the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives and instead, indulge in attitudes and engagements that will end up hurting us later.

 

So where does that leave us? Is it good, or is it bad to embrace who we are?

 

It’s both.

 

It’s great to be yourself. In fact, if doing so helps you to maximize your life to grow in your faith and serve God, then by all means, go for it. We all have different personalities, appearances, passions, and dreams for a reason.

 

But if being yourself gives you the excuse to express yourself in ways that stunt your growth, give power to sin, or disregard the leading of the Holy Spirit, then stop.

 

Think.

 

Before listening to the so-called “empowering” message of embracing ourselves as we are, let us look above the noise and onto truth.

 

Will our actions lead us to God, or away from Him?

 

Will we be using them to serve Him, or just ourselves?

 

Will the glory go to us after all, or to God?

 

Does this help us to become the person God has for us to be?

 

In the end, these questions can only be answered by you. What are your intentions in embracing your inner self?

 

We can either use our lives to serve God, or serve ourselves – to scream about freedom in Christ or freedom in worldly living – to listen to the Holy Spirit or to listen to the Devil.

 

What will you choose today?

 

Today, I choose to think before instinctively being “myself.”

 

*aj

Fighting Selfishness

Distant Mountains

Life is beautiful…

…most of the time.

Anybody feel me?

My life gets so messy sometimes, and it’s sickening how self-absorbed everyone in this world is.

And, you know, how selfish people can be by nature. Myself included. I’m trying my best to work on that.

There’s this song in The Lorax (the newer movie) that is perfect and sick at the same time when it comes to the human sin nature.

Here’s the first part of it.

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I’m just doing what comes naturally.

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I’m just following my destiny.

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I’m just doing what comes naturally.

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be?

Well there’s a principle of nature (principle of nature)

That almost every creature knows.

Called survival of the fittest (survival of the fittest)

And check it this is how it goes.

The animal that eats gotta scratch and fight and claw and bite and punch.

And the animal that doesn’t, well the animal that doesn’t winds up someone else’s lu-lu-lu-lu-lunch (munch, munch, munch, munch, munch)

I’m just sayin’.

 

*sputters*

Even though this movie does not support that point of view, it makes me want to get up and scream, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”

Because whether it seems like it or not, the world acts like this by nature.

“Survival of the fittest” is an excuse to go first, take the “bigger piece,” and all that.

It’s just a dumb excuse to feed into entitlement. The deadliest form of selfishness, and I’m pretty sure we all fight it.

Because it’s no secret or surprise that we all have a raging sin nature inside of us, wanting to control us. I mean seriously, if we were “all set,” then Jesus would not have had to come and die for us.

So, do you want to know how to beat selfishness?

Me too, so let’s look at the Bible.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 5:24

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Philippians 2:3-11

 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

So…what do these mean, though? And how do they apply to us?

Glad y’asked.

The most IMPORTANT thing that we could possibly do is die to ourselves.

Just because we’re “saved” doesn’t mean we’re growing. It’s an ongoing process of dying to self and living for Christ.

For me, this means giving up my personal wishes. For example, maybe I’m tired, but I still need to serve my family. It’s constantly putting my selfish wishes to go take a nap or read a book behind me and saying, “It’s not all about me. It’s about living for God.”

And honestly, that is soooo much more rewarding than vegging out on the couch being unproductive. Knowing that I’m serving my Creator makes me happier than I would be if I were just binge-watching Netflix and letting my family pull my weight.

Another thing is that we consider others better than ourselves.

Can you imagine if we all did this? If we all treated each other with love, kindness, and respect? Those things are contagious, you know, and it’s so amazing to serve others. It brings me such joy, even when I don’t “feel” like being selfless. My attitude changes if I let it.

And lastly, living like the world isn’t worth it.

It’s really not worth it to live a life rooted in sin and selfishness. Because when we follow after God and do not conform to the world, we are transformed, we see the will of God, and we grow to be more like Him.

In the grand scheme of time and space in all eternity, it’s important to cultivate the things that’ll last: our souls.

Because life can be beautiful, if we let it be.

We can let the world be brighter by being selfless and living for God joyfully, or we can dwell on the shallow things that make us self-absorbed and lead us to be ungrateful vegetables.

Take your pick.

*aj